Friday, April 12, 2013

navigating the blind corners

I wonder what's coming next? As the weather is changing around me, I feel as though I'm stepping around a corner, into a great unknown.

My dear friend and I joke all the time about parenting young children; the moment you get breastfeeding under control, they start to need food. They finally sleep through the night, then begin teething. Decisions are made, love is given, under tired eyes and on shifting sands.

I have finished having babies. There. My littlest, surpris-ey girl is almost two. Will soon be out of her cot, and after three babies and three different homes, I never got around to decorating the nursery. The shame! I learned early that my parenting energy and skill is limited: I can choose to spend it on making it appear that I'm across things, or I can invest it in just plugging away. Getting small people out of bed each day, making breakfast, wiping noses, cooking dinner. Teaching, loving, instilling. It's difficult to remember that this time is short. I seem to be continually being delivered the same lesson: shifting sands.

As I am tip-toeing over shifting sands yet again, I'm finding it all too easy to get caught up in doubts and worries about what my next contribution might be. I am no longer the proud mama holding a fresh baby. My kids are growing up, worthy of space to develop their own identities. I felt a gentle unravelling this morning, when my nearly-four-year-old came out of his room fully dressed. A few of the strong stitches binding me to those tasks of filling the needs of others, unpicked.

Gradually, suddenly, our babies will become independent beings. If we do our job well, we will make ourselves redundant. I know I am other than mama. I know my darling and I will hold hands when our babies are grown up. Just as fulfilling needs of little people takes energy and effort, so does developing myself and my other relationships. And the sands are shifting just a little, just enough to allow a redistribution of my energies.

As for those corners? Who knows what's around there. That's the fun of running on shifting sands, right?


  1. Oh Sarah this is written so beautifully, with so much heart and gentleness. I can feel the sands beginning to shift here too... I just need to decide which way to unravel xx

  2. Exciting times, yes? I think it's natural to be cautious of change, but when you can embrace it and see the opportunities, rather than fear the possible losses, then you can only move forwards. Believe me, there are some seriously shifty-shifting sands at my place at the moment. I'm terrified and thrilled. xx

  3. You put things so nicely.
    My baby is only two but already I am seeing glimpses of the future...and that future means less of him needing me. Which I am taking to mean that I have done my job well...but still it pulls at my heart more than a little and leaves me wondering what I will do with all my free time!

  4. I didn't even start my blog until my littlest was two such was the chaos that ensued having a baby and a preschooler in the house. Then at two, pockets of time started to appear and I could catch my breath. Take some time to look after yourself. mel x

  5. Oh, I know! I worry the sands will shift again all too soon now that I feel that things are settling into a nice balance and rhythm. The pockets of time that I am afforded now, with a four year old and one year old at home with me, will change again next year with a Preppie and a two year old. But I am determined to give them all I can and save a little for my creative self.

    The best piece of advice that I was given as a new Mum was to do what worked and when it no longer works, change. I think that goes for so many things. As life changes we too shall change. xx

  6. you are one wise woman.

    love your words

    xo em

  7. Oh I just love this. Shifting sands indeed. And the having space and energy for other endeavours is daunting and exciting in equal measures.

    x Laura

  8. I am not a huge fan of change, I don't always cope well, unless it is I who am initiating the changes... Not particularly helpful as a mummy of two!
    Beautifully written Sarah xxx

  9. Beautiful post, i love this. I think about these things often and how quickly my little ones are growing up. Being a mum it's so easy to loose your own identity and get caught up in solely being a mum but as you said they grow and we are still there standing so i think it's so important to stay connected and social. Love your words, thanks for sharing. bec

  10. I have goosebumps (I'm sure this isn't the first time I've written these exact words in your space...). Yes it's so hard to see past what is happening right now. So true. Thank you for writing this. x

  11. Such a beautiful scary reality.



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