Someone once told me their mother used to “clock off” at 10pm each night without fail. If he or any of his siblings had the audacity to approach her after this time, they were given short shrift. He said she stuck to her guns; she neither would nor could not be moved. Whatever it was they needed or couldn’t find, they were on their own.
I was both horrified and aghast.
10pm! Cripes. I’m dragging my sorry arse up to bed at 10pm not winding down for the night.
No siree. My clocking off period is 8pm and I fully intend to stick to it over the years.
Kids will keep taking and talking and finding ways to entrap me and snare me back into their little world.
If they want to have a vital conversation about a rock or Terraria (Minecraft or some such) I will nod enthusiastically at a more palatable hour such as 6pm.
I have my own very important stuff to be getting on with thank you kindly and it is of utmost importance that they know that.
One of my absolute pet peeves (and I have a few) is people who are constantly late or keep me waiting as they faff around looking for their keys/wallet or bag.
It irks me greatly that they seem to be of the opinion my time is not important.
Which is why I covet those two hours between the hours of 8 and 10pm. I am most selfish about them.
And here’s the moan. I’ll get the disclaimer bit out of the way first.
I love my kids. I wouldn’t be without them. I am so glad at this stage in my life when I am fast approaching the beginning of the end of my child bearing days that I will never wake up and go shit! I’ve left it too late and now I might not be able to have kids.
This was a factor all of those moons ago when starting a family was imminent. And low and behold, once I started I found it hard to stop.
But stop I did.
Kids will take it out of ya, let me tell you. I feel great at the moment. I know who I am and what I want in life and am at that great *old* age where I don’t particularly give a shit if I’m not cool or in with the crowd or what people think about me. I don’t fear missing out on anything anymore. Chances are it probably wasn’t all that great anyway.
But I do completely and utterly feel like the best years of my life are slipping by. I regularly project 10 years into the future when the boys are of an age where they can look after themselves. The oldest will be 19 and hopefully even living somewhere else.
Yes. I am that mother.
See that bit about *old* age and not caring about what others think of me.
But I also have to remind myself that I too will be 10 years older and that puts me firmly in my fifties.
I actually had to pause a moment before I could type that. All of the other milestone birthdays didn’t cost me a thought but I will struggle with the big five oh.
I am already struggling with it.
Back to my original gripe. Will I be able to run almost 10k when I am in my fifties like I can today? (Finally!) Will I have any interest left or energy to do things?
Will I still be writing? God, I hope so. In fact I hope what I am doing today is putting down groundwork for proper writing down the line. You know that old fantasy – turn your hobby into your job and you’ll never work a day in your life again.
I want that. Even in my fifties. I have grand old thoughts about going to bed at 3 and 4am (I used to in my twenties before I gave the whole thing up) because I am caught up in something and trying to finish it.
Not snatching a useless ten minutes here and there before I am dragged off to do something.
I am feeling very frustrated at the moment because I simply cannot get the head space in which to do my stuff. I have been given another opportunity to branch out and try something else and pesky mundane things like cooking and school runs and washing and homework and all of that minutiae shite is in the way.
I know there are many of me out there. I see it every day. People swallowed alive by life.
Life is good, life is pretty good but at the moment it just doesn’t feel like mine.
Thank you if you are still reading. I don’t mean to drag you down. I’m just letting off a little steam.
I toyed long and hard about posting this one. And then I received some very welcoming words recently from someone who says she has been here too and how the future only brings better things. More fabulous things. It came in the midst of other people admitting their own frustrations about their own lack of headspace and time away from the kids. So here it is. I’ve published it. Go easy on me. These are my genuine thoughts and I can’t help the way I feel when I am caught up in a funk. It will pass the way it always does. Again, thank you for reading.
I found this article by Sarah Caden of the Irish Independent somewhat reassuring if you care to have a read. Seems like we all go through feelings of doubt and uncertainty at times.