I don’t like being a mum. I don’t like the monotony, the repetition, the feeling that there are hours you’ll never get back. I don’t like the lack of productivity, the boredom and the mindlessness. I don’t like hanging around my daughter half reading the same books again. I don’t like putting the dolly’s clothes back on, again. Again, I don’t like being a mum.
I like being a mum when I’m not pressured by time. When I’m not tired. When I can sit back with her and enjoy the laughter and the gobbledegook words that are forming. I like dancing with her. I like turning my head around in the car, catching a glimpse of her joy. I like that grin. I like when I least expect it, she surprises me with something she’s just learnt.
So is it that I don’t like being a mum? Or maybe I just don’t like being?
What I mean by this, is that maybe I don’t love sitting, waiting, and being…being unproductive, being me. Being so slow that my mind catches up with my body and I realise that there’s parts of me that I don’t like. In those moments of apparent boredom, I have the capacity for frustration and fatigue.
I have the capacity to reach a depth of my mind where the silence and solitude allows me to think about what I’m thinking about. A space for me to sit with the uncomfortable truths that I had numbed out with chocolate, sleep and TV.
Before having my daughter, I was able to rush from one event to the next. Not stopping for much. Not stopping for fear that if I did then the cries of my soul would leave me unrecognised.
Now I get cranky over the byproduct that I’m left with when I look after my daughter, being a piece of seemingly unproductive time.
Instead I looked at the possibility of all those little interactions of nothingness to me, as a big piece of something to her.
And what if it is just a waste of time to both of us? Is that so bad anyway? To waste time with someone I love seems like the best sort of way to pass time. Whilst the dishes remain dirty and the to do list is growing, I have that opportunity to be.
In the dryness of the days with my daughter, to experience a kind of unproductive, unsettling, unique passage of time. To forget about time. To just be with her, with me.
Elizabeth is a Mum to Grace, step-mum to Will, wife to Ricky. She is very changeable. Sometimes she'll identify herself as a social worker, other times as a writer or even as a Christian. She loves her town of Dubbo, New South Wales. Elizabeth studied a Bachelor of Social Work at Charles Sturt University.