Sunday, 11 April 2010

I vant to be alone. Or do I?

I am alone. 

Shall I say that again?

I am alone in my house.  There is no one else here.  Just me.    And an awful lot of tidying and sorting out.

I honestly can't remember the last time I was actually alone.  It was certainly pre-A and S, which means it's over sixteen months since I sat in my house, on my own, with no-one else in it.

I have been looking forward to this moment, to this week, for a while now.  I finished work on Friday (new-look blog, new-look description of me and what I do, possibly even new-look name if I can think of one coming up just as soon as I can cast off my luddite tendencies and make it work), and I am enrolled in Millinery 2 this week.  This means that this week my heroic mother is having my children ALL WEEK.

I have been so excited. In fact I've probably been downright unpleasant in my smugness at having a week all to myself and B.  And in fact, it'll feel more like all to myself, because not only has he heroically taken them to my mother's (leaving me to tidy up and start the pre-move de-cluttering, ahem) but he'll be at work, so at the beginning and end of the day, my time will really be my own.

So, as I say, I have really been looking forward to it.

And then, this morning, I realised something.  I've got to spend a whole week without my children.  And I don't want them to go. Even when L was being hideous this morning, there was a part of me thinking "but I don't want you to go".
But then the odd thing. Did I make the most of the day we had together? Did I spend lovely quality time with my beautiful, much-adored children? Did we reaffirm our familial bond and love for each other? 

We did not.

I was just the same as I always am.  Concentrating on the washing up, the tidying, the getting dressed, the packing.  Are they eating enough? Not enough? At the right time? Are they playing nicely? Who snatched what? Who needs to say sorry? Do this. Don't do that. 

Come and give me a cuddle.

Why do I do this? Why can I know, and feel, one thing, and yet do and say another? How can I simultaneously long for this week to come, and yearn for it to be over?

Forget the battle between working and non-working mums (in which number, lest I forget, I must now count myself).  I think my biggest battle will remain between my all-consuming love for my children, and my just as demanding selfish needs.


  1. I'm a working mum too. I try and make a point of doing as little house stuff as possible at the weekend (less than usual and that is going some cos I usually do very little!) so I can get as much fun time with the little one. The sunny weather really helps. It's tough, we yearn for space and peace but when we get it we miss them.

  2. I work, and have very little time to play with my children. Mostly I am the referee. I treasure the holidays but it's also hard work and sometimes doesn't feel like much of a holiday for me. Make the most of your me time, it's rare so enjoy it. It would be odd if you didn't miss them but they are with your Mum, they will be fine.

  3. I wrote a similar post today, although I only had about an hour on my own! but it's true when you're with them you want time off and when they're not there you want them. One of life's great conundrums sent to puzzle us mums and induce anxiety. Enjoy your time, you need it. You will be refreshed when you see them again and they'll be totally over-excited.

  4. We are all one big, churning's the same here, every day. I want to have that perfect Little House on the Prairie kind of life, but of course it never happens. I look forward to time on my own and then wander around, bereft, wondering if it's ok to call home. And I shout and bluster and "in a minute" all day long, then kiss their sleeping faces and want to recapture every moment.

    Great post- you sum up exactly how bloody confusing it is being a mum.


  5. Being a mom is a whole world of confusion, should we do this, feed them his are we scarring them for life because we forgot this. I have no answers but plenty of questions but life is like that and each day is a new chapter.

  6. You're not really alone, though, are you? You have Tidying and Sorting as companions. It's not the same as The Old Days, when being alone meant reading the Sunday paper all afternoon, or spending the entire morning on the phone to friends, or indulging a hobby or passion.

  7. You're not really alone though, are you? You have Tidying and Sorting as companions. It's not like The Old Days (pre-kids) when alone time was time you could spend doing exactly what you liked.

  8. Oh, I thought the first comment had disappeared, so I rewrote it. Don't know why, really.

  9. Ach, I don't think we'd be as good mothers if we weren't a bit selfish as well.

  10. It isnt exclusive to working mums you know. I was so guilty of this before being ill and then after, well I went too far the other way. I need balalnce and sometimes it is so hard to find

  11. I'm catching up in a bit of a topsy-turvy way today, sorry.

    I know exactly what you mean - it shouldn't be so hard.

  12. It is hard - but you need to remember that you need time and space for yourself as a person, not just as a mum because there will come a day when they need you less and want to see that you need them less and that you have other exciting things to share with them


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