11 February 2012

I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.
- Virginia Woolf-

I've been thinking about this quote a lot. Not only in regards to postnatal depression, and living live under a bell jar. Also in relation to what it's like being a mum at home. 

Many wise mothers have warned me that it's horrible to be "trapped" at home with a child.
I used to think, trapped, come on, all I have to do is stick the baby in the Ergo carrier or the pram and we can escape, together. But I understand now that it's a different kind of trapped.

I think motherhood enriches your life in more ways than you could ever imagine. But for all the riches to fit in, you have to make room. And the something that has to give is space. Mental space, physical space, your own space, head space. I miss my space. I do. Even when I have it, when I'm swimming, for example, and I know the baby is safe at home, and I'm swimming lap after lap, my head still isn't free like it used to be. It's always, somehow, with my baby.

At home, the baby's things have slowly crawled into every possible corner. More and more things are being moved into the garage. Our toes are blue from their encounters with the baby gym and the bouncers. I am fine with that. It's lovely and it's necessary. But I can't remember that crafting in my own space has ever felt this important to me before Matilda arrived.
Crafting gives me head space, feet space, mental space.
I have just recently finished clearing out a little corner for my desk and my shelves and my silly doilies, and just looking at it makes me feel a teensy bit calmer. 

It's there waiting for me.


dropstitch said...

I've been thinking a lot about post-baby space and being trapped this week too. I haven't managed to get to the stage of leaving the baby for a swim or similar but this post has inspired me to try to find some way to tidy up my crafting space this week and start getting back to a few for-me things in between (or even during) the seemingly constant feeding. Hope your own crafty corner keeps helping you. Thanks again for sharing.

Carmel Morris said...

I couldn't agree more. I think if you are going to be at home with a baby, then it is vital to have a hobby of some kind. Something that you can immerse yourself in. Something that you can "achieve" so that you can feel like you are worthwhile as something other than a feeding and cleaning machine.

Sally said...

This is so true. I took up crafting after my daughter was born and it was the start of my recovery. It is now an important part of routine to sustain good mental health. To relax. To turn my mind off. To express self. To be.
Ditto to Carmel's comment.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this. I can relate to how you're travelling on this big journey.