Something strange happened to me this school holiday. Something that I haven’t experienced for a very long time, I think since before having children. I was bored! And it was great!
We usually visit family in the south, nomadically going to London, to Suffolk, to London, to Wiltshire, leaving a trail of various items at each home we visit; toothbrushes, dog bowls, iPhone chargers, kindles, cuddly bears, (once a child!) But this holiday we stayed put. I was worried that the kids would struggle to find things to do but other kids called round, leaving piles of stinking trainers in the hallway and bikes strewn across the porch way. It always amazes me how much just a few boys can eat in a small space of time, I seem to be constantly replenishing stocks. And then there’s the noise; slamming doors, shouting, laughter, thumping floorboards as they stomp around, upstairs, downstairs- they sound like a herd of ………. boys! I love all this, the house is alive!
And then it’s quiet. They’ve gone round someone else’s house to eat them out of house and home, leave their footwear to fester and make some noise. There’s no noise at mine now and calmness descends. That’s when I get that strange feeling, suddenly no children to entertain, feed, berate. My kids have become semi- independent and left me thinking ‘what shall I do? Go out? Oh no I can’t, just in case the herd arrives again.’ So what do I do? I read, I mark books, I read, I do housework, I cook, I shop online, I read. And then I sit and daydream. What an indulgence! Daydreaming, letting my mind wander, twisting and turning thoughts and ideas in my head. I have headspace and it feels so good!
But then there is that moment when I feel a bit bored. It doesn’t last long and it doesn’t really trouble me but it does feel strange. I really haven’t experienced it since before I had children. As soon as they were born my time was consumed by them; feeding them, cleaning them, cuddling them, shouting at them and then all that again. Now they don’t need me as much and now I can take charge of my own life and my own time.
That’s what is changing now. I have always been able to take charge of my own work life, of course with its challenges when bringing up a family but nevertheless, because of the personal support of my partner, I have been able to continue with my career. But now, I’m beginning to gain back my personal life. I don’t feel sad about this. Some parents I speak to about their similar situation, say they are feeling redundant but me, well I’m embracing this new period of parenthood. I plan to fill with loads; reading, marking (I do actually enjoy this!), running, writing, creating art and daydreaming. Then when the kids come home, being their mum again!