Monday, March 07, 2011


I never could have imagined how much time a child takes. Before I had one I admit I used to wonder, baffled, what it was that mothers did all day. I suppose I thought the child would Play, burble away to itself for hours, at regular intervals I'd feed it and once a day I'd wash it and then it would Sleep, wouldn't it, for hours and hours. Like a little baby.


So anyway, I generally have about two hours a day in which to try to do my work - writing and/or painting and anything else that happens to be on the cards at the present time. Not including the housework, the housework can go to hell (until I feel like I'm drowning in mashed banana and dirty towels, when I shall scream and grudgingly do it), paperwork, any semblance of a social life, etc.

What's this moan for? I don't know. It's just to say I'm tired, and I have no time, and there's so much I want to do. If you listen hard you will no doubt hear similar stories all over the world, from people far less lucky than I am, with more children, less time and even more obligations. So I'll shut up and get on with it, and see what I can pull out of these two tired, sleep-deprived, worrisome, precious, precious hours.

The first thing is to sit for fifteen minutes and try to do nothing at all.



Jo said...

Ha! Wv: thenuff!

The doing nothing at all bit is a very good idea. for some reason I can't remember to.

You also forgot excerise and proper cooking on that list. I struggle with those bits too. I need a whole nother day in a day, or as I discussed with my daughter this afternoon, 5 more Jos. One for housework, one for work work one for writing, one or maybe two for entertaining children, one for going and living another life entirely...

Erobintica said...

Though it's very hard to remember, especially when one is mommed out, but something I read once helped a tiny bit - I wish I could remember who wrote it and where it was, even though I can still see, in my mind's eye the page (it had pictures), but the woman author said it was important to remember that raising a child is a creative act (she was bemoaning the same lack of time to create). Now that my intense child-raising days are over and my daily required presence is not as needed, I try to remember that when I find myself slipping into the "why didn't I do more all those years?" kinda thinking.

Oh, and I think it's a given, we each have to reinvent motherhood, the learning as doing and doing as learning.

Oh! can I have 15 minutes to do nothing too!? ;-)

Emerald said...

I love that this post ended with sitting/meditation (however you personally describe it).

I don't pretend to know what parenting is like, but I just wanted to say...thank you for this post, I guess. I feel like I feel what you are saying and I deeply respect and honor both what you express here and the indescribable job you are doing that is parenting.

I like this, Robin: "I think it's a given, we each have to reinvent motherhood, the learning as doing and doing as learning."

Love and gratitude and all best to you, Nikki.

Nikki Magennis said...

Emerald - only someone as kind as you could thank me for moaning! ; )

I never could have imagined what parenting is like, I don't think. I still forget sometimes and do a little wibble when I realise I'm responsible for a child.

Robin, thanks for the thoughts. I may be having a bad day, but I'm not experiencing parenting as creative lately. More like - herding cats?! I seem to do more chasing after chaos than leading anything constructive, at any rate.

Joclone #6, hey, nice to see you here. How are you enjoying all those long, lazy afternoons? Nice, eh?

Nikki Magennis said...

Oh, also, I'd like to add that the Boo has an uncanny ability to sense when I've sat down to meditate. I assume the six point pose (or is it seven, I forget) anyway, and take a breath in - and the baby monitor crackles as he clears his throat to hoooooooooooooooooooowl.

: )

Erobintica said...

ah, but chaos is inherently creative! We just can't see it. Looking at the day to day raising of a child is like looking at a painting with your nose touching it - only distance (or time in the case of parenting) lets you see the complete picture (and it's never complete). Okay, I'll stop now. ;-) Feel free to throw a dirty diaper at me.

Nikki Magennis said...

Heh, thanks, that's a nice way of looking at it, Robin. Definitely got my nose in the paint right now!

Alana Noel Voth said...

Nx, I hear you. I'm exhausted, just about everyday. Never enough time. So do what you can when you can and remind yourself how much you've accomplished. Don't beat yourself (from someone learning to try and not beat herself up.)