*Did you just sing the Les Mis song there in your head when you read the title? I have been! *
ANYWAY… Before I even begin this blog post I really want to emphasise that I love my children with all I have. I am even loving motherhood right now, I haven’t always and I can admit that. Currently though I’m really enjoying this part of our parenting journey.
Being a mum does define me and so it should. My eldest is 19. I’ve been mum a long time. Being a mum has certainly shaped me in a whole different way than I would have been had I not had children. In fact I think being a mum has made me a better person than I would have been.
So we’re clear on that yes?
I’d never dismiss motherhood.
I’m certainly in no way complaining at my life as a mum.
I am incredibly grateful and so very lucky to have the family that I have.
The thing is this. Behind the mum-who on earth am I as a woman?
Before I had children I was only 19. I’d had grand plans to change the world. Nowhere in these plans was any ideas of getting married and having babies. In fact the one steadfast plan I did have was never wanting children.
I’m so glad plans don’t always work out. Having children allowed me to discover parts of myself I never even knew existed.
My children are getting older now. The elder 3 are teenagers, the little one is 11.
Well meaning people keep commenting how how now is MY time. Time to take back my life, that the children don’t need me as they once did.
I have a few problems with this mindset. Mainly the children do need me still. Not with the intensity of younger years admittedly. Parenting teenagers is tricky though, you have to pick up on cues that mean ‘I’m sad, I’m angry, I’m worried’ because they can’t always articulate it. Much like newborns and their differing cries that usually only their parents can decipher. Call me needy but I’m not redundant just yet.
The other bits though? Taking back my life? Well that’s a weird one, the little people are my life.
It is true though that I do have more spare time these days. This half term hols has highlighted the two sides of the coin on this. I had 3 whole child free days. I had the most glorious time just wandering about, sitting in pubs chatting undisturbed. Relaxed- none of the rushing around my everyday life has, lazy lie ins. I couldn’t have enjoyed myself more.
When I got home to a empty house though I was at a bit of a loss. Did the house jobs I’d been putting off, cleaned, cooked. Then what?
What do I do to make me happy and content?
What is it I actually like to do?
Who even am I when the children aren’t around?
I have a bolognaise scenario that sums it up perfectly (keep with me not as nutty as it sounds)
One thing I do like to do is take a book and go for dinner on my own. If ever I go to an Italian restaurant my initial feeling is to order bolognaise, because I love it.
The kids love it, it bores me to tears. The kids love it so I cook it, I eat it and somehow I’ve become indoctrinated into believing I love it.
I wonder how many other things fit the bolognaise mould. What other things do I think I like that is really no more than mum habit.
I want to discover who I am as well as the woman with the overactive womb. I want to find out and nurture a bit the woman behind the mum. (bit tosspotty I know, I’m sorry)
I’m quite excited by the prospect too.
Needless to say I’ll bore you guys to death with my little adventure of self discovery.. . after all it’s highly likely when I discover this woman, she’ll be a bit of a knob! !
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