The relentless tug of war between Mom and Me.
I love being a mom, yes, even despite my ranting and wobblies for public consumption. Read Road trippin flippin rage, Let’s all go to the beach or Time Out. On second thought, maybe don’t read them. You might get the wrong impression of me, or if you are still on the fence about starting a family, this may push you off.
I am there for every sneeze, every oweee, every tear, every complicated existential unanswerable life questions thrown at me on the 8 minute morning school run such as,
Miss Janey classic questions
“Mommy what is the end of the world? When you tell me or Aiden it’s ok it’s not the end of the world. So what is the end of the world? Mom, why do people die? Why do mangoes have skin you can’t eat but apples have skin you can eat? Where do giants live? Mom when you eat too many treats or food you don’t like does it go down down down past your tummy and then out as poo? Is that how it works?
And I am always there for every high pitched whiny sound echoing throughout the house sounding vaguely like muuuaaahhhhuuum-meeee.
I am also there for every excited moment, every giggle, laugh, cuddle, kiss, hug, and “I love you’s”
But sometimes I need to not be there.
Occasionally I need a break, a time out that is not a work trip. Something just for me. I need to not be Mom, I need to be Me. I need to find the balance so that I can embrace every meltdown just as much I enjoy every mooch. (kisses in the Kelland house)
Last weekend I did just that. I said yes to a random impromptu invite to join a new friend (3rd time I’ve met with her!) who is the sister of a also recent mom-friend I met at Aiden’s school at a parent dance last year. She had pink hair and I wanted to take a photo of her to show Kimmy who was wanting to go pink. Are you still with me?
Just to put you in the picture, I didn’t jump right into a 4 day, 3 night rustic tent sharing getaway, right away. A couple weeks prior I had said yes to a random impromptu invite from said friend to The Cure concert. We hit it off and it appears I’m trying to recreate the female version of Jim Carey’s Yes Man IRL (Mom, That means In Real Life), so the logical next step would obviously be a 4 day hippy, yogi, spiritual, Vegan, “Glastonbury meets splashy meets Woodstock meets enchanted forest wanna-be African Burn style” festival on farm in the middle of nowhere, right?
I don’t believe in coincidences. I’ve met too many amazing people at just the right time – either for me or for them – who were exactly what I needed during certain seasons of my life. Jen is an example. We have both found ourselves single with kids after 14 years of marriage. Both would have celebrated 15 years wedding anniversary in March this year. Both bought our wedding dresses from the UK’s Monsoon January 75% off sale for GBP79. We even both brought our grey Pick n Pay soft feel tracksuits to sleep in. (We also wore them for the coffee runs, the porter-loo trips, brekke on the last day and we even pitched up to the mediation class in them. It would have been a great class I’m sure – if they hadn’t moved the time by an hour. Perhaps we were supposed to just sense that time change if we had known how to meditate correctly? Maybe there was a spiritual wave sound frequency we were supposed to tune into?
So it was, last Thursday we found ourselves en route to a 4 day mom-cation, wolfing down biltong, and frantically checking all forms of social media before we entered the no signal, meat-free zone. We didn’t get the memo about packing our face glitter, fur boots, feather headgear, flappy furry animal headdress, flower crowns, bright orange parachute pants, sequence tracksuit pants, tie died anything really, oh and of course the Fox onesie bodice complete with a wagging tail. However the 4 day digital detox, mid morning naps, and new friendship was worth it.
We did pack everything but the kitchen sink including our journals, self help books, wet wipes, Bluetooth speaker and Gin. But on arrival it was becoming clear that this was no “Southern Suburbs Mommy” retreat.
They lost our tent. (Visions of the Fyre festival Netflix documentary flashed before my eyes) We lost our car keys. They found us a tent. We found the car keys. We almost lost our tent again. We thought it was ok-ish until we were harassed to “follow me to the front to sort this issue out as you are in our tent. ” bully who rudely interrupted us sitting in our deck chairs having our celebratory bubbly in our dining area. (Read it with a posh voice) It took us 4 trips to lug our shit into that tent. If people were willing to get nasty for our tent, we now we thought it was a mansion. We were not leaving. Southern Suburbs girls 1- Bully chick 0.
We didn’t need the Bluetooth speaker. Earplugs though.. that would have been handy. I think they had one of the best sound systems in the country, if not the world. And believe me when I say there wasn’t a TYPE at this jol. We had everything from jazz, trance, instrumental, folk, Majozi , awesome open-mic local artists, Schalk Bezhuidenhout and some women trying to strangle a cat. All in all it was an interesting fun getaway, with loads of chatting, yoga, walks, trying red cappuccinos and learning a strip tease routine (women only class), which I am sure will come in handy on my Saturday night Netflix Documentary – PJ’s and hot chocolate sessions. We did practice on a chair, I do have plenty of those. And the neck tie makes a handy Pilates mat carrier.
However, as awesome as that break was, the pull of motherhood was ever present and by Sunday we couldn’t pack up fast enough. I missed my little angelic, cute, beautiful babies. Their funny little stories, their hugs and the way they played together so nicely, our special moments, their peaceful sleeping faces. I mean I hadn’t heard the word…
muuuaaahhhhuuum-meeee.The sound of tired, ratty, grumpy abandoned offspring poised to attack vulnerable oblivious Mom as she returns from the wild.
As the muddy wheels of my suitcase landed on the lounge floor, Jean did a runner (I don’t blame her). There was silence. Like the calm before the storm. My heart was bursting, I was so excited to be home, to be mom again.
muuuaaahhhhuuum-meeee. Come see, come look here. You be the baby. No wait you be the teacher, ok no, you be the patient. Mom a new skin came out on Fortnite and is only available now. Can you make me breakfast? (its lunchtime dude??) Mom can you phone Jack’s mom for a play-date? Can I have juice? Can I have biscuits? Aiden won’t let me clean his room. (Don’t darling, its an incubator for nuclear resistant cockroaches.) Ava is annoying me. Ava stop it. Aiden’s being mean. Ava is a liar. Aiden didn’t ask Jean and just took the KitKats out the jar but I didn’t. I asked Jean first and then she gave me. But Aiden was naughty. But I wasn’t. Mom have you thought about the V-bucks? Can I use my money (you don’t have any dude – you are so broke your grand kids will be working for me for free).
Perhaps we should have stayed for the midday meditation, and FFS… why do I not own earplugs?