"One piece of advice I wish someone told me in the beginning was to ask for help! When I first became a mom, it was really important to me to be with them 24/7. I'm glad that I was there so much when they were babies, but at some point I started to go a little batty. It's really important to nurture yourself as an individual and not forget who you were before you had kids."
Hannah Henderson - The Glow
Last night, after a long and much needed skype date with my best friend (who lives on the other side of the planet) I broke down in a sobbing heap. She was telling me how her mother looks after her daughter twice a week and her family often help out too, and all the while I was pushing back a lump in my throat. It struck me how exhausted I was, how desperate I was for some 'me' time. On occasion I do get a couple of hours to myself when Nic has a day off, but then I find myself aimlessly wandering around town and not knowing what to do. In the end I come home feeling more unfullfilled (and broke) than ever. Poor me, poor poor me I whimper and sob to myself rather pathetically. Clearly I've been throwing more pity parties than I realised, because last night Nic (after a hug and a pat on the back) told me quite sternly that it was up to me to figure out what I wanted and together we'd make it happen. Well that pretty much shut me right up and at 5am this morning I was wide awake with my mind whirring.
After a chat to other friends I discovered that there is nothing unique about my situation. It seems that as mothers we're torn no matter which direction we turn in. Full time working mothers feel guilt about not spending enough time with their children, part time working mothers struggle to re-adjust between work and childcare during the week, and full time stay at home mothers often (lets be honest) teeter on the brink of sanity and are desperate for adult conversation by the end of a long week. As a mother/ parent you pour so much of yourself into your children that it's easy to lose your sense of self. It has taken me until now to realise the importance of nurturing your own needs as well. Being an all sacrificing martyr really doesn't seem to do anybody in the family much good. If you're constantly stressed and agitated then it rubs off on everybody else (or that's certainly the way it is with us) and that's no way to live.
In the future I dream of opening my own shop, writing part time and somehow still being home for my kids when they finish school. In the mean time though I'm really going to try throw myself into some projects and use this blog as my creative outlet. To escape to a cafe for a couple of hours, enjoy a piece of cake and work on this blog as though it were a small extention of myself sounds like good medicine to me. Oh and let's throw a weekly yoga session in there for good measure too. We'll see how things go.