Friday, December 30, 2011

Mama's home!

So after my last post and a couple of comments (all of which I deeply appreciated - they touched my soul), I saw the light. I realised I could ask for what I needed, which was to escape. I asked in love. Mr Dreaming Aloud knew where I was at, knew I wasn't doing a runner on him, and released me with love.

And so I got online, found some wonderful places to retreat - if it wasn't the night before, during the Xmas hols... and so I was left with no final destination.

So I headed for one of my favourite places in the world - West Cork. There is a line that I pass, about 10 miles West of Cork city, where the landscape shifts gears, and opens up, and I go ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I feel like I have crossed a kind of time and date line, into a different land, both internally and externally.

So I drove to a beautiful castle overlooking Kinsale bay.
It was stormy, wind and rain, my tears were appropriate to the day. I sobbed and felt lost. And there, walking past my car, just as I had done on precious times before, were parents walking with their little children. And my heart strings went. That's what I wanted. You weren't expecting that dear reader, and nor was I. So I drove back past the hotels, past the colourful craft shops and galleries, past the little cafes. I didn't want to eat out, I didn't want a strange bed, I didn't want to be alone with myself. I wanted home and my children, and my husband, and my bed, and my friends. I missed my baby, I was sad that she would be sad about not feeding. I realised that although I may want to escape from being a mama, I was a mama deep in my soul. something deep had shifted, unseen, these past few years. I just hadn't had the space to really feel it, to touch it, and so I doubted it was there.

As I was pondering, whether to wimp out and turn around, a friend called to finalise lunch plans, not knowing that I did not know about them, nor that I was over an hour away.

And so I turned my (sister's) car around and headed for the little fishing village next to ours. And there round a table were some of my dearest friends in the world, a spread of home-cooked food, a baby reaching out to me - mama, milkie!

I sat down, late, unannounced and burst into tears. And being true friends, not an eyebrow was raised, not a comment made. My plate was filled - I fed my baby and ate my dinner. And then we talked and laughed and our children played and our menfolk played Scrabble.

Then I had an early night, baby curled in one side of me and my son the other side.

Mama's home!

p.s. Let it be known that I felt a total wuss chickening out on two precious days alone time,and know that many of my mama readers are yearning for that right now and are probably hurling rocks at me through my computer screen. I just knew that I was getting anxious and needed to be somewhere familiar. So I am taking a 6 hour creative retreat here at the Tea house (and cafe) today, then a late lunch with other dear friends. And I have special retreat places on my to-do list for later in the year once baba is weaned and I am not feeling anxious.


  1. ah yes. i know this too. it's an odd place to be -- the urge to run and disappear but the equally strong urge to be with our Loves.

    i totally get this.

    as much as i am a wild rainbow creature, i am chosen by my children and they have taught me more about my wildness and my rainbow soul than anything that came before them....and although in the muck of the day-to-day it's hard to remember it, when i allow myself the time and space to breathe (getting better at asking for that), it all slips quietly into place.

    many blessings to you -- and gratitude for sharing this.


  2. yay!! you got far enough away to see where you are xxx so happy for you xx when we go on retreat, we find something that we think we can bring home, think we can change what we have, and how we do it. the thing is as you have seen, is that you are valued and loved exactly as you are. you dont need to try, you just needed to see it from a different angle. You are an inspiring lady and a wonderful mama! xxx ((HUGS))) ooh got to go, children want me! ;)

  3. Thank you both for your input, your getting it, and getting me! xxx

  4. I'm so pleased you found what you needed. Sometimes it just takes a little distance to be able to see clearly. Make sure you follow through on your regular retreat plans - it is so easy to not do these things, to just keep doing what we do everyday. But the effort is worth it. Take care xxx

  5. Really happy for are blessed to have a circle of friends like that they sound wonderful and also you are very brave to let those feelings out it is very cleansing i am envious on all counts but happy for you at the same time. x

  6. No stone hurling here, would probably have felt the same.
    Isn't it great to realise that you love your family so much? You knew that already off course... I think what you (and me, and us all) need is not a few days of solitude, but a more long term solution. A daily or weekly opportunity to get away from it all, do your own things, and feel that you come first. Just a few hours a day and then go back the the kids you love but that smother you. I am very happy for you, make sure you stay in a good place though!
    (PS my 'retreat' this weekend involves 6 kids under 4 and 2 flights. sigh. I do love them though..)

  7. I see this in myself everyday! The urge to run, from myself and to myself, from my 'burdens' and yet back into their smothering load all at the same time. All we need is a little balance to make things right again, to be able to appreciate the alone time and the family time for what they are without wanting to be elsewhere ALL the time! For me, I know that as long as I can have some me-time when I need it, whether it's going out to yoga or having a soak in the bath with a book, I then feel strengthened enough to go and be silly or loving or caring, or whatever is needed of me.

    BUT I *know* where you're coming from about feeding a baby.... I hated myself for it but I was so glad when girl earthly weaned- I felt free again! I'm still so glad, and yet also proud for how long I did manage to feed her for. I know that I would have loved to have gone longer but I also know it would have cost me my sanity!!

    Much love to you,

  8. Yeh!!!! as my mum would say "you are the Mother in 'Mothers Pride' " a mama through and through :) no rock hurling here- just a relief that here is another mama who feels just as I do...torn between the love for herself and her individual identity and the love of her family!
    here's to our babies 3rd year and maybe the year of weaning!!
    love Rachael xxx

  9. This is beautiful Lucy. I did the exact same thing once..took a retreat. And I spent a miserable lonely night in a hotel alone. Hated it. I'm glad you listened to your spirit and did what was right for you.
    Loved reading this, brought tears to my eyes.


  10. Yep - I am there with you too! Was going to respond to the last post about needing to get away, to say that I know that feeling too, but last night I got caught up with being mama so didn't get round to it. My lovely husband also supports my occasional trips away from the family, and I find when I am away I realise quite how lucky I am. Mama-hood has effected a visceral, physical change on me. It is not that I am not myself any more, but I am more than myself, more than I was before. Sometimes it is very very difficult. However, partly because of lovely husband, I have never felt that my identity has been lost, but I have sometimes allowed it to be covered up by layers of other stuff, composed of mama and work and detritus of life. As they get older the children have also got the recognition that we all need to do our own things from time to time. Recently all 3 of them dropped me off at a weekend dance camp. Together the 3 of them pitched my tent, got me comfortable, introduced me to the neighbours so I would have friends, made sure I had my wine, choc and a mobile signal, teased me about naked dancing, and promised to come to collect me in 48 hours. All 3 released me, and that made coming home even better. Love to you all xx

  11. Ah the complex emotions of motherhood, I so empathise. At the moment I have the children all the time, no breaks for weeks (expect three hours for Christmas shopping) while my lovely partner builds our cabin. I need need need time alone just to appreciate them again. They are beautiful children but I am crabby and harsh without calm creative time alone. WE're not supposed to be that intense and alone with our kids.. wouldn't it be great to live surrounded by many pairs of loving arms and open hearts for our children, so that their needs for attention and sustenance doesn't just come from their mamas!

  12. I totally didn't see that as chickening out - you were listening to your Self. Rather than persisting in what your mind had told you to do, you yielded to your heart's message. It was only clear what you needed after you were away from the static that had built up around you. Sometimes we need to get away from what we want most in order to see that it's where we need to be. <3

  13. Hi Lucy
    What an interesting and hard time you've had lately and I can so relate to it. May I tentatively suggest you actually probably do have depression- don't dismiss it out of hand -and also please consider a course of antidepressants- no less than a 6 month course. Your feelings are very similar to what I experienced and I resisted going to my GP as I didn't want to be perceived by myself or others as not "coping"..... Looking back,antidepressants saved me from being a hateful (probably even abusive)mother and I was astounded at how quickly my whole world felt better. Just a thought. I'm afraid herbal just didn't do it even tho I did try that option,time was running out to gain the balance I needed.Please think it over. xxx

  14. I like this story. Every single bit of it. A complete non-sequitur: Are you familiar with the writings of John O Donohue? Somehow seems to me like you might find him a kindred spirit.

  15. It's never chickening out to listen to your heart!

  16. Aw, that made my heart melt. You did the right thing. Sometimes a little time away can do just the trick.

  17. I've been thinking about this for the past few days Lucy, and I've been wondering.... Do you think the issue was not so much that you needed a retreat, but that you needed to have the "need for a retreat" recognised and acknowledged? You realised what you needed, then realised that you could ask for it and then to have your husband acknowledge that and make it possible for you. And that was enough? That your recent struggles were seen and that you were able to take time out for yourself. The actual act of taking a retreat was secondary.

    Does any of that make sense??!!!

    I just know that for me, if I feel like I'm giving and struggling but no-one sees it that I feel so alone and frustrated and resentful. But just to have my husband say - "things have been a bit rough for you lately and you've been working so hard" can give me the boost I need to keep going. But left unrecognised, my resentment festers!

    Just some thoughts!

  18. Totally, 100% that's the conclusion I came to as well Michelle - very perceptive of you xx



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