A few years ago I wrote a piece for Counter Journal. My child was 2 and I was working out WHO even was I anymore. So I wrote all my feelings down that I couldn’t find anywhere else online, no-one was saying the stuff I thought only I felt.
I hate playgrounds
I hate playing
Had I made a huge mistake?
Then a few nights ago I found it flicking through the pages and it struck me that this piece needs to come alive again but with my voice alongside my words. So I recorded it for you dear reader and listener on my podcast.
Yes a podcast which has been going for about 10 years!
So here is the piece in written form AND you can also listen to it on your walk on Spotify and Apple. I’d love a recommendation or a review. That would make my day
“Sustainability and the modern mother:
How keeping up with ‘that’ life will eventually fucking kill you.”
If Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did but backwards and in high heels, stick her in today’s world and she’d also have a pinterest page brimming with cake designs, an immaculately kept shoe collection and if she had found herself with child, there would be no snot stained t-shirt’s in sight.
Keeping up with today’s trend of putting yourself out ‘there’ is unsustainable. Heck I’m having a confusing time of where ‘there’ is. I have a child; step one. I have three jobs; step two. I am training for a large race; step three. I’m trying to ‘gram, tweet and book-face it all and at the end of the day land in a heap amongst the piles of books I aim to read to my child.
“When will the madness stop?” I cry. When indeed?
Post child I have many questions (believe me I had many questions before child):
Who am I?
Who was I?
What can I actually do today that won’t make me lose my shit?
Where the hell did all this rage come from?
Two years into a decision I made with my partner has me all kinds of confused. What I ‘should be’ is everywhere. From the parenting books (that I didn’t read), to the click-bait ‘don’t let your child have screens or cornflakes’ online articles. I wander the halls of mother-dom scanning the various rooms for the ones that take my fancy. But usually none do. I hate playing. I hate playgrounds even more. I want the endless picking-up-off-the-floor to end. I want silence. I crave days of nothingness.
I made a decision and what if it was the wrong one?
For the modern mother who ‘has it all’ to the just 6 months in ‘rabbits in the headlights’ mama who can’t seem to drink enough coffee; I hear you. I see you. I salute you. But we can’t keep this Instagrammable “we’ve got our shit together” world alive forever.
I have never respected, stared, wondered, raged around the women in my life more so than now. I have never talked more than now. I have never felt so wrapped in love or more alone than now. Telling new mums about my sadness and grief feels wrong and shameful as though I may be littering their Hansel and Gretal path with my old mouldy bread.
The questions I regularly ask myself as I stand looking deep in the mirror (and noticing the lines around my drooping eyelids) I ask who am I now: a 40 year old woman with a child. What has changed: I don’t care for washing my hair everyday. I push on past having food regularly dribbled down my shoulder and forge forward into the world. I manage three schedules and try and squeeze some form of exercise into it like a crazed squirrel trying to store nuts.
Who was I and why do I grieve so much for my past life: grief will consume you if you don’t answer it, recognise it exists and then make your peace with it. I am not ‘that’ anymore but I am also still ‘me’. I have moments of throwing caution to the wind during the day or week or month, I just have (a)nother human to think about.
For you dear readers on the verge of, or fully immersed in baby world I ask of you:
throw out the guidebooks (especially the sleep programmes that say “go in and wake your baby at 7am”, WHO WAKES THEIR BABY?? I am already yanked out of my Keanu Reeves dreams every damn morning), the podcasts, the online posts. Make that life yours. Let your child guide you. Seek help and support. Listen to your friends’ well wishes of “you’re doing really well” (and if they don’t say it get some new friends). Fill your tank with old loves (dance your dance to Rage Against the Machine), spend time with your partner or cat, throw caution to the wind. Shout “fuck it” every day and allow some form of letting go to inhabit your body.
Surrender some. Keep some for yourself. And for heaven’s sake go offline for a bit.
My 1:1 coaching slots for May are OPEN. Been in your current job for years and it’s not your dream but you don’t know what is? Feeling in a rut with life? Come discover coaching with me ⬇️ ⬇️