“THERE’S A GIRL INSIDE THE WOMAN
WHO’S WAITING TO GET FREE
SHE’S WASHED A MILLION DISHES
SHE’S ALWAYS MAKING TEA
THEY THINK SHE’S JUST A MOTHER
WITH NOTHING LEFT INSIDE
WHO SWAPPED HER DREAMS FOR DRUDGERY
THE DAY SHE WAS A BRIDE
BUT THE DREAMS WERE NOT FORGOTTEN
JUST WRAPPED, AND PACKED AWAY
IN THE HOPE THAT SHE COULD TAKE THEM OUT
AND DUST THEM OFF ONE DAY”
(Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, Act II – Narrator)
I saw Blood Brothers over the weekend put on by Abbey Musical Theatre in Palmerston North. It was gripping and tragic and wonderfully staged and performed. But this quote was what stuck out to me the most. It struck a nerve that just quietly sits in the back of my mind, ever since I became a mother. And I sobbed.
Because the thing that I miss most of all since having my children is my Freedom:
Freedom to go out, anywhere, at any time of day. Even just for a drive on a wet night (such as this). Or just to get milk from the dairy.
Freedom to stay in bed for as long as I want.
Freedom to eat whatever I feel like, without having to keep in mind what the tastes of the moment are, or without having to share, or feeling guilty for not sharing.
Freedom to play piano without little fingers prying mine away.
Freedom to have uninterrupted time to create, by myself, whether it be draw or dance or paint or sew or knit or crochet.
Freedom to be something other than just a Stay At Home Mother.
Now, don’t get me wrong. My children are amazing. I love them so much and I’m so glad they are in my life. I would do anything to protect them, and to make sure that they thrive.
But, my identity is not fundamentally based in my ability to produce life and ‘keep house’. My identity is based in me – my interests and desires, my dreams and aspirations, my likes and dislikes. And to be quite honest, if I was just parenting, or just cooking, or just cleaning, or just resolving conflict, it would be ok. But it’s when they all compound and take over everything else that I lose myself.
And it’s tiring – relentlessly tiring. No wonder many Mums I know stay up late every night just to get some time to themselves or to do work for their business that can’t get done at any other time.
I’ve had a song in my head recently. Just a few words going around in circles:
“I’m tired (tired)
So tired (so tired)
Of chasing the dreams (of chasing the dreams)
With tears in my eyes
That it’s running away”
(‘Please’ – Cee Lo Green and Selah Sue)
And sometimes I feel like I am still that girl I was when I had dreams about saving the world, before I was depended on by anyone else, and my heart aches for those wild, big-hearted, fanciful dreams.
For now, I just dream for a free moment to be able to go for a run, or to have an uninterrupted yoga session or to read with a cup of coffee.
Anything for a moment for me:
to be alone,
and to feel Free.