Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The confessions of a domesticated wild woman

As we head into a New Year, my soul is calling to be free. I am so sick and tired. Literally and metaphorically. Tired, tired, tired of the complications of emotional relationships on every level. Tired of family. This Christmas season has been fraught in just about every family relationship I have, and I am SO done with it. All I want is simple - no feelings, no misinterpretations, no needs made of me, no demands or requirements. I am fit to run from home and hide in a cabin in the wild woods of Alaska.

May I add as a side note that I am not overdoing it with work, nor with house or social commitments. But even the little I am doing is too much. I feel the New Year hovering and with it big new work, new creations to be gestated, others to be delivered. I feel the need to clear and cleanse myself in a way I never have before.

This is not easy as a mama of three little ones. Especially one who wakes throughout the night and does not want to be weaned. And another who demands me to do everything.

It's all just TOO full on in our little world right now - I just need an emotional detox from everything I can and to step back all requirements made on me that I can. I want to dive into my creative life head first.

And so, with those that understand, I am asking for space. Little kiddies do not, it must be said, understand. So I shall have to do my best. Though in reality I despair of the mother I have become to them. I cannot even justify it many days as "doing my best". The truth is that I am here. And that must be enough. I am coming to a rather late conclusion that I am not great long-term mother material. And that does make me feel sad. My creative spirit calls me. I try to keep my heart with my kiddies, not to burn too many bridges. But the call is loud and strong. And I am aware that I am kindling the flames of mother-hate within them, flames that will be fanned by the winds of age and independence.

The voice of the wild calls. I want to be free. The louder it calls, the stronger I feel my weakness as a partner, a mother. My gaping lack of ability. I want to run away, to fly to a far distant land, to be free of my captivity, my drudgery, from this life I have so willingly chosen for myself, from this domestic bliss I have so carefully constructed, piece by piece. It feels like shackles to my soul. It chafes and confines. I long to be free. Just me. Pure, and free. Me and the wind and the moon and the trees, and my trusty pen. Free. How that word sings. I long for freedom. Can taste it like the memory of ice cream eaten on an exotic beach. Everything about my life as a mother is far from free. My day is wound carefully around the needs of others.

I feel like a domesticated wild woman. So often I just want to run. I don't belong here pairing socks and making pancakes, wiping bottoms and lulling fractious children to sleep. I want to be off, wild and free, with  no one to answer to, to be nice, polite to, to make a nutritious meal, carefully cut up for. I wish to wake when I want, and sleep when I want. Alone.

I want to write all day, then to sit and watch the fire and eat chocolate and drink to much wine, then walk in the woods by moonlight, before curling up alone in a warm bed with a book that makes my soul soar before going to sleep for a night full of uninterrupted sleep.


  1. The work of motherhood is like none other. If a man walks away from familial duties, society shrugs; he can be a superstar in his work, but for a woman the expectations are you will be a superstar at work, in the kitchen and in the bed. It is enough to fan the fires of mutiny for sure. It sounds like it's time to find someone who you can talk to; perhaps they can help you make some sense of where you find yourself. Another wild woman, an intuitive a progressive minister might be able to soothe your soul, show you options, foster revelations so that you don't have to burn the boats (or your bridges). Remember...this too shall pass. Blessings to you.
    Dee @

  2. I hear you loud and clear! I have never ever found anything as hard in life as this! Motherhood who knew it did this to you?? I think you sound like someone who needs a break not with hubbie but alone perhaps a spiritual retreat to recharge and appreciate life a bit better! I too have been struggling and feeling like i dont belong in this role i have created three kids and a hubbie who means well but works away all week and then wants to spend all xmas cocooned with family when i want to scream GET ME OUT!! I think i am depressed but have no space to deal with it it is a vicious circle! I think you are amazing for all you are achieving alongside your kids i havent even managed that! Perhaps it feels less of a deal to know you are not alone i know it helped me to read your piece (although sympathetic too) and i my dear feel all you are feeling maybe in different strenghts and at different times. I am most sick today of dealing with bums and poos in the middle of a meal which i then cant finish because the moment is lost and i love my food!! Stay strong and positive in spite of how you feel you are not alone!! X

  3. That is what I would like, more than anything in the world is a spiritual retreat. A break. A complete break. Alone.

    And then I trust that I can and will come back.

  4. Motherhood is the most wonderful of things but some of the indivual days minutes seconds can be awful!
    We need the sun to nourish us.

  5. I hear you! I hope you can free your creative spirit somewhat this year within your domesticated life. The kiddies wont be this demanding of us for ever so embrace it if you can, there will be years of creative freedom once they have found more independance and eventually flown our nests.
    Growing babies is the most creative thing we could do as women so don't go forgetting that y'know Mama.
    Love and light X

  6. i know where you're coming from and where you want to run too xxx (trying to remember what I wrote before i pressed publish and it didnt!)
    I have days where I scream "GET ME OUT OF HERE" or moments where I say "I cant do this" which strangley sounds like my mothers voice! the thing is, that while I'm saying these things, I am doing them, some maternal emergency survial kit kicks in and takes over. yes I want to run away and sit under trees and hide in a cabin with a lovely fire and only me and all the books I want to read, my diary to talk to, and facebook so I can keep intouch with the people that I love outside of my home. My home a mad house of demandingness. I wake up, the cat nudges me to life, i put the kettle on, I fill the washing machine, I make a cup of tea, I hear the children waking up, I get their breakfasts, I am not even dressed yet and i rarely drink the tea. on the 26th December I woke up at 7am, I had a cup of hot water, I got dressed, I said to my husband, still in bed, I'm taking the dog for a walk. it wasnt even light. I took my time out, before anyone else needed me. and I was rewarded, 5 ravens flew around the fields, i saw the sun rise, I was buffeted by blustery winds and I came home feeling fabulous. I have done this for 3 mornings now. this morning my 5 year old said "can I come with you" NO i said, this is my time. this may seem hard now, I know where you are because I am there too. but take even one minute, stop and say "this is my time" go outside have a "cigarette break" smokers have time out and they breathe (OK so its stimulating chemicals, but they still take that moment) at the moment I am in a place where I can see how I can make it better. I hope to see you there soon.

  7. thank you Mrs T - and for re-doing the comment - SO annoying when they don't publish!

    I am off tomorrow for two days and a night. A creative spiritual retreat. Me, myself and I, off down to West Cork. The last time I headed off on my own... when I was six months pregnant with number 1, 7 years ago. i think I need this VERY much!

  8. i absolutely hear you...oh, how i hear you. i, too, have had the revelation that i'm not really suited to the mothering gig -- i love my children dearly but....

    i'm glad you're getting away. {i'm also dead jealous but shouldn't be because it's up to me to ask for what i need...;)}


  9. Ooo - a retreat for you! How wonderful! I wish you independence and anonymity and time to find clarity. May your time revive you and become a touchstone to return to throughout 2012. Sending the best possible thoughts your way...

  10. Pema Chodron talks about being aware of the urge to run. I have it often as it is my first response to conflict or too many demands. I know it's hard, it's so hard some days to be a mom at home to little ones. Perhaps you can find a way to escape once a week for a few hours? It won't feel like enough but it's better than nothing. It does get better. They do grow up.

    The urge to run is the place to slow down and breathe, it's a "soft spot" where growth can occur. Look for the spaces in-between where you can be you.

  11. The more I grow up, the more respect and wonder I have for mothers and everything they go through to raise new people. It's staggering how much they give and sacrifice and how it seems to straddle all the extremes of human experience. It's amazing. You are amazing. All you mums reading this are amazing. My mum is amazing.

    I don't think I am cut out to be a mum, I really don't think I could do it. But so much respect and love and wonder to you - you are doing great, and I hope you get that time off you deserve so much. x

  12. Know that you are NOT alone. My kids are 8 & 11 now and I still remember those days, I still often feel the way you do though as even though they are older they have their needs just the same. Some days can be so tiring.

    Parenting is hard work indeed, and your retreat sounds like it is much deserved.

  13. Unfortunately I know so well how you feel, as I feel the same. I keep thinking, shouting, I cannot do this. But somehow I can. I feel I am losing myself while doing it though and that cannot be good.
    I love some of the comments as well. The morning outing, the crows in the field, the me time: great. The retreat, yes! We should have a wild mama get together, no kids allowed.
    Enjoy your days off! They are so rare...

  14. By the way, why does our society makes mums like us feel like failures? My GP recommends anti-depressants, while all I want, like you, is a bit of freedom....

  15. "I feel like a domesticated wild woman. So often I just want to run. I don't belong here pairing socks and making pancakes, wiping bottoms and lulling fractious children to sleep. I want to be off, wild and free, with no one to answer to, to be nice, polite to, to make a nutritious meal, carefully cut up for. I wish to wake when I want, and sleep when I want. Alone."

    THAT is exactly how I feel right now. I just want to cut away and take off for a bit by myself. It has nothing to do with being a mom and everything to do with just being pulled in all directions and wanting to shut off the noise for a bit.

  16. My kids are 7 and 5... I especially struggled when they were small... and some days I still find myself struggling and feeling like you do.

    Your description of being a domesticated wild woman sounds like you're mourning your ability to be spontaneous. That there are things you like that you no longer have time for. That is the saddest part of being "mother" I think... there are cultural expectations (and likely even within ourselves) that we should give everything up caring for others. I would say it's time for your wild woman to redefine what motherhood is for you. I truly believe that we are better off making our current situation work for us rather than we are trying to wait it out... building resentment all the while.

    It's hard... being expected to give up yourself in every moment to serve others' needs. There's no one to watch out for your needs. Except you. I do think it's true that by taking time for yourself you are teaching your children what it looks like to take care of yourself.

    If you're not interested in strategies just skip this paragraph:
    In the day-to-day I can now (not so much when they were younger) put myself in time out. We set a timer - and I get 5, 15, 30 minutes to myself. I tell them what my expectations are: that they play nicely, or sit and read books if they can't interact in ways that make them both feel good. I tell them that in order to be a compassionate mama and fulfill their needs, I need a few minutes of my own.

    Best wishes dear Wild Woman! You are not tamed... and you might want to consider checking out SouLodge ( an online space for Wild Women!

  17. Lucy, I think you have now gone on your retreat and I'm so very glad for you.

    I *think* your children are younger than mine? My daughter is now 10 and I can see the light, I really can.

    We're becoming like friends, I've finally got through to her that it is NOT ok to walk in the room and start talking to me - she has to assess what I'm doing, my mood, my aura...

    Every day since she was weaned we have had 'quiet time' - an hour and a half after lunch where she has to go to her room (of course now she can go anywhere in the house because I know she's safe) and I to mine - it was MY time, my precious, sacred time and nothing was allowed to interfere. I told her unless she was dying not to interrupt ;)

    Now I send her to bed in the evenings and tell her I don't want to see her again until the morning. Again, my special, precious, sacred time.

    I'm beginning to feel human again, beginning to regain my strength, beginning to remember who I am and it's wonderful.

    I say all this as a message of hope to you. I know this time will come for you too. I'm holding my hands out to you to welcome you to this glorious space.

    Stay strong, keep talking to your Wild Woman, keep creating and keep manifesting what you need.

    It's a huge time of change for the sensitives of the world, so time alone to recharge is as imperritive as oxygen..

  18. Hi Lucy. I'm a brand new mommy. My son is almost 3 months old.
    I have no idea how it is to raise three children. I know raising one baby is about the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done.

    All I can say is your feelings are true and right.
    Somehow you'll find a way to fit in time for yourself. Because you have to. You can't give from an empty well.

    Sending you much love.

  19. This is the first post of yours that I have read and you have made me feel so much better about amyself. I have a longing to escape every few months. I love my role as a partner and a mother but it leaves little time to me Me, I know this, but still feel guilty thinking that I am starting to resent my life, but its not my life I am resenting, its the fact that I have classed my needs as unimportant because of my desire to be the best mother and partner therefore disrespecting myself.

    Thank you for this post :-)

  20. thank you all for your wonderful feedback, your empathy, your sharing, your support - each and every comment has left a spark of joy in my soul.this blogging thing is funny - you bare your soul to complete strangers, say what you can't articulate to your own family, and you feel slightly vulnerable and unsure, but then bingo - not only is a weight lifted through the communication, but a dozen different ideas and inspirations appear over the ether - women in the same situation, women who have been there before and come out - how blessed we all are to have each other and the connection of the internet.

  21. Late to read this as have had a few days off t'inter because I felt the need to pull back and stop procrastinating... Anyway, just wanted to say that I really appreciate your honesty - there are times when I feel just as you have described here... Oh yes! Wanting to just get in the car and driiiiiiiiive. Anyway, I hope today brings sunshine and a greater sense of freedom; I am not always being the mother I want to be at the moment either, courtesy of lack of sleep (our old friend), and am trying to rise to the challenge a bit more, so love and light to you and yours, and I hope things are going better. Ramble, ramble. You get the idea. :)

  22. I am so in the same place as you right now! Arrgh I need to flee my annoying, loud children! I'm fed up of being their waitress. Hope you had a fabulous retreat xx



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