Mothers feel conflicted: they want nothing, they want it all

When Annie Ridout’s poem ‘what I want’ went viral, she realised it’s because it’s not just her feeling conflicted; it’s all mothers…

A couple of months ago, I wrote a poem/passage while walking home from dropping my kids at school.

I dictated it into my phone, the Notes section, then fiddled with a few bits before screen-shotting it and uploading it to Instagram.

It was such a simple post but something about the words resonated and it went massively viral.

I spent some time trying to work out why thousands of women were sharing it (including Paloma Faith and Busy Philipps).

And realised, it’s because so many of us mothers feel conflicted.

We want our kids, and we want to be with them all the time, but also to have a life outside of motherhood.

And we feel guilt, for wanting that, but there’s a strong longing for something more creative.

Basically, society heaps the pressure on us to be ‘all the things’ –

– mother, partner, earning money, cleaning the house, attentive friend/ daughter/ sister/ neighbour.

And it’s too much.

It means that by the time we get to ourselves (bottom of the priority list), the day is over.

And what have we done that isn’t for someone else; that makes us feel good?

Often, nothing.

So I’m finding ways to carve out time for writing and drawing.

Rest, too.

And I’d invite you to do the same.

Move yourself up that list, because you deserve it.

If you like the words of that poem, and would like a copy, I have some prints and poetry books for sale here