Before I had a baby, I used to be the sort of person who spent a lot of time on their own… for the most part this was a due to my job – a freelance writer and copywriter who worked from home. My home was my office and vice versa. So most of the time I could be found bashing away on the keyboard chasing a deadline or coming up with a creative idea for a client.
And I loved it. I’d love getting stuck in and not emerging for hours at a time. Some days I might not even get a chance to leave the house, but it didn’t bother me because I was fulfilled.
Now don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t a total hermit either. I had hobbies and sports and friends and the dog by my side most days too! And truth be told, those days when I wouldn’t get to leave the house were rare. I would make a conscious effort to take some kinds of breaks when I could.
But the fact remains, I sort of like being by myself. That is, when it’s on my terms and because it’s what I want to do, not because I’ve no other option. Loneliness has and continues to be a real issue for me. It’s something I’ve touched on before about feeling lonelier now as a mum than I ever did before. But even before I became a mum, I won’t deny there are times when I have felt alone, but that can happen in a room full of strangers just as easy as it can happen at home by yourself.
In any case, it’s safe to say I value my alone time.
But all of that changed when I had a baby. In fact, let’s be clear, it was when my baby turned into a toddler, that’s when the concept of personal space ceased to exist for me anymore.
It’s a foreign concept.
And I’m not just talking about getting time to sit down and work, I mean even the little things are gone, like being able to have a hot cup of coffee without toddler hands trying to grab the cup and down the contents.
Or being able to make a meal without my toddler hanging out of my leg like he’s a rabid Koala who needs to be picked up so he can be carried around like the Maharajah.
The bathroom is now akin to a busy train station and small things like just trying to put a bit of slap on my face in the morning now involves every item being closely examined by said toddler and then flung across the room.
I’m climbed on, drooled on, woken up in the morning time by the pitter patter of loud toddler feet and pretty much used as a wet wipe around the clock.
And you know what, a lot of times I don’t mind. In fact, despite my ranting here, I love spending these days with my little dude. Because as trite as it sounds, one day soon he’ll want to be out playing footie or be too ensconced in a device to even register that mammy is in the room. I do get all of that and how special this time is.
But that said, dear Christ some days I just want some time to myself!
Time to feel clean, to feel like a human being again. To feel like I can sit down with a cup of coffee and my own thoughts without sticky fingers all over me. To not be pawed, clung to, hung out of. A place where I I’m not just a human jiffy cloth for 10 minutes… And some days it gets to me, some days I just blow my top and roar -
Can I just get a few moments to myself!????!!!!
That’s when I know it’s time for me to leave the room, go take a bath, read a book or watch something on Netflix for an hour and take off my mum badge.