I’m sitting in the airport waiting to board a flight to Perth, and although I should be relishing the prospect of a few nights away in an apartment with my girlfriend, I can’t quite kick this heavy feeling.
I struggled this morning when I dropped The Woo, Foghorn and Bubble at day care. They ran into the room happily to greet their friends and immediately engaged in the activities.. Happy chatter filled the room.
Ordinarily this is exactly how I want the morning to run. I want to walk out of the door without someone hanging onto my leg. I want to see them interacting with their play friends. I do not want to feel guilty. Whether we like it or not, Mother-guilt is always lurking in the back of our minds somewhere isn’t she? Sometimes we can only make out the faint whispers, some days, like today, her shouts are defeaning and all consuming.
This morning I felt hollow. I wanted to hang onto them and never let go, and part of me wanted to know that they felt the same.
They were busy. They were happy. They kissed me affectionately, but briefly…oh too briefly and they turned back to their games.
My heart felt heavy as I opened the door to the day care centre,
I was glad of the wet and windy Melbourne weather as the tears burst from my eyes and streamed down my cheeks as I made my way quickly to the car.
As much as I feel like a need a break, a lie in, some female adult company – part of me feels lost at being apart from my family. I haven’t even left Melbourne and I already miss them with every inch of my being.
Why does trying to find that fine balance between the ‘me’ and the ‘us,’ have to be so tough?
The moment our child is born, we define ourselves by our new role. Society has certain expectations of us. Possibly more importantly, (and more limiting) though are the expectations we have of ourselves. I can’t help but feel that in that moment that we give birth evrything changes. A mother is born, but do we also unknowingly surrender a part of ourselves in a way that men are not expected to?
Men do not define their existence by the fact that they have fathered a child in the same way that we do because we have become a Mum. They are not expected to spend every waking hour attending to wants and need so of their offspring. They certainly don’t feel guilt for wanted to have some respite and time away from their family….or at least Hubbster certainly doesn’t.
So, I am going to Perth for the weekend and I am going to tell myself the words I all too often forget. Yes, I will miss Hubbster and the children until it hurts, but I’m going to enjoy it because I deserve it.
Do you struggle to make time for yourself?