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  • Writer's pictureJessica Urlichs

The Years of Being

I’m forever caught between doing and being.

The need to ‘do’ is like an invisible vacuum that sits a few feet away.

I love being a mother.

I hate the guilt.

I wasn’t prepared for how often I would sit inside my head like a paperweight, desperate to think out a full thought, escape in there, a little maybe.

But there’s someone always needing.

Something to be done.

Something being undone.

Thoughts sliced in half like the pockets of our days where we race around chasing our tails. And so being becomes a cumbersome challenge, one always just beyond our grasp.

I could name more than a few times I’ve been asked to play, and truthfully I could have. But I didn’t, I felt the need to clean the fridge instead.

Or I’ve picked up my phone.

Or I’ve welcomed a drive because it felt like a break.

There have been days I’ve opened up social media and thought, I should be exercising, cleaning, planning, sorting, doing, because that’s all I’ve seen.

And I’m exhausted before I’ve done anything.

These days are hard, there’s a strange push and pull between productivity and slowing down. Of realising you don’t need to have achieved something first in order to rest in the moment.

I looked at my 6 month old the other day, she was born with so much thick dark hair which is now a light dusting. I don’t really know when that shift happened, it’s all so gradual and all so fleeting.

I am mesmerised by these children of mine, I want to see it all, and I also want to sleep for a week.

Maybe instead of ‘enjoy every minute’ we should be told, ‘you are enough’.

Maybe these are the years of being.

Maybe the less we always try to do, the more we can be with ourselves too.

I’ve often heard people tell me that these are the good days.. “and if only I knew that then”.

Shop the early motherhood poetry & prose collection here

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