“Who are you?” said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I – I hardly know, sir, just at present – at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Over the past two weeks I have planned and headed up a women’s event at our church; had a day of quiet contemplation and solitude at a writer’s retreat; and had a very civilised adult night out with my oldest friends. I tell you all this not to brag, but to highlight the sense of restlessness that is growing in me.
Contrast those amazing highs with cleaning the floor and washing the clothes after another ‘couldn’t quite get to the toilet in time’ accident; handling two-year old tantrums over the fact that the banana broke; and putting another well-thought out home cooked meal in front of the girls to be greeted with “I don’t like it”.
Yes I know it’s the reality of motherhood, yes I know I get snuggly wonderful cuddles, and to blow bubbles in the sunshine, and to eavesdrop on amazing conversations between the two of them.
But somehow the disparity between my adult-self and my mum-self is a bit hard to handle at the moment. I feel like it was easier when the girls were younger, and it was all consuming. In some ways then I didn’t get a chance to think about my desires, it was just head down, bum up mothering. But now I have some (much needed) time to do things for me I am finding it harder to reconcile the two sides.
I am feeling rather like Alice, and as she so eloquently says:
“I’m afraid I can’t put it any more clearly,” Alice replied very politely, “for I can’t understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.”