Who are you, in private (and who am I)?

Kathy Krugerbalance, contentment, mummytime, yinyang4 Comments

So I’m reluctant to post this, since you might like to think of me as some kind of enlightened mother. Don’t you? (he, he!)

But I will, because I’m increasingly sharing my life with you, peeling open the can of worms inside, exposing the gaping wounds of my imperfections. I don’t know whether you’ve recoiled yet.

Anyway, what’s a little invasion of privacy between friends?

Little Yang knows no boundaries (you must be thinking that it’s my job to teach him, and I’m trying!). Anyway, he follows me into the bathroom (normal) and when I have to change a tampon he peers at me quizzically (and somewhat concerned).  I realise that at least half the population are somewhat grossed out by this. I get that.

I wish I could lock Little Yang out of the bathroom without him crying and carrying-on, but it’s actually easier to explain to him that Mummy is OK, that sometimes Mummies have the bleeding because they are getting ready to have a baby (isn’t Miss Anne from Kindy having a baby – valiant attempt to steer the subject away from said tampon in a cute and cuddly direction, but Mummy is NOT having a baby! – PS and never will).  At just-turned three, this explanation seems to suffice (reminder to be quicker to lock the bathroom next time).  At nine, having been exposed to the whole tampon thing at a younger age, Miss Yin could care less. But regardless my privacy is regularly violated – without any thinking on behalf of my children. They, and particularly the three year old, seem to follow me wherever I go. There is precious little time and very little space to ever be alone. To just BE. So much so, that sometimes you almost forget who you are – I mean the you that you were (and still are) in private.

You’re at the centre of things, of life itself, when you are a mother to a young child (they outgrow this too quickly and you regret that you are then relegated to the periphery for the rest of your life, an outer galaxy to their shining star). And when you are their sun and their moon, it’s only natural that they want to bask in you rays. And if that means they never leave your shadow, then so be it. Privacy, sschmivacy.

But you sacrifice something else at the altar of the devotion, adoration of your child. Your sense of self – of individuality, of the person you were before you were a mother. Of the person you still are, when you are not playing your (most important) role. 

I’ve been trying to ‘dissect’ motherhood in yinyang terms – good mother/bad mother (not exactly balanced yinyangmother). Calm (yin) mother, angry (yang) mother. But there is no neat division of the part played in life as a mother (no villain, no saint, no happy, no sad – certainly not absolutely). Motherhood is simply a mix of all things, a sort of muddy mocktail that sometimes you have to swallow with a grimace, but surprisingly tastes great much of the time (even better served as a cocktail).

I’ve been trying to divide the roles I play in life into yin and yang categories. But this is a zero sum equation too. As I posted earlier about disliking the multiple identities we assume in life, I find myself (my real private self) increasingly disenchanted with the sheer and absolute dominance of the most important role I play in life (ie mother).  It is, frankly, an IMBALANCE.

It’s not that I’m downplaying the importance of the role, just how it exhausts all else, leaving so little energy for anything else. I guess this is the (guilty) plea of a person who is tired, sometimes bone tired, and don’t get me started about the women who somehow manage with five children, a contented spouse (who even gets regular sex), washing done, baking, and apparently some things even get ironed!

More than that, it is the shameful admission (lament) of an adoptive mother parenting ‘someone else’s children’, who regardless, isn’t completing satisfied in that mothering. Shock, horror, right?

But even more than that it is a plea for balance – balance between our private and public personas – the mother who cries, sometimes sobs uncontrollably (in private) and the mother who smiles bravely, always. The role that is most important and the roles that still add up to being important.

I want the kind of balance that dissolve barriers between private and public – between what you feel you should do and what you really want to do. Until in the end you are free to BE – the best you can. To BE the essence of who you already are and always will be. And for ME that includes BEING the best yinyangmother I can BE.

For you, that means BEING the best ‘whole’ person you can BE, whether mother or not. It means always understanding that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – that balance is always found in the equilibrium of energy between things, in YOU (and in YOUniversal love), rather than in some sort of equalisation of the different things that you are called to BE.

The lesson, in the end, is just to BE love.

PS – I realise I haven’t owned up to all the things I am in private – all the guilty secrets etc. I’m up for more sharing, if you are.




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Kathy KrugerWho are you, in private (and who am I)?

4 Comments on “Who are you, in private (and who am I)?”

  1. Leisa

    Love this Kathy. You are braver than me re the tampon thing. I’ve always just said the bathroom is a private place right from the get go but only when I have a period. That’s when the door is shut and nobody comes in. Thankfully hubby backs me up and he shoos the kids away as well. However, now we have Mr 17 I find it is fair to let him know when it is ‘that time’ cause the hormone surge is awful and I suffer physically (a lot – residue of infertility issues I guess). I don’t feel comfortable sharing this information with my son but it allows him (and me) to be kinder to me just for a day or two until things settle down. You are so right about the imbalance and then later it becomes a struggle to recognise the ‘you’ that while having taken a foreign second seat for some time has also managed to evolve and at times will seem like a stranger. However, ‘she’ is wiser, calmer and more giving towards other people (including her own children) than I remember. I catch glimpses of ‘her’ now and again these days and I know ‘she’ will be more present as time rolls on. As long as I ‘like’ her I’m sure we will all blend seamlessly. I think, in this instance, balance is a long term deal – one that can’t be recognised daily, monthly (no pun) or even annually when there are children involved. This balance is only ever in perspective when looked at retrospectively over a long long period. Finally there is no shame in any of these feelings. All mums share them regardless of how quick and effortless, or how difficult and meandering, the road to motherhood was. Becoming and staying a mum is a big package deal – you get the lot. the good, bad and ugly. No exemptions. Cause at the end of the day you are someone’s mum and they don’t care how that came to be – just that you are. xx

    1. yinyangmother

      Thanks for such a lovely comment. I loved how you you spoke about the ‘she’ that is there growing and evolving in the background of the madness of everyday life. I know I need to get over the guilt of feeling that having signed on for motherhood, I should always be content for ME to take a backseat…cheers..kathy

      1. Leisa

        Oh Kathy you don’t have to be content all the time. I’m certainly not!! Sometimes it does us and the kids good to show the flip side AND how to deal with that. I’ve learnt all mums need a regular me space. I used to be horrified at the women who needed three day mini breaks to Noosa sans kids at least every three months until I discovered I need about two hours in Myers by myself every 18 months to two years! It’s about finding yr groove and then making it happen so then you can rejuvenate and continue. Xx

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