I’ve been MIA the last couple of days. There was a good reason for this. I was in a funk.
If you’re a mum, you’ll be no stranger to “the funk”. Sometimes, without warning, and for no specific reason, it just happens.
I’m usually a pretty upbeat, optimistic person. I’m also very good at just “doing”. The Nike “Just Do It” slogan just about describes me to a T. I don’t tend to think a lot about what I’m doing – which is probably just as well when you’re looking after kids full time. As you know, most of it is just routine – cleaning, fetching, cooking, washing, sorting, changing nappies… You don’t really need to think to do that stuff, and if you did, you’d most definitely get in a funk. So I was surprised, the other day, when I just felt… empty. I didn’t know what I was doing or why I was doing it. I blame this blog really. For once, having to write, I was forced to have to think. Something I prefer not to do if I can help it. And it left me questioning my life.
If you’ve read my posts on juggling three kids, you’ll know I was never one for having kids. Despite this, I’ve managed to have three of them… in less than four years. I didn’t plan on it working out this way, but it did. And because I’m so good at just doing, I’ve managed quite well. And then it happened. The funk. Out of the blue. Suddenly everything looked different. I wasn’t happy with my apartment, I wasn’t happy with the way I looked, I just wasn’t happy… My life suddenly didn’t make any sense. I had no purpose. I felt trapped. My house had become a prison and my kids the jailers and I wanted out. I finally understood what it felt like to be a “desperate housewife”. When, and how on earth, did this happen?!
And then I realised. By just “doing” every day I had forgotten to “be”. I was so busy just trying to survive -juggling my three kids, managing the finances and keeping the house in some kind of order that I lost myself in the doing. I thought I could solve the monotony of doing things for the kids during the day with more doing, this time, for myself, with all that London had to offer. And that’s a lot. Trust me, I know, I’ve subscribed to just about every “what’s on in London” website/blog around. I thought this would make me happy, help me survive the monotony of motherhood, but it actually left me feeling even more frustrated, and surprisingly, even more lost.
So I stopped writing and spending every minute on the internet looking for things to do. I thought I was trying to escape Groundhog Day, instead, I had actually been trying to escape my life as a full-time mum. I considered going back to work early. I thought about getting up in the morning, kissing my girls goodbye, getting on the tube and spending the day at my desk and coming home just in time to kiss my girls goodnight (on a good day) and doing the same thing the next day all over again. I would be in essence just swapping one routine for another.
Sure, I would actually be able to go to the bathroom in peace and enjoy some adult conversation and be mentally stimulated for a change, but at what price? I’d be missing out on my baby’s first words, when she sat and crawled for the first time, her first steps… and that little face looking up at me, beaming with adoration and love. Its then that I made the conscious choice to be a full-time mum, and enjoy it, and stop just going through the motions, hanging out for mummy time and date nights. And the funk left as quickly as it came.
You can’t just “do” motherhood. I realise that now. The Nike slogan that served me so well in the past and in other areas of my life just doesn’t seem to apply to my life as a mum. To truly enjoy motherhood, you have to embrace it. I’m not saying you should put your all into it, but you definitely need to put your heart into it. For that reason, I’ll be re-enrolling my girls in Baby Bop, Ballet, and taking them to play dates again rather than hiding out at the gym everyday… That’s not to say I’ll stop looking for fun and inspiring things to do – that’s the reason why I moved to London in the first place – but, I won’t be confusing my quest to escape Groundhog Day with trying to escape my life as a mum.
At least not today 🙂