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Bateel Skycraper


Diary of a young mother

Diary of a young mother

Issue 7 Sept / Oct 2004

Has anyone seen my life? I just can’t seem to find it. It was a good life, although I didn’t realise it at the time. I’ve been trying to get it back, but since the children arrived, I seem to have lost it.

Other mums will understand what I’m trying to express. Every aspect of life that I used to take for granted is now a struggle. It’s been years since I slept undisturbed all night. In fact, it’s been years since I’ve had an undisturbed conversation, meal or thought; and as far as being able to write goes, if you only knew! I have been a mother for fourteen years and by the grace of God have five children, aged between 14 and two. It’s the longest I’ve ever stuck with a job and the most demanding work I’ve done. The hours are long and laborious, there are no holidays or days off and the pay is bad. However, I plan to stick with it as the perks are good. Plenty of laughter, funny conversations, new and strangely pronounced words, toothless smiles and lots of hugs and kisses.

No matter how fulfilled we may feel, it is inevitable that every now and again, we will think back to the days before we acquired this title of ‘Mother.’ This is particularly so when there are several young children forcing a total transformation of life. It just seems so much easier to stay at home within quick and easy reach of the bathroom, nappies, milk and toys for the children and paracetamol, caffeine and chocolate for mum! Before you’ve had time to realise it, months or even years have slipped by when suddenly you wonder how you and your life changed so drastically.

I remember moments, the days when I could walk out the door at a moments notice without the need to make arrangements for the children. It was just me and my nice neat little bag containing my purse, a pen, my keys and a few other essentials. Not the demi- suitcase I have to lug around with me now with spare clothes, nappies, wipes, tissues, toys etc.

When my fourth child was only a few months old, my mother offered to look after all four children so that I could have the whole day to myself. Well, how could I possibly let go of my responsibilities as mother for a whole day and leave grandmother to care for them? Quite easily actually! I grabbed the chance and was on the other side of the front door in a flash with just myself and my nice neat little bag. I decided to head for Oxford Street. It felt great not to have a pushchair to struggle with, no arguments to referee and no tears to dry. I was on a journey to rediscover the lost me, but the clock was ticking and I had to hurry.

I found myself being drawn to the children’s section of almost every store I entered. I tried desperately to push thoughts of the children to the back of my mind, convincing myself that I was entitled to be selfish for a day. I tried really hard, but I just couldn’t do it. The large department stores sent my head spinning. Shopping used to be an enjoyable past-time before I had children. For so many years now it had become a purposeful necessity. Shopping was no fun with several untamed children and a double pushchair, but it was also no fun without a reason.

On this opportunity to rediscover myself, I did not find the person I was looking for. That life I reminisced about was great at the time, but I don’t really want it any more. The past becomes glorified when we lack contentment and appreciation for what we have now. I had a young family that loved, wanted, and needed me, and what an honour it is to be loved, wanted, and needed.

Life as a full-time mum is tough and sometimes it can feel like you’re looking out alone on a world you are missing out on. We fail to notice the people looking in wishing they could have a piece of the world we already have. This is life, with all the tears, laughter, tantrums, drama and chaos. I try to remind myself to stop, look, listen and enjoy what I have today. If I don’t, there is the danger that one day, when the children are grown up and living their own lives, I may find myself asking the question. Has anyone seen my life? It was a good life full of noise and chaos, laughter and tears, tantrums and drama, although I didn’t appreciate it at the time.

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