The Tunnel



lonely mum
[Shared by The Bush Babies]

I saw a woman walking along the street this morning, holding the hand of her three year old and pushing a pram with a baby in it. The three year old was pointing up at the rooftops, pulling on her arm saying..

‘Look Mummy, look at that’..

She wearily looked up and said in a slightly distracted voice

‘What? What am I supposed to be looking at?.

I looked at her, smiled and walked past and in that split second I felt a huge load lift of my shoulders. It was a lightbulb moment. A moment when a penny drops, like when you suddenly remember something that you’d forgotten and were going crazy trying to remember. A moment when your brain clears and you can see the light again. A kind of spiritual moment I guess.

For that woman once was me. I could relate to her weariness, the distraction in her voice. I could see in her eyes the slightly dull look of someone who is overwhelmed by the drudgery and repetitiveness of her life. Another day of talking to no-one but a three year old and a mewling baby. Another day of limited stimulation, of nothing more than working out what to cook for supper, picking yet more clothes off the floor and putting on another load of laundry.

She is someone that I used to be. When I looked in her eyes and heard that conversation it was like a flashback to not that long ago when it was me walking along clutching the hand of a three year old, pushing a pram, wondering when I was going to get my life back again and be free of the shackles of motherhood.

The truth is – you are never actually, truly free.

But little by little, you notice that the tunnel widens and the load gets lighter. You are suddenly not carrying around bottles or tubs of pre-cooked food any more. You are no longer pushing a pram stuffed with wipes and nappies. You are hands-free with a small person walking beside you. You may even have a coffee in your hand and a new haircut. You get to go and walk around a shop and actually pick something up and try it on. You can go to a restaurant and order a steak and a glass of wine at lunchtime if you want to. Your brain starts to take interest in normal things. You can read a book, go to a movie, go out for dinner with your husband, hold an interesting conversation. You are no longer, too tired.

Suddenly and surprisingly, the tunnel ends, and you are standing at the end of it blinking into the light.

You are you – once more.

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Discussion4 Comments

  1. Beautiful. I’ve come out of that tunnel… my 2 sons are both now at school and I am starting my illustration business. It’s good to be reminded how far I’ve come…I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. My days with my young sons have given me the drive to do more and achieve more in the short hours I have when they aren’t with me… thank you! x

  2. ……….and then the kids leave home and life becomes peaceful again. But then they hits problems and as you are still a parent no matter that they are nearly 30 your worries begin all over again…but different worries, worse worries, and boy oh boy how I wish this last few weeks I was that mum with one in a pram and one dragging on my arm. Little kids bring little worries, big kids bring big worries.
    Enjoy them while you can and dont wish their little lives away

  3. I love this post, bit teary! am feeling slightly hormonal due to pregnancy but its hard to try and imagine having any time or being you with the daunting prospect of the second on the way. I keep panicking all I can talk about is children, where have I gone! But I spose this is me now and I’d not change it, I’d 100% rather be this new me and know what’s on the roof. Thank you x