Saturday 1 March 2014

Pacing restlessly about

Ok, its ten in the evening and I have finally settled to work. The internet is playing up...or rather a combination of old computer and tenuous internet cable; which needs to be delicately wedged into place by a strategic piece of cotton wool/matchstick/slim book. The slightest movement disconnects me immediately, and ten minutes of rejiggling the matchstick/ cottonwool /slim book ensues, before I can carry on. I am supposed to be transferring an article about my  blessingway ceremony from paper to laptop, but I'm blogging instead and posting arty pictures of horses on Pinterest

The problem with starting at ten is that of course I am pretty much ready for bed. Finch at seven months is obviously in the throes of producing some more teeth and our fairly low key  nights have ramped up to several unhappy  nocturnal awakenings during which I alternately groan, beg, (for sleep) sing, swear and ultimately give him what he wanted all along. ....we all know what that is....

But I'm tired.

And as usual I feel as though I am clinging to the rock face of my daily existence by a fingernail.

The washing up bowl is always overflowing, and the sink unaccountably often full of a sludge resembling rice and carrots. The laundry tumbles into our bedroom in a frivolous and insensitive manner every single day and no matter how many hours I stolidly plod through the monotony, I mean meditative process of folding, sorting and putting away, it never diminishes. The compost bin is always full,  ditto the bin, the recycling, the cat tray, my head. Everything is full, and I haven't even got onto the random detritus/belongings which surge into every available space.

A couple of days ago , Tansy and Leo were in the midst of their Thursday morning tidy up...picking up clothes, sorting toys. Tansy decided to muck out under her bed  and I found her, practically weeping, surrounded by a sea of nameless and useless objects which I'm sure you can all imagine. A painted rock given by a well meaning relative..make that five actually, a torn sylvanian rabbit dress, various fragments of paper, a broken doll chair, three notebooks and four discarded purses....etc.

'But Mum I don't want any of this stuff I can't deal with it', she wailed.

We now have  box containing five painted stones, a torn sylvanian rabbit dress, and many many other delights which await my involvment to sort and categorise and bin/ bag up for charity.

And mountains of unworn clothes.

And sometimes I wonder if my life is this, pacing restlessly from room to room, a baby on my hip scanning continuously, noting areas which need my attention...oh yes, Tansy's jodphurs, must mend them before tomorrow...don't forget to return that bag of maternity clothes to Rowena, God that pile of dirty tea towels, must run that to the laundry on my next trip up the stairs, oh the beansprouts haven't been rinsed for two days and I MUST pay the rent and tax the car and  do that DBS form for our German student . Jesus the toilet and Finches woollies, and WHAT THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO EAT TONIGHT??

And I keep pacing, swapping Finch from hip to hip, less from a desire to balance my back than from sheer restless frustration at how little I can achieve of these interminable, dull tasks. As if the pacing and swapping can somehow soothe and placate me, until his nap when all I really want to do is paint. And breathlessly I race through the most urgent jobs, tripping over my feet and banging my elbows and hips in my haste to get to my beautiful sunny bedroom all full of delicious, creamy acrylic paints and paper and gesso and charcoal.

When Finch's  head rises  up from under his blanket and sends me a bleary little smile, his cheeks all rosy from his nap, I have such a twist of emotions...a sinking that it will be several hours, or more likely a day , until I can paint again, and a rush of love for this dear little thing, so sunny so soft and adorable.

And the sun shines, the crocuses bloom under the big lime tree on the front lawn and what is important?

Why am I pacing about and sorting through piles of rubbish when life should be simple?

Does anyone else struggle to keep things in balance?
I'm sure its not just me.....


  1. I understand your feelings of endless treading water just to stay afloat. I feel overwhelmed much of the time but today the sun is out the sky is clear and I feel renewed energy (for now anyway) So I will fill some charity shop bags with the unworn clothes and clutter that creeps into our lives and take a deep breathe x

    1. Well done Sharon sounds like you've got your day worked out!!

  2. As mothers we have to be selfless. This is incredibly hard all the time. We do need to have time for us but it is often not at a great time of day. If it is late at night is it better to go to sleep and rest rather than do our own things. Your little one is still very young, a baby, and if you are not sleeping that makes it even harder. Perhaps, frustrating as it is, this is a time for resting and painting will have to wait until your little one is no longer teething and not so much in need of you.

    1. You know you may be right, your words have struck a strange chord in me and I almost felt a bit tearful. I am aware that sometimes I do feel that I need to prove myself by doing stuff, but on the other hand I get immense fulfilment and joy from painting and writing, which makes me far more patient and joyful as a mother.....

  3. Making space for blankness. This can be simple. And p.s. What a lovely baby!


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