Boring: one that is wearingly dull, repetitive or tedious
When my boys were younger, I practically banned the word “bored” from our house. I think that when someone – particularly children – shouts out an “I’m bored!”, they are inadvertently admitting to be mentally lazy and to possess a sense of entitlement, as if it is someone else’s duty to entertain them. I have always told my kids that they are ingenious and resourceful enough to find distractions or employment for their time on their own. So, to be congruent with my own opinions, I should never feel bored, because I should always be able to occupy my time with something, be it fun or productive.
My time is occupied. That is true about my life even now, as the job of mothering is being phased out: I am still busy with chores, still full of responsibilities, and I do try to have plenty of exercise and fun. Yet, I did unexpectedly tell my friend that I was bored, and our unconscious doesn’t lie.
So the boredom I am feeling must be of a different kind, on a different level. It is not about business.
It is about purpose.
Am I bored?
Like my friend at the market, I have been a stay at home mom for the last 18 years, when my first son was born. I have always wanted to be a full time mother, and feel very lucky that I was able to do that. Being a parent is a challenging job, that demands utmost flexibility and adaptability. The role of a parent changes constantly as children grow, but never as dramatically as when the children approach adulthood. As much as we knew that from the start, though, parents often get caught by surprise when it actually happens. We never seem to be ready for that change in our job description that must occur when our children are ready for us to let them go. Their new developed autonomy and self-reliance force us into retirement from the role of CEO into that of their advisor or counselor.
That is actually a natural and positive change, one that we as parents should feel proud of because it shows that we did our job well preparing our children to be independent people. But perhaps because 18 years is not quite enough time to let go of that overwhelming protective instinct we instantly developed when we held them in our arms the very first time, this transition is seldom an easy one.
Suddenly our kids are grown and we have more time in our hands. We no longer need to frantically run around every day, with each moment of each day filled with children related chores. Our new and very challenging responsibilities of parenting adolescents and young adults are stressful and often emotionally draining, and they occupy our minds constantly, but take less time off our day. True.
So we have more time. Free time. So we are bored. Is that how it works?