Thursday, 13 December 2012

Motherhood and me-hood

Gosh, isn't this frosty photo just beautiful? My lovely husband took it. I think he's all kinds of talented.
It's kind of unrelated to this post, because I am going to have a grumble. Well, not a grumble per se, more a rambling, complaining bit of verbal vomit at the computer page, and then leave it there for all to read. Because sometimes it's better to spew it out and then just get on with things.
What I really love to do, wanted to do, revel in, is be a stay-at-home-mum. Oh I wish there was a better, grander name for it because however you word it, it always sounds a bit like that box you tick on a career list - at the end - that says 'none of the above'. But it's the biggest, greatest, most important job on the planet. Think how many grown-ups ruin their lives or other peoples' because of how their mind was messed with in childhood. Think of all your happiest, largest memories from childhood and how your parents helped make them.
Once upon a time I was a stay-at-home single mum to a lovely little boy. Then he went to nursery and I went to university, and fast-forward a few years and I was the full-time working single mum of said boy. He had a lot of family around and he didn't miss out too much but I dreamt and dreamt of being able to take and collect him from school every day. I dreamt of more children, happy families and a life spent immersed in the joy and wonder of their childhood. I knew there would be tough days, exasperated days, but I knew it would be the greatest pleasure of my life to be there with them as they grew, and one of the greatest pleasures of their little lives too.
Here I am living it. Husband, two little ones, and the big one too. We moved away from the big smoke in part so that we could live our dream of me bringing up our babies. I love it just as I thought I would. I am fulfilled by it just as I thought I would be.
There's a but. Oh, you just knew there would be a but, didn't you?!... In the time I had to stay at home with these little marvels, I knew I had to search for the vocation that would fulfil me once they head on to school and don't need me at home as much. I'm just not going to be one of those ladies who lunch while their primary children are being schooled elsewhere, even if it wasn't for the fact that I need to earn my keep.
I found it. It's sewing and writing. Ta-dah! But I found it too early, as I'm still three or so years away from my youngest going to school. And I still love the mothering just as much. I don't want to stop doing it in order to sew or write. I want to do it all! Oh, frustration!
I'm not sure how some of these other bloggers out there, mothering and crafting away, are doing it. I'm pretty sure a number of them have children who don't wake until at least 7am and they get up at 5 for a good bit of sewing first. Well, my boys wake around 6 and I need my sleep. I've tried the 5am thing. Within two days I'm running on empty. Some of them have children who are all tucked up in bed by 7pm and then spend their evenings stitching. Well, my boys are usually settled by 7.30 but then I'm really tired and my husband wants to actually see and interact with me, and I'm lucky if I have the time and motivation to spend more than two evenings a week sewing. I get some sewing done in the day most days, but I'm forever stopping to soothe arguments, put visors on toy firemen, remove toy horses from the sewing machine or, usually and eventually, resorting to sewing with a child on my lap who really likes the look of that sharp, sharp needle.
I've written about this before - I'm getting déjà vu - but with Christmas approaching and a mountain (I am not kidding you) of sewn gifts to complete by then, while the ironing pile becomes its own mountain and the children bounce off the walls... well, it's really coming back into focus.
This is all very ironic as I'm spending what could be a sewing evening writing on the computer, but sometimes you just have to spew it out before you can get on with things.
And look at lovely photos your husband shot in order to remind yourself of what really matters in life, of the simple beauty of it all, and of the outdoors you're missing while revelling in that sharp, sharp needle working its magic.
And hope that someone out there has some fabulous advice to impart that doesn't involve a lifetime of exhausting 5am starts or never seeing your husband. (Shameless plea for useful comments)


  1. Hmm, it's a really tricky one, sadly I don't have 'the' answer. I would certainly avoid the early mornings - on the occasion when I have got up to sew (not 5am early more like 7!) I find the children come and join me so I don't get any sewing done! My husband often goes in to work early and comes home early so we have a family meal and bedtime and he might work more in an evening so I sew then. I have one at home during the day and he sometimes sits on my knee while I sew, he'll be going to preschl in Jan for 2 mornings a week so I will have more time...
    I think you just have to take one day at a time and don't put too much pressure on yourself. I think we will look back in a few years and wonder where those early years went. Good luck! Mx

    1. Thank you Mary, I knew I could rely on you to set my mind to rest. I just need to slow down a bit!

    2. It will all still be there (or here, or wherever. Fortunately neither sewing nor writing is the sort of thing that will run away without you, if you don't go off with it right this moment. Anyway, you're much younger than me and I'm still trying to sort it all out!

  2. I think a sense of frustration, while knowing you really ought to be more grateful for what you DO have, kind of comes with the motherhood territory. I know I am guilty of always thinking that things will be easier in the next phase of life - once they were sleeping through the night, both at school, at secondary school.

    But the truth is, for me anyway, it never actually becomes easy. There is never the time to do all that I would like (even though, on paper, I have a lot of time). And when I look back at when they were smaller, I sort of idealise that now and think perhaps those were the good days. When they actually wanted to spend all their time with you.

    Perhaps the secret is to do a little bit of whatever it is that makes you happy and enjoy every moment of it. Being happy in the present really is the greatest gift.


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