Saturday, 18 June 2011
The loneliness of being a mother
Now and again a yawning loneliness seeps into the daily life of looking after a baby. I've had this before with my twin girls. A deep wariness that envelopes an invisible, nondescript me who is drowning in the endlessness and boredom of feeding, sleeping, changing nappies, playing, feeding, sleeping, changing nappies...... And the other mothers too. In those days we all put on a brave smile, display our best behaviour and play at being such a wonderful and engaged mother. The truth is today I want to resign from this job. The truth is today I feel utterly depressed and lonely. In vain I try to reach out, to someone, something, anything - until I succumb to the lonely gaping hole. I have learned that there is value in not escaping this hole and not filling it with chit-chat, gossip, or senseless doing but - to sit still and see what happens. More often than not nature is my great friend and helper. The gentle swaying of the leaves in the wind, the accompanying rustling sound, the bird's song, the beetle crawling over a stone; the rhythmical beating of the drum - the universal hum. And suddenly there is an opening in the hole, light seeps through, speckles of greys and whites. And my heart rejoices. I have a gift. I am a gift! And I break out into a song of jubilations and celebration of life. And the baby squeals.