Or rather, getting enough sleep and staying hydrated is pretty much the best any parent can hope to achieve. I have to admit, and I should be embarrassed as I say it, but my health is not at the top of my agenda. Since quitting my job and having two kids run rings around me, earning money and putting clothes on their bums is what keeps me going. So writing is my wealth but with that stupid attitude my health has taken a nose dive. Stress, anxiety, yada, yada, yada, we all know the drill. But to be good to my kids, I have to be good to myself.
A polite, intelligent and sobering letter to my Fricking Flamingo to please exit stage left immediately.
I remember when I was on maternity leave with Little Miss, I felt very out of the loop with colleagues and friends. I was taking the standard 26 weeks maternity leave, which in itself is an incredibly short time. I would be back to work in, what now feels like, an instant. But for those five or six months with little contact from colleagues, I felt very isolated from work and it was odd heading in on that first day back. There was a sense of unnerving questions despite being excited to get back into the fold. Was I missed? Have things changed much? Can I still cope with the workload? Now that I’m not going back at all, feeling out of the loop is an understatement. I feel kind of blurred, like a nomad, forced to find my own way and a new center. And being dependent on myself to provide that centre is even more daunting.
I think I’m classed as a millennial woman. A mid thirties, career minded woman with children in the mix who is trying to figure out how to have it all – if “have it all” really exists. I am the type of woman who has a partner, a mortgage and ideas in her head to climb all sorts of ladders. A woman whose ideas about herself, her life, her future, changed almost without her knowing but those ladders were still there. I was twenty one leaving college with a Bachelors Degree in the Arts. I jumped feet first into my career as a Librarian and continued with postgraduate studies in the evenings. I loved it. It was a plan, a path, an ideal I was working towards. And here I am twelve years later, abandoning that career I worked so hard for. It wasn’t always the plan to stay at home, but life has changed my options, and more importantly, my perspective.
November was a tough month, which is one of the reasons I’ve been somewhat quiet around here lately. Little Miss started us off with a whopper of a chest infection, followed by the flu which we’re all slowly getting over, Little Bean included, and finally she finished this bout of sickness with a vomiting bug. In all, A missed quite a bit of Preschool and desperately wanted to stay at home with Momma Bear, snuggled up in her PJs no matter the time of day. All of which is totally understandable but it’s made the days she has been able to go to Montessori somewhat difficult. Separation Anxiety has hit. Hit hard. There have been plenty of tears. Hers and mine.
I haven’t been a very good blogger lately for a number of reasons which I suppose I can, hopefully, be forgiven for. Firstly at 33 weeks pregnant… or is it 34? I’ve lost count!.. I’m exhausted and am finding it very difficult to stay up past 10pm most nights. Hell, 10pm! I’m doing quite well there. Secondly, I’m tired of complaining, so I imagine you’re tired of listening to me complain. Considering all I could think to write about was once again my hatred of pregnancy, I’ve refrained from writing a blog post until now. Thirdly, I was on doctors orders to relax more and give the blog a back seat, so blogging once a week has pretty much been my limit. I had intended on taking a break from writing completely this week and leave you all wondering where I was until B sent me an email that triggered a ton of emotions.
I’ve only recently noticed how much of a wuss I’ve become but I’ll be honest, I can actually trace my new fondness of wussiness back to that ever changing moment in my life. Yes, that moment. The moment a human being sprouted from my body and I became Momma Bear. I know this blog has its roots in becoming the new me through parenting but sheesh I didn’t think losing my nerve was one of those ‘new me’s.
It’s almost the end of January and I’ve been thinking about my New Year’s Resolution. Calling it a resolution and telling everyone about it, was my way of kicking myself in the rear end to get a move on and fulfill this dream that has lingered around me for almost a decade. Do it. Write it. Get to a stage where you can tell everyone you have a finished manuscript rather than the cute, normal line of I have two half written novels. Aren’t I adorable? Who hasn’t heard that one before? I think we all have a couple of half written novels somewhere, either sitting in a drawer (under the bed in my case), flung onto a hard drive that may or may not work these days or floating above the clouds in your head. I’ve longed to have my novel written and this is the year I’ve told myself I’m going to do. Nuff said! It’s happening! Boom! Make it so! Where does it sit now, you may ask. Has my word count doubled? Have my characters become my best friends or my worst nightmares? Have I done anything?
I have spoken before about my hope that I won’t pass on my insecurities to my daughter. I have realised that everything I do in life is for her. She deserves the best. She deserves to have a strong mother who will guide her and teach her to be a proud and strong woman. Last week, I attended the Women’s Inspire Networking Event in City North Hotel, Dublin, and witnessed a room of 250 strong and powerful women who are creating a path for themselves. A path they have longed for, dreamed about, and are adament that those dreams will come true. I felt the energy in the room and admittedly I soaked it up, revelling in the desire to be more, to be powerful and to be successful. However, there is one thing that is holding me back. One important thing, which I hope my daughter will have in abundance when she is carving her own path as an adult, Confidence.
Quite a surprising thing happened to me on Tuesday in the early afternoon. An email zipped into my inbox from the organisers of the Realex Web Awards, dropping the bombshell that I was a finalist in the awards. I have to say, I wasn’t expecting this in the slightest and thought that my days of attending award ceremonies were over and done with for this year. But nope, not just yet. The Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards, two weeks ago, was great fun. I anticipated it with excitement and, I’ll admit, slight anxiety since it was my first Blogger event and as a finalist no less. Papa Bear came along with me and we made a night of it, booking a hotel, revelling in the incredible acrobatics of the Circus and picking little miss up at 11am the next morning. This time, I wasn’t following the announcements for the Realex Web Awards and missed that I was a finalist. The Awards were thrown on me a day before the Ceremony. Yep, a day before! The event was last night, in Dublin’s Liberty Hall Theatre. Since it was all very last minute, juggling work, babysitters and life in general, I pretty much figured it was out of the question for me to attend. I had almost resigned myself to missing the night until Papa Bear encouraged me to go if I could get a date. A date? But of course, there was only one person to ask. I was absolutely delighted that my Mum was happy to be my arm candy for the night.