Wednesday, 5 September 2012

It's not all a fairytale.....

 So, I've got a confession. Today is the last day of the summer holidays and I'm GLAD! I feel like a crap mother for saying so, but it's the honest truth. Most of my friends have told me how sad they are to see their children go back to school, and how they have loved every minute of their offspring's company for the past six weeks. Something inside me feels mean and squirmy when they say that, and I think to myself "Oh God, I'm the only one who can't wait." I love my children dearly, and dream of summers spent happily picknicking in the sun, working together in the vegetable garden and going for long walks across the moor. But the reality is slightly different. As much time is spent bickering or sulking as it is giggling together. We've had a lot of fun, but I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a selfless martyr, and I want my solitude badly.
 This evening the wolf and I escaped for a rare moment alone. We walked on the moor in the evening sun, and I lay, barefoot, on the granite outcrops, listening to the silence, feeling almost tearful at how badly I craved the sun, and the wind, and a land without voices.

 The wolf and I looked at our faces in the scrying pool (before she dropped a tennis ball in it - a lucky find as we walked up the hill!)
 I looked out over the vast expanse of grassland and heather, and dreamed of setting out and just continuing to walk. One day I will be able to.

18 comments:

Deb said...

All mothers feel this ambivalence..or they lie about not feeling it. I think it comes in preparation for the parting days when they leap out the nest, ready or not. An annealing of the heart, if that's possible.

Freyalyn Close-Hainsworth said...

Both my two hounds have an almost magical ability to find tennis balls anywhere, even where you'd never imagine someone ball-bearing to have visited before!

Terra said...

Ha ha, no you are not a bad mommy.
And wow, that photo of the three sheep is a beauty.

Valerianna said...

Perhaps your friends are being entirely honest with you, or themselves! Or, is it the artist in you needing the dreaming solitude.... I wonder. Such a lovely spot to scry!

Coreopsis said...

These are exquisitely beautiful photographs--and I totally understand how one can need one's solitude. I don't think it makes one a bad mom to look forward to them being at school. I'm sure you all did many wonderful things over the summer. I'm a teacher, so when my kids went back to school, so did I.

Julia Kelly said...

I confess I was also glad when school came and am a happier person with time in my studio and writing, the dogs even seem to enjoy the silence!

Em Parkinson said...

You know you're not alone feeling like that! I breathed a sigh of relief this morning as I walked away from the school gates. Half term will be along VERY soon.

Virginia said...

Isn't that normal ? I loved my kid to bits, but was still glad when school started again. I think it's being a "Pollyanna" to think everything about parenthood is always great. I hope you get your most-necessary fill of solitude soon! Are you homeschooling again this year, or is your boy ready to join the fray again?

I love reading of your lives, thanks for your honesty.

Tammie Lee said...

such wonderful images ~

Lunar Hine said...

Love that scrying pool. I haven't yet had to send Pickle to school, but the mums I know have been celebrating the return of school and their opportunities to finish projects, sentences and drinks while they're still hot. Some people just don't need solitude (a fact I only tentatively believe) and others cannot fill their time if left alone (this also seems incredible), so having a creativity stove simmering down over the holidays will surely leave you a bit desperate to chuck a few more logs on, take some DEEP breaths and do what it is you do so well.

Danielle Barlow said...

Thankyou for the reassurance everyone. I already feel perkier and less irritable after a day at work at Proper Job in the sunshine. Nothing like sorting through old patchwork quilts to soothe the soul!

Virginia, I am tentatively sending the wolf boy back to school full time this year - he is keen to go, but I am lucky to have the flexibility to change things if I need to continue the homeschooling. To be entirely honest, he and I need a little bit of space from each other at the moment!

Em, I saw you bouncing gleefully out of the school gates this morning :)

Lunar, the deep breathing has begun, but I feel like I need to inhale half the sky at the moment!

Windsongs and Wordhoards said...

Such a relief to hear someone else say that! I feel very similar a lot of the time and feel that I shouldn't... I still work full on through the school hols and end up feeling doubly guilty - wanting to spend quality time with them but also craving that time to myself that never comes and then being grumpy with them. They are actually loving being back at school though as it happens...
The scrying pool is amazing, what a special place up on the moors - always good to have such places where you can walk alone once in a while...

A mermaid in the attic said...

No, you are NOT alone in this, Danielle! I love my girls more than I thought it was possible, but I need space and solitude too. You need to refill the well inside to keep being a great mum, you can't run on empty. And I too, have met people who apparently can't stand to be alone, and even get panicky if they haven't got every hour filled with activity and other people. Doesn't make sense to me, but there you go!

Karen said...

You live in an incredibly beautiful place, no wonder you want some time alone to wander in it.
Wanting to be alone is not the same thing as not wanting to be with your children!

Sweetpea said...

Danielle, do not worry about feeling "mean and squirmy"...I don't know about over there, but here in America many parents feel exactly the same. Would you like a little chuckle? Take a peek at this YouTube video commercial, made a few years back by an office supply company called "Staples"...shall I say its a celebration of the kids going back? Enjoy ;>]]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DComGO8JYo

Christi

rachel said...

Ah relief, someone else that is squirming with guilt! I find the holidays hard and frustrating and as much as I always have dreams of walking to the pool, gardening, cooking together it is usually about juggling the have to's walking dogs, working, cooking,finding playmates, frustrations at spending all day moving endless stuff in piles, and generally feeling like nothing is done,creativity is on hold and that I am neither working properly, being a good mum, being creative or even a good home keeper. Ah feminism what a chrysalis you are! I cried on the way home from drop off for all the above reasons and certainly gulped a lot of space that way! Much love x

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Danielle,
These are exquisite pictures, and I love the scrying pool. I'll need to research and learn what a scrying pool is.

I love visiting your blog for it's creativity, and as well your honest descriptions of life in your world. I think you may be somewhat unique in that you are an artist, and artists do need solitude I would think to feed their imagination.

I am an individual who has a strong need for "me" time, and lots of solitude - I work in a daycare center filled with 30 children, and it is always busy, teeming with noisiness, fun, tears, etc. and I love coming home at the end of the day to quiet.

As well my son, who I love dearly, and who lived with me for the past 2 years, while attending univer. has now left the nest for the second time to teach high school in another city, and I miss him, but also am enjoying my own space again.

There's nothing wrong with needing time to create, to think, to wool gather, to wander. I think it may result in your children being happier, and free to explore, because you their mother, are meeting your own needs as well. :)
Cheers!
Happy Fall!
Brenda

Dartford Warbler said...

It is absolutely fine to want your own space and solitude at the same time as loving your children.

I expect they are enjoying the challenges of a new school year while you are walking the moors again.

Such lovely photos of Dartmoor.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails