That 1980s Pantene shampoo commercial keeps running through my head -
Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful. (watch vintage video here)
with one minor change to the wording:
Don’t Hate me Because I’ve Had 3 Full Weeks of Time Alone this Summer.
I know – I know… this is outrageous! I can hardly believe it myself. As a mother of two young boys this certainly isn’t the norm. Add them all together, and a trip to visit the grandparents, a weekend workshop, and a boys-only camping trip have created this ridiculously expansive amount of time alone.
On our Mama Renew facebook page last week I asked the mamas -
If you had a full day and night to yourself, what would you do?
Their dreams included cleaning the closet, yoga, reading, nap, a walk, massage…and my favourite:
Invite a girlfriend over and cook an insanely gourmet meal for ourselves that no one under 5 feet will look at and say ‘ewwwww’ and no one over 5 feet will look at and say ‘what did that cost us?’! Then enjoy it with a glass of wine and a hip-expanding dessert.
I recently discovered this stunning video poem exploring the gifts of being alone. It reminds me so beautifully of my life before kids, that feeling of a wide open expanse of a day when you can simply be and do and explore. Get ready to feel inspired, and perhaps wistful…, and watch this video, please.
What have I done with all this glorious mama time? To be honest, I’m not all that sure. One might imagine an outrageously clean kitchen (ok, I did do complete kitchen overhaul), finished creative projects, plenty of time with friends, a virtually empty “To Do” list…
Instead, I found myself simply needing to be quiet and alone and not all that productive. I’ve done a lot of yoga, spent some very satisfying time in the garden, read a few good books. It has been amazing, but not at all the expansively social and creative time I had envisioned.
With the contrast of the full life we lead as a family, the wide open days felt both freeing and curiously unfocused. I find myself wondering what happened to my ability to truly savour time alone? When the children are here life is ruled by routine & activities & responsibilities. How many layers must be stripped away before we surrender to the peace of letting go and simply being?
What do you find yourself doing in those rare spaces of mama time?
How long does it take you to let go and simply savour the quiet?
What would you do if you were gifted with a full day and night on your own?
Much gratitude to brilliant painter Chantey Dayal for the use of her painting, Woman in Waiting for this blog. You can learn more about Chantey on her website & facebook page. Watch for more of her paintings in future postings.
About Sarah Juliusson
Sarah Juliusson, founder of Mama Renew, is a gifted facilitator and writer on the journey of birth & motherhood. She brings two decades of experience supporting families through pregnancy, birth and motherhood to her work. Sarah is mother to two growing boys, a playful crafter with cloth & wool, student of traditional food preservation, and a diva at heart. Join the conversation on http://www.mamarenew.ca & on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mamarenew