You may remember how, in all my winter excitement, I convinced my parents to join us on our summer holidays this year. In January began our hunt for a relaxing retreat away on a secluded but beautiful spot of Ireland. Low and behold a Wexford self catering house awaited us in Kilmore Quay. It may be weeks away, but I’m already thinking about what to pack. In my head we’re going to the Algarve and expecting 25° heat. The holiday essential list is long. Getting longer by the minute when I add in the favourite toys and books which can not be forgotten alongside the mountains of clothes which need to be brought. As you can see, I’ve mostly been thinking about what the kids need but there are a few more holiday essentials we all end up forgetting.
It doesn’t seem like I hang around my own blog too much anymore but trust me it’s always on my mind. I’ve been one of these buzzy bees or more like an annoying blue bottle bouncing off the walls and windows, trying desperately to find a way out to that fresh air. I can not sit still. My mind is constantly on the go between the kids, the house and my writing. Seven months into freelancing and I’ve discovered a pertinent truth to this career. I need a damn diary. Preferably one with an automatic entry from my brain. Oh yes, I need a telepathic diary.
Papa Bear and I have been watching our fair share of Netflix lately in between bouts of my freelance work. I find with freelancing that I have to schedule nights off for my brain to take a break. Netflix has surprised us quite a lot lately and there are some pretty witty, clever and downright amazing hidden gems mixed in amongst the new Netflix Originals. Here’s what has caught our attention lately.
Are we ever truly ready to have kids? Like really, really ready? Mentally, that is. Are we mentally prepared for the noise, the chaos the lack of time, the constant worrying about money and how we’ll get the first kid through college, let alone the rest? When do we know we’re ready to become a parent? Is there a moment when life just hits you? Like a flashof lightening that sparks the realisation in you. Do we wake up one morning and think ‘I’m ready for this’ or is that our biological clock kicking us in the rear end? Is it something we think we’re ready for, only to then worry whether we actually are ready when it’s too late and baby is cooking nicely in the oven?
How many times, as Momma Bear, as Papa Bear have you put your needs to the side? Dropped your needs over by the “side board of lost intentions” only to be remembered as you fall into bed, or as you sit on the loo with an audience complaining about being hungry, bored, tired or sore. How many times have you thought, yep I feel hungry, bored, tired and sore too, only for the thought to quickly evaporate as their needs outweigh yours? I wrote an article recently for the Irish Examiner about being an introverted mother and since writing this feature, I’ve relaxed a bit more and allow myself those five, ten, fifteen minutes – if I can get it – to regroup, refocus, to be still and recover from the never-ending exhaustion of a day with kids.
I always say life has a funny way of throwing you a curveball. Whether you can hit that ball out of the ballpark or not is really the issue. Last Friday a curveball came in the size of a Lexus as it swerved onto my side of the road and collided with my car, sending us spinning with the gas and smoke from the airbags suffocating us.
I’ve spouted the term mindfulness about throughout my posts recently without really telling you what it is or how to concentrate on it. I’m obviously no expert having only come across the term less than a year ago but I’ve found it be the best thing, or rather, concept if you will, that has eased me back into real life without panic or stress. Being a Momma Bear who is also a Working Bear has had some pretty hefty challenges which could have easily knocked me downwards if I let it. But mindfulness has kept me focused in a way that calms my mind to the storm that often swells up around me.
I’ve had some incredibly mixed emotions lately. Little Bean is almost one and I can’t help but think back over the year it’s been. It’s been good but it’s also been bad. And those bad days are standing out more. But I am ending today focusing on Little Bean and her big sister because while the year has been a challenge, guess what, we got through it.
The last time I stepped foot inside a gym for an exercise class was when my first nephew was six months old. His mum corralled me into joining Tae-Bo so she could whip back into her pre-pregnancy shape. What resulted was some hilarious nights, incredible sweats and tests to our pelvic floor, hers and mine – and I was childless at the time. My nephew turns thirteen next month. From his babydays to his now teenage years, I have forgone any exercise that required lycra or appropriate footwear. Time to get my ass into gear – literally and figuratively.