Lazuli Green Island Mama

Lazuli Green Island Mama

Thursday, December 8, 2011

musings on motherhood

The witching hour has just passed for another day. My boykaloiks are upstairs, supposedly in their beds. I can usually hear if they are not. Tonight, it's sounding hopeful.

Today is the second last day of our school year. At 3pm tomorrow afternoon, school will end, my Noah will finish his year of being in Class 2, and seven weeks of summer holiday will commence. Summer holidays bring mixed blessings. On the one hand, I love not having to get up at 6.15am each day. I love emerging from the haven of bed, thinking "look at that amazing sight" as I walk passed the view of water and national park, lazily meandering down the stairs in the morning and flicking on the kettle.

On the other hand, I go a bit crazy listening to the musings (whining/fighting/questioning/demands) of small children. O I know, I know. These years are great! Those little ones are growing so beautifully and it is an absolute privilege to be here. Yes! Yes it is. But it is not the most stimulating time for my mind, and that is what I am lamenting right now.

I'm pondering the mind-numbing role of Mother. I'm observing the brain-fog. This is the aspect of motherhood which I do not celebrate. I do try to spice it up a bit. I read books like "The Spiritual Tasks of the Homemaker" by Manfred Schmidt-Brabant, which I do find stimulating and inspiring. I try to listen to ABC radio whenever the children aren't near. I watch Foreign Correspondent on particularly intellectual evenings. Other times, I reflect on the meditative quality of motherhood, of being constantly jolted into the present. I try to read industry bulletins and articles on Naturopathy and Botanical Medicine. I often feel like crying as those "adult" thoughts are interrupted with another request, complaint, or another fabricated story of what happened in such and such a (usually non-existent) movie or to such and such a friend.

The witching hour is the most depressing. Actually it's more like 2 hours. By the time I'm preparing dinner, I've already spent most of the day in the kitchen or laundry, or at the clothes line or driving to or from school. By then, I'm desperate to have a meaningful thought, with a beginning, a process, closure.

I don't know another way of doing this. This is what feels right for me and my family.

I crave time for a career. I yearn for meaningful, paid employment. I envy women who grow their careers at the same time as their families. But not enough to stop doing this mind-numbing job. I'm grateful for the (often uncomfortable) lessons of now. My soul is indeed fed every day. My mind is not. My heart gets bigger and stronger and is warmed every day. My mind does not.

"For each child that's born
a morning star rises
and sings to the universe
who we are."
- Ysaye Barnwell

I haven't forgotten who I am. No, I'm getting to know myself more and more each day. I feel quite like I'm having a very long, exhausting, fitful sleep.


  1. Beautifully put - I can identify with all of this.

    Although, happily, in the last year or two the witching hour(s) has faded. Mine are now 9 and 12 and old enough not to melt into tears when they are overtired - although they now get more argumentative instead. My mind is starting to be filled again.

  2. i feel like i am having a very long, exhausting, fitful sleep...

    yes, yes indeed.


  3. As a working mom, I lament the time away from little Edie. It's all a balancing act I say. You capture the dichotomy of motherhood so well with your words. Motherhood is the most spiritual task I have. I know it is by far, my most important. But at times it can also seem the most mundane. Mothering is not measurable, like washing the dishes or sewing a cushion. There is no immediate outcome and in this outcome focused world we live in it is easy to feel frustrated or like we are not accomplishing much. But growing another human being and bringing that human being up to be responsible, loved and open to others WOW!
    Much love