Things I Know – Of Companionship and Solitude

Ripley's Aquarium - Myrtle Beach by Ryan Smith Photography

{image credit}

It’s been an interesting week for me. Not necessarily interesting in a funny way, or interesting in an enlightening way, though I guess they both apply to a degree. It’s been interesting in an emotionally up-and-down, spin-me-all-around, bit-of-a-surprise, kind of way as I’ve realised a few things about my need, or otherwise, for relationships in my life.

Companionship

I know there is friendship and companionship to be found in the blogging community. For the very first time, I met two bloggers IRL (in real life) – Tat from Mum In Search and her two gorgeous children and Grace from the Musings of Mama Grace and her twinlets or “twinkets” (as I’ve been known to call them). They are as lovely IRL as they are online. If you’ve never visited their blogs, I encourage you to do so today.

I also realised that if the comments on my recent post, Who’s Your BFF, are a snapshot of bloggers and readers, then we are generally a bit of a lonely lot when it comes to deep friendships in real life. Some of us have BFFs and for some, our partners fill that need. But for many, there was a vein flowing through the comments that we want and need a bit more companionship and friendship than most of us have or are getting. For those of us with a BFF or two, we don’t always get the chance to see them or be with them nearly as much as we’d like.

Maybe it’s because we are all too busy with children. Some of us moved a lot through our lives. Some of our friends moved away. Some of us are shy. Are we a snapshot of bloggers in general? Or are we a snapshot of most mothers? That, I don’t know.

I really like what the lovely blogger Lou Lou, from Here I am LouLou wrote recently about friendships:

“People come into your life for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime.
When you know which one it is for a person – you will know what to do for that person.”

Go read the whole post, I think you might enjoy it.

Solitude

This week I learnt how much I miss solitude.

I got into our spare car, a little hatchback, so I could move it while hubby parked the family car in it’s place. As I started the engine and backed it out, a sudden feeling of liberation came over me. In that moment, I imagined myself just driving right out of the garage and zooming away, “Thelma and Louise” style.

It’s been a challenging time with Lil S’s separation anxiety reaching fever-pitch. I’ve even entertained the thought of “early” weaning (she’s 9 months in 3 days) just so she doesn’t “need” me as much, though I know I won’t do it.

I feel I am at everyone else’s beck-and-call, held hostage to the routine and requirements of my current lifestyle; a little trapped, I guess.

I know this will pass. I just never imagined I would not want to be needed. The thought of solitude, for a sliver of time, is so inviting, so seductive, so desirable.

As I write this, it’s late (or early if you like). It’s quiet, finally, because Lil S has fallen asleep after waking for the umpteenth time since 10pm. Miss T is also asleep. Hubby is probably asleep as well.

I can hear the hum of traffic in the distance and the call of bats outside. I hear the tapping of keys on my keyboard as I type. No one is calling for my attention. The dinner is cleared. The dishes are done. The toys are mostly packed away.

The balcony door is open and the cool night air is wafting gently around my legs. I stop typing for a moment and shut my eyes.

I breathe, deliberately……….in……….out……….in……….out……….

Here, in this moment, is my tiny sliver of solitude and peace.

.

What do you know about companionship and solitude? What is your preference or is it seasonal?

Related Posts

Gatecrashing Mother’s Group

Who’s your BFF?

***************

Linking with Shae of Yay for Home! for Things I Know and Glowless of Where’s My Glow for FlogYoBlogFriday (FYBF)
Where's My Glow FYBF

Advertisements

37 thoughts on “Things I Know – Of Companionship and Solitude

  1. Isn’t that moment of solitude just grand ? You soak it in for all its worth. I love getting into the car on my own. A quick trip to the shops has never been so liberating – I turn up the volume and sing at the top of my lungs. It’s all over in 10 minutes, but that’s 10 minutes I didn’t have before 🙂
    Thank you for the mention. It was so lovely meeting you too! I went home feeling very excited that I had made a new friend. Even Papa Grace could see how happy I was 🙂
    Can’t wait to catch up again soon ! x

    • That moment is grand, Grace. I would never had thought 10 minutes would be great but even that is worth stealing. Unfortunately, the only place I get that solitude is either late at night or in the toilet (of all places). Even the shower is now shared with the girls!

      I’m happy to mention you and to have met you. Looking forward to more opportunities in future too!

  2. Solitude is so important. Especially for introverts (like me, anyway). I crave time to gather my own thoughts and breath in and out – like you did last night.

    I hear you about feeling our kids get a bit ‘needy’. But I always remind myself that’s exactly the way they’re designed to be. And I know you didn’t ask my opinion, but I’ll give it anyway! – my feeling is that if you did wean Lil S early or this young then it would only make her needier. She may be physically ‘away’ from you, but her heart would long for you even more. I don’t think we can make our children less needy by denying them us, the irony here is that the more you give & stick around, the more secure she’ll be. Sending you lots of love and pockets of solitude to get you through. xxx

    PS Mama Grace is beautiful, isn’t she?! I had the priviledge of meeting her in July – was so lovely! 🙂

    • I appreciate your thoughts on solitude and weaning early, Deb. I know I won’t be weaning early but all sorts of things float through our minds when we’re in a tough or trying moment. You are so right. Our little ones were designed to need us. I really had that moment of realisation this morning when Lil S fell asleep in my arms. It made me think of all the moments where she shows she needs me; crawling towards me, cocking her head to look at me, smiling or chuckling at me, giving me nibbles and kisses, turning her head to look at me if hubby is carrying her.

      I’m still stealing my moments of solitude in the evenings but I am getting very exhausted with the late nights. I’m going to have to shift something because I’m not a very nice person when so exhausted.

  3. My true solitude, when I have nothing left to do comes at night, sometimes very late at night. I enjoy those quiet moments, but I wish they’d happen a little earlier in the day.

    No wonder we’re all showing signs of weariness!

    • Seems like many of us steal our solitude at night, Jayne. But what about the sleep?! I know I need more of that. Trade-offs, I guess. I wish mine would happen earlier in the day too. I wish the girls would settle earlier in the night. We’ll get there. Just got to keep plugging away at it.

  4. That is a beautiful post, Veronica. And I love that quote from Lou Lou. Definitely going to read that post and your previous one (which I somehow missed!).
    I know what you mean about solitude. I’ve made the decision this week to stop blogging and the business for a week over Christmas and I’m going to take a day to myself. Feeling I’m being pulled in a million directions at the moment.
    I feel I really need some time right now to recharge my batteries and make me grateful for all the wonderful things I know I have in my life.
    Take care of yourself, Veronica. The separation anxiety does pass. Although, not easy to hear when you’re in the midst of it. x

    • Thanks, Kel. The quote from Lou Lou is excellent. It does help put our friendship experiences into perspective.

      I hope you get your break over Christmas and actually have moments to replenish. I hate that pulled every which way feeling. I usually end up spinning around and being totally ineffective. Things become a blur. I will keep working at replenishing, refreshing and taking quiet moments to refresh. Always easier said than done. I love this little video shared by Kirri White from Happy Mum at Home. It’s One-Moment Meditation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6eFFCi12v8&feature=share). I shared it on my Facebook feed too. Hope you like it.

  5. Sometimes, I do miss the “freedom” of being alone, and habour little thoughts of taking a travel just by myself, leaving all behind for just a short while:p I do feel that it’s true that one can be in a crowd, yet still feel lonely. So it’s not really about the number of people you have around you, but abt the “type”. I’d rather have a few special close friends, than heaps of hi-bye friends.

    Glad you managed to meet up with Tat and Grace. I hope to meet up with some of you special mummy bloggers one day too!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    • I think you are totally normal wanting a little escape once in a while. We all did it when were were single and even after marriage. Surely it makes sense even after children that we all need at least a little break. The conflict lies in the fact that the little kids don’t see it the same and want and need us all the time.

      I totally agree with you about the quality of friendships, Ai. I don’t need many. I need just a few, deep, loyal friends. Maybe one day, if/when I get back to Singapore for a holiday, we could meet. You never know! We are well overdue for a visit.

  6. I know exactly what you mean about needing solitude and feeling like you are always at someone’s beck & call. Often the chances I get kid-free are because I’m attending to other responsibilities – work, extended family etc. I often joke with my husband that he should be worried the day I say I’m just ducking up the road for a packet of cigarettes, because I don’t smoke & it means I may not be back! Hope you get to saviour a enough moments of solitude to keep you going x

    • You made me chuckle, Nee. I don’t smoke either so I can’t steal smoko breaks. On the weekend, two moments I had to take a break from the family were to empty the compost and do the recycling! Glamorous, huh?

  7. Your post on BFF’s really struck a chord with me…I think it is indicative of mummy life rather than of bloggers. I was never this ‘lonely’ pre-kids…It was easier to get out and see friends, unattached and with no pressing responsibilities waiting for me when I returned home.

    As for solitude – yup, also tweaking big time on this issue! A huge forward for me in the past year has been that I can now have a shower that lasts for more then 3 minutes without getting ‘harassed’ and I get to go to the toilet, all by myself! It feels so precious…seriously!

    I imagine you are still grasping for seconds of solitude having kidlets that are so small.
    Your time will come..

    BTW – Thank you for adding my button to your blog 🙂

    • Kirri, you are probably right about the isolation being a mummy thing. Maybe it comes up a lot with bloggers because blogging is what some of us do to find our own solution for human interaction. I know I have friends but I do feel a bit lonely too. Having said that, I wouldn’t trade my family in for anything.

      I loved the One-Moment Meditation video. I can use that to try and steal some solitude and calm in the midst of craziness.

  8. I know exactly what you mean by wishing for more solitude! I sat down the other day to blog and my husband (who had been in the pool with our toddler – while bub was asleep) askede to come and see something and then said something along the lines of “at the computer again”. And I got so annoyed! I only blog when everyone else, including the dog don’t need me anymore!
    And I love that feeling of sitting down when everyone is asleep. It’s always a toss between sleeping or doing something for me!

    • Anna, so many of us seem to steal time from sleep for solitude. It’s hard because I know I don’t function well under my months of accumulated sleep deprivation. Trade-offs. At least my husband understands me spending time at the computer. He spends an equal amount on his or iGadgets too. We probably need to spend less time on those and more with each other!

  9. Oh wow- I know exactly what you mean about dreaming about driving away Thelma and Lousie style. I get a bit surprised at the random thoughts that pop into my head sometimes. I think loneliness and the search for companionship is a bit of a human condition. We were created for more than anything in this world can offer, so none of us ever really feel satisfied. It’s not something that is a mum thing or a blogger thing or a woman thing. It’s just a human thing. We were made for more than this.

    • You’re probably right, Robyn. In our human conditions, we are all needing and wanting companionship. Bloggers just get out there and talk about it and try to make connections the way they know how, via social media.

  10. Beautiful post hunny 🙂

    I yearn for the close friendships I used to have. I miss having “the girls” to talk to about the stuff that matters to me. The things Husband just doesn’t get. He is my BFF, but I still need my girlies. I miss them insanely. They understand why Melrose Place was a watchable show, why it’s so funny that we all think a penis really is an ugly looking thing… I miss it all so very much.

    Early morning when I get up to feed Doris [my calf] I usually get my moment of solitude. I usually make a cuppa and sit on the front steps watching the cattle, listening to the kookaburra’s, and watching the roo’s, foxes, and sometimes dingo’s on their way to their day hiding place. It’s so peaceful. And surreal. It’s my time. And then when it gets to 6.30am the house starts bustling again. The noise of cranky tired kids, slamming drawers, cereal boxes and the echo of “Muuuuuuuum!”. I enjoy my solitude, but I can’t handle being away from the noise of my life.

    • Oh, your moments of solitude sound so beautiful, especially being in touch with nature. You must see some glorious sunrises too. On the rare occasions I’ve had to be up as the world wakes it, it really is quite an amazing experience.

      I’m a bit like you in that I need my girlfriends too. I miss them.

  11. A really great post Veronica. I too have had that feeling of wanting to drive away. My ‘solitude’ comes at night, after the kids are in bed. I relish that time. This is why I often stay up later than I should. My husband is usually around, but he is not always demanding something from me the way kids do…

    I definitely need that time of solitude, being an introvert by nature. I also need a friendship at any one time with someone who I feel “gets” me. I don’t need a lot of friends, but just that one special one. Sometimes this role is filled by my husband, at other times it is a girlfriend – but not always the same one.

    • Thanks, Julie. It seems like I’ve found the “dirty little secret” contributing to sleep deprivation; mothers stealing “me-time” when everyone else has gone to sleep!

      I too don’t need many friends. I’m not a social butterfly. My few dear friends are enough. Pity they are mostly so far away.

  12. I love this post. I felt the same way about solitude last weekend. I even told my husband that I just wanted to go away, all by myself. And then the guilts came to play….I think it’s nice to grab those moments for ourselves when we can, just to remind us who we are and to not feel like we’re drowning under the wants and needs of everyone around us. I find it easy to feel smothered by my kids – I know they need me, and that’s my role, but as an introvert, I still need my space to feel recharged and to be a better mum for them.

    Lou Lou’s quote is so true, and something similar to that a good friend once said to me after I was mourning the loss of a friendship. I now know that some friendships are meant to last a season – it’s not always easy at the time, but they are for a purpose in that particular moment.

    I hope you can find some solitude when you need it.

    • Thanks, Debbie. Smothering is hard to cope with. In reflecting further on this, I realised I never felt guilty when I was single or even married without kids wanting a little time on my own when I needed it. There is something about having kids that makes us all feel guilty for having the same need. I don’t think we should but I know we do.

      I’m hoping to steal solitude where I can, when I can, even a few moments here and there, like going outside with the compost or recycling. Glamorous indeed! 😉

  13. For the most part I think I crave solitude however I have noticed a desire lately to become a much more social being. I am so glad you included that quote I have read it before and had been trying to recall what it was. It is so very true though the trick is finding the right balance of them all

    • Even as our friendships go through seasons, we probably go through them too in our needs and wants for companionship. I’m feeling it more now, but I wasn’t a little while back. I never used to feel comfortable reaching out, now I am willing to try whatever the response. I’m sure our needs will change as we get older too, as our kids get older.

  14. This is a lovely post Veronica. I have written several posts too about appreciating moments of solitude and having time out from the family and reclaiming my identity again and enjoying real friendships. I do find though, whenever I do find some time to get away, my heart and thoughts are normally still back home…isn’t that always the way?

    • Thanks, Kirsty. It’s nice to feel the “master of our own domain”, as you mention in your post. and not feel pulled every which way, totally out of control. I like the quiet aspect too. That’s why I guess I like the night. Bring out on my own shopping (which I almost never do) has it’s own attraction but it’s still busy, and noisy and people are around. Sometimes in the alone time in the evening that is the most calming and refreshing. And my cherubs are nearby so I can let go of worrying or thinking about them just for a little while.

  15. I so get this Veronica. I long for solitude and I long for company. But the right kind of company. Company that gives energy rather than saps it. I am so looking forward to meeting blogging buddies IRL.

    • You make a great point, Lee, about the type of companionship we need. I agree we need inspiring and uplifting contact. Thankfully, when I do see my friends, which is sadly so seldom, it usually is uplifting.

      I hope we can meet sometime IRL too. That’d be real nice.

  16. Thanks for the mention, Veronica, it was lovely to meet you, too. I hope we can catch up again soon. And now I know what IRL means!

    Your observations on friendship are very insightful. In fact, I hadn’t thought of myself as ‘lonely’ but now that you mentioned it, yes, that is one of the reasons I blog. My best friends are far away, same as yours.

    And I miss solitude, too, maybe even more than my friends. That’s why I never get enough sleep. Yes, I could go to bed earlier and feel more rested on the next day, but that would mean giving up on the only time I have to myself.

    • You’re welcome re the mention.

      Friendship, companionship, solitude, loneliness……we can be a confusing lot at times. I can feel both sides of the equation at the same time! I think a lot of us mother’s have sleep deprivation for two reasons and staying awake for “me-time” seems to be a big one based on all the comments. It’s a hard balance to find because when I’m really tired and exhausted, I’m so impatient too. I just have to make sure if I do stay up that I have to be responsible for being extra patient with everyone. Not always easy with kids hanging off your legs, spilt milk (literally), confusing about appointments with hubby, etc. But we do what we can and our best. 🙂

  17. Pingback: Role Modelling Friendships « Mixed Gems

  18. So love that you were able to meet some bloggers in real life and I love to be able to connect in that way. Great post and as mother to many cherubs I crave for moments when I can get some time out to myself some days. I love the quiet late at night and often stay up a little later just to have some time to myself. I know you get what I am saying! N x

    • Thanks, Naomi. I can only imagine your need for time out sometimes with so many cherubs. Nate nights seem to be a common remedy to our need for solitude. We just all need a complementary remedy for sleep-deprivation that doesn’t eat into that alone time!

  19. Pingback: Disappointed by people « Mixed Gems

  20. Pingback: Friendship: Learning to let go « Mixed Gems

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s