The Secret Map of Motherhood

Map of EuropeSome days I am not big enough for this. This unexpected battleground of “Please will you…” and “Eat this…” and “Where is my?” and “Don’t forget to…” and all before 8am.

Some mornings, I plan the whole route in my head; the Overland train to West Hampstead, West Hampstead to St Pancras, then the Eurostar to the solar plexus of Europe, Paris. From there, anywhere. Within hours I could be curled up in the boot of Italy or reading by a fire in a log cabin that overlooks a freshwater lake or dipping my white toes in the Black Sea, salt on my lips. Because some days, that is where motherhood sends me; to a hidden corner of an imaginary map of freedom I hold in my head like the teenage heart holds a kiss.

Some mornings, I plot my escape all the way back from school to my front door. But with each step, the colours of my Ordnance Survey drain away like anaesthesia. I pass a canopy of spider’s webs strung from window sill to boundary wall, a patchwork of flattened paper cups, spittle and shit, and then I am home again. What keeps me coming back to be the punch bag of my daughter’s growing. Is it duty? Is it love? Sometimes, on days when I am not big enough, I am not sure; but I always do, and I always will.

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20 thoughts on “The Secret Map of Motherhood

  1. Motherhood certainly is for life isn’t it. Some days that can certainly be overwhelming. Love your insight Sara. Thanks xxx

  2. they say “old age is not for sissys!” and I can say with some certainty (even though I am not a mom!) that neither is motherhood! Love your posts Sara! Will be happy to have a book of your stories one day! OXO

  3. Can I be a real brown noser? I kinda got a crush on your writing. You captured so evocatively the many times I’ve wanted (but could never ever) to just pack my bags and walk out the door. Unconditional love is bloody hard work! X.

  4. Very honest post and incredibly well written. I think there are more people than you will ever realise, who feel exactly the same – I am one of them.

  5. A beautifully written, thought provoking post Sara – one of your best, undoubtedly. I’ve thought of planning an escape route – am going to do that from now on. Particularly love the boot of Italy – see you there for an Espresso some mornings! 😉

  6. Oh how true your words are. I could have written it myself, if I had an ounce of your talent of course x

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