Today I sat alone in a room full of people. I enjoy my own company and while I wouldn’t always choose to sit alone, when the mood strikes me it is actually quite pleasurable. It was play time at the end of music and I was having the enjoyment of becoming acquainted with two new babies. I don’t think Teddy was happy about this as he decided to throw a toy cart at my head. With the swiftness of a now seasoned expert I whisked him up into the football hold and walked him away into the corner of the room to play completely supervised. By me.
To be fair we had a big weekend, I was still trying to overcome it myself and both of us were tired. There were lots of kids at music today. Teddy is great with other kids, he loves to socialise but he has his own threshold and once that number is crossed he has no desire to mix with others his age. That threshold was clearly crossed today. After a minute in the corner with Teddy pushing Percy (known to some as green Thomas) to me, he was bored and decided to just play on his own, still under my careful eye. I was happy to lean back against the wall and watch.
In the space of ten minutes I had three people come over to me to talk. I was like honey for the bees, because who doesn’t love a mum sitting in the corner of a room by herself, to go and talk to and make sure she is ok. I appreciated the gesture. Honestly I would have done the same thing, but I very politely deflected them. I was happy to sit there, alone. It’s not the first time. Motherhood gives you many new opportunities. Like when your child becomes deeply, ‘challenging’ that you know a change a scenery is in order before someone, you or them, completely loses it. So you go out.
Perhaps it could be argued that you are not really alone when you have your child with you. Fair point. Although with growing independence sitting at a table by yourself as your child plays without even a glance at you does feel like you are having a moment of solitude. I remember, in my child-free days, a good friend of mine who was a step mother and a new mother more recently, telling me all she wanted was a night in a hotel room by herself. To do nothing but be alone. At the time I thought it was weird. And boring, why would you want that. But I get it now. I want silence. I want to stay in a hotel room all alone. Free to do whatever I feel like. Like having a bath, sipping wine and reading a book for as long as I damn well please. To have my body to myself, with no one touching it for 12 hours.
Of course this will not be happening any time soon and I am actually ok with that. Parenthood is temporary. I know some would argue otherwise. My dad tells me you are a parent for life and my mother-in-law has still not cut the placenta. Of course you will always be concerned about your child. But I do believe when your child leaves the nest, your parenting duties are effectively done, after all they need to learn to survive themselves. So I remind myself, when things feel rough that one day I will want grubby hands clinging to my legs demanding a cuddle and a messy lounge room to clean up (again). I’ll take my moments of solitude when I feel like them. Just like I will take my social time when I feel like it as well. And if I really need it, I can slip on a Disney movie and have a clean and silent house for an hour and a half. Just enough time to do what I need to in order to remind myself I am more than just a mum in a room full of people.