How boredom during the pandemic created the space that I needed to heal in my first few months postpartum.
I was never one for sitting around. If there was free time I would fill it. From leaping around in a rainbow onesie in morning raves through to stripping down to my birthday suit for body painting weekends, horse riding, marathon training and axe throwing. You name it I have probably tried it.
Then two things happened more or less simultaneously – I got pregnant and we entered a pandemic.
The pandemic threw us into effective isolation. There were still books to write, languages to learn and instruments to play. However there is only so much time you can spend alone in your mind, within the same four walls, without boredom beginning to start gnawing away at you.
Until that is, my pregnancy ended in the birth of my daughter.
What no-one ever really understands before becoming a parent is that babies are all consuming. Especially those first few sleepless months of cluster feeding, comforting them as they learn their own body and checking them every few minutes when they do fall asleep to make sure they are still breathing.
My mind was full.
Full of fears, memories of the birth, moments of pure love, waves of coming to terms with my changing identity and the overwhelming adoration of this little human in front of me.
It was exhausting, I was exhausted.
For the first time in my life I actually craved the space that during the pandemic, ‘pre-partum’ I would have called boredom. That cool, emptiness that is filled with nothing more than the momentum of your chest rising and falling.
When my husband would take our daughter or she would be sleeping I would often just turn the lights off, sit down in silence, stare at the wall and allow myself to just be. To be beautifully, simply, bored.
Boredom can be the space where we are driven insane by lack of momentum and novelty but it can also the space we need to heal, refuel and rebalance.
The pandemic created the space for me that I needed postpartum and will probably continue to crave throughout this crazy, wonderful journey that is parenting.