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16 October 2014

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Where did ME go?

By Marsha O'Mahony
March 2004, Welsh Newton Common
A digital story from Capture Wales

In Search of Some Me Time

Marsha, a mother of two children, finds it impossible to find some time for herself.

"These are my lovely children, and this is me. But sometimes I want to be just this - me.

It's morning time and I must make breakfast, wash, play and dance around the kitchen. Polly wants her face painted and it's only 7.30. In the car; answering questions; "Why is poo brown?"

Home again. Must do the washing-up; empty the washing machine; hang the clothes out; stuff ironing - I'm not sure if I've got enough energy for another game of dinosaurs. But I will.

More questions: "Would I have a willy when I grow up Mum?" asks Polly. Make lunch and paint pictures; water goes everywhere - one more job to do.

They're playing. I've slipped away, this is my chance for 'me' time. It doesn't last for long.

Polly sits on the draining-board and Jo hangs onto my leg as I stir the sauce; open the fridge; answer the telephone and pour the juice. My hair hasn't seen a brush since yesterday. They're both feeling 'juicy' and want a drink, and the magic word: "NOW!"

Tea-time already. Tears and shouts - must be snakes and ladders again. The sauce - I'm informed - looks disgusting and I haven't had much me-time today and then yesterday or the day before... and I'm so tired.

Suddenly from the heart I shout, "Don't you kids know I could have been someone. I really could have been someone!"

Polly carries on sucking her thumb and Jo plunges his hand with delight into the pasta... and I smile.

I never lost me. I've been here all along.

They're in bed now, cuddly and clean. They're lovely kids and I'm lucky-me."

Marsha O'Mahony

Please tell us about yourself.
I am married with two children. After a period of non-activity and now the children are older - I am forging a career in writing and research. This year I am determined to finish my novel and run a half-marathon. Life is good.

What's your story about?
Me! It's based on an isolated incident when my children were very young, that seemed to encapsulate many of the frustrations of being a 'stay-at-home' mum. I wanted to show that there was more to me than just a mum; how ultimately I adore my children and my time will indeed come again.

What did you find the most rewarding about the workshop?
There was not one single factor, more of a combination - the whole process of storytelling; camaraderie forced me to dig deep; friendships; learning a new skill and meeting some wonderful people.

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