Wednesday, March 21, 2007


All my usual commenters have gone a bit quiet. Did I scare you all away with my post about butterflies eating rotting meat and dung?

I had another alternative universe day, working in the office doing an honest day's work (well reading manuscripts and bugging a very busy Elise with over-enthusiastic, I'm out in the world without my children fueled conversation, which is about the closest thing I get to being high these days.) Read a couple of great possible buy-ins (novels published overseas that might be published here), each of them reworking an old story - one vampires and the other fairies. Really original and funny stuff.

Yesterday after uni, I walked through Carlton and Fitzroy to Brunswick St to catch a tram (for those of you who don't know Melbourne, Brunswick St in Fitzroy is where the young and so-groovy-they-might-injure-themselves go to eat and be seen to be seen) and I found myself hankering for day's gone past. Not just the spontaneity of being able to go out after 7pm without it feeling like an ordeal, but also the peer group readily on hand, lots of similarly spontaneous people able to meet us out for drinks or come round to watch a video or just hang out with. All this spare time ballooning around us all. I mean, I know we did degrees and worked and stuff, but still, there just seemed to be a lot of emptiness in all that. I miss it. I think I am only just starting to realise that we won't get that back for years, if at all and of course the new peer group will be entirely new. Don't get me wrong. I love having kids. I've made lots of interesting and some really close friends because of it, and there's something truly magical about those nights when the kids mill about on the lawn while you kick back with a glass of champers. But there's always a part of you wondering if you're going to pay for it later if the kids don't get to bed until 10. I miss being in the city and deciding at the last minute to stay out, see a film, go to a bar. I miss having the energy to do these things! It's not like Martin and I can't get a babysitter or that I couldn't do these things by myself. But it's always a juggle, always a plan. I miss 'no plans'. I miss the freewheeling.

Anyway, just a moan really. I always knew I was going to lose some of this stuff when I had babies. And as much as I love them, as amazing as they are, sometimes I have to mourn the things I gave up, the me I lost, when they entered my world. I wouldn't be being honest with myself if I didn't.


  1. Miss(Mrs/Ms) P, are you having an early midlife crisis? Should we break out the emergency Hormone Replacement patches already?

    (me, I'm up to the eyeballs in moving house (groan) and teething baby (double groan he's only 4 mths!)) that an editors worst nightmare Double brackets?!? Is is a sign of insanity like more than 2 exclaimation marks??!!!
    PPS... I think I am sleep deprived (there for I am??)and in a silly mood.

  2. Anonymous2:39 AM

    Yup..its been ten years for me and I still miss it..'all'

  3. Anonymous3:43 AM

    We're all off having a party in cyberspace... no, we're just being dull and overworked! And I don't even have children to 'blame' it on.

  4. Hell no, not a midlife crisis. I'm hanging out for midlife because that's when I might actually get some of my freedom back. Being a parent is worse than being a teenager in terms of being curtailed by family life.

  5. And flibberty, I was actually talking to someone else who doesn't have children and is heading towards my age and she said that the peer group dissolves anyway because everyone else shacks up and has babies and work gets more serious, so I know it's not just parents who need to moan. We're all socially deprived together.

    Sian, ten years. Sigh.

  6. "I always knew I was going to lose some of this stuff when I had babies."

    I said pretty much the same thing yesterday, but without the word "babies", and the addition of the words "agreed to write four books".

  7. Anonymous6:19 PM

    With #3 arriving soonish I'm realising I will again relinquish and commit my body, boobs, nights, bedspace, and every day to the demands of another new baby.

    As Master Z has been off my hands (along with Madam W) 3 days a week for a year now, there is a slight and growing panic about those lengthy early on feeds, explosive poos n spews, and that whole having to carry it around in capsules, prams and slings.

    I've only just mastered the art of the superflying weekly shop with 2 children (which I now have to stop as every time i push an effing trolley,my pelvis almost splits in half).

    How does one do 3 kids an a busted sideways trolley?

    How do I stop the older 2 force feeding new baby lego again? What does a mop look like?

    I'm feeling the yearn to have any more children fizzling out towards the end of this pregnancy. I am so tired and run down.

    I did go to the Candle Records farewell gig alone, not even a man beside me, and I am holding my tickets to see the ever attractive Dylan Moran gig in late April.

    I'd love 2 nights away by myself (no kids or snoring man) but might settle for some stolen movie moments mid week.

    i don't really miss what I had prior to kids (its not so miss-able), but I'd just gotten into a groove and have foolishly mucked with it.

  8. Remember, half the time when you are out in the city freewheelin', you're choking on other people's rank passive smoke and having to listen to other people's idiotic mobile phones and wondering how those young things can be bothered with the effort of looking oh-so-very-right-now-but-almost-so-ten-mintues-ago.
    The grass only looks green. It's actually kinda dry and crispy.
    Erm... think I lost control of my metaphor there!

  9. Anonymous10:28 PM

    I miss it too, Penni. At becoming a parent at this late age means that I'll be almost pension age before it returns. Sighs.

    It is lovely though and I wouldn't go back. Yet the responsibility of being the sensible one, the parent... yes indeed. Sighs again.

  10. When your kids are grown you'll be on the loose again but might feel funny sitting in Brunswick Street middle-aged. But then what do childless women do in middle-age?

    Young Women with kids should be admired.