Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Managing the Mommy Guilt

Hi beautiful readers!

As I sat down to pour some of my thoughts into my blog space I realised that this will be my first post of 2020 (or 20PLENTY as it's been dubbed). And it's taken me more than a week to finalise just this one post!
Indeed this year is just over a month old and it already feels like I have had several months of 2020 ☺️
Upon my return from our annual break, I was back in office the very next day (6 January) and it's literally been only a month and here I am, already feeling the need for another break. This past month I have been really busy with work and getting my Women's Tour sorted for next month. I was so focused that I completely forgot that my youngest still needed supplies for school. I found myself in a comfort zone, where my older sons still had an entire month before they started Uni. Until it hit me that Ihsaan needed school shoes, stationery (and because I travelled the last few weeks of school, I didn't organise it last year) and some uniform items. I was then one of those braving the shops on the last minute, two days before school getting things together.

I'm usually very organised and manage the home, work and kids relatively well; so you can imagine the self-berating that took place to find myself in this position. I had to accept the fact that sometimes things fall through the cracks and that it's actually ok, and whilst I've made huge strides in managing mommy guilt, it still creeps up occasionally. This was one of those times it snuck up on me; and because I've been so busy with work since our return from holiday, it was just amplified. To make it worse, two weeks into the school term, and still battling to get his textbooks sorted, Ihsaan met with an accident and suffered a really bad injury 😢Pile on the mommy guilt. And it just increased with other occurrences with my other two young men. More mommy guilt...

I eventually reached the point where I had to pull myself back, reflect and be realistic. And the reality of the 12 months, which involved extensive traveling, long workdays and work weeks that lasted months, hit me full force. My default mode is to power through, take care of everyone and the home, as if my work load had not quadrupled, with ease and a smile. I know this about myself, I usually know how to manage when I go into default mode... and somehow I missed the moment when automated mode kicked in this time around. It usually means that at some point I crash, my body sends me signals and I burn out... I managed to heed the warning signs along the way, and would take some time to nurture myself, but soon after I'd just fall back into default mode. 

Only this past week did it dawn on me that I was in my usual cycle, with mommy guilt as my fuel. I had to critically look at how I prioritise time, and make a conscious decision to get back on track on a sustainable basis. ie not only nurture when things get too much, but try and maintain it on a regular basis to avoid the signs of burnout. I realise my trigger is the mommy guilt, or the guilt when I'm too tired to cook, or when I cannot muster up the energy to have a conversation with my boys. I realised this when I finally found the presence of mind to excuse myself for a few hours from the busyness of my life;  and reset myself at the beach... Alone ... Listening to my music and watching the crashing waves... I sat there  and consciously disconnected from work, from the kids, from all the responsibilities and duties and just immersed myself in nature. Those few hours were sorely needed, and as I drove home, I felt lighter and more centred. 

I don't think I've found the magic formula for managing the mommy guilt, nor have I figured out how to avoid it; but I do know how to identify when I've gone way off track. This mommy guilt is a self induced punishment brought upon by my own impossibly high standards and expectations I have for myself ... ie I am very aware that these expectations have been set up by ME. I've also been reminded that when I decide to take a time out, the world goes on and the 'kids' manage themselves. And hubby understands, no explanations necessary. So in this year of plenty, I intend to make plenty of time for check outs. I used to schedule these in my diary, and see now that in my busyness this practice got lost along the way... So here's to taking charge of the mommy guilt and the diary!

How do you manage the mommy guilt?

This look is a typical mommy on check out, I was actually having a really hectic work day (on a weekend) when we shot this. I then decided to shelf the work, go for some coffee and then snap some pics... All pieces are old favourites, as I haven't even had the time to shop either.
I guess classics will have to do 😊
PS: the bag is the only new purchase from one of my trips last year.

Outfit Details:
Old Sequin Parka (Coast & Koi)
Old tired top
A Sense of Style Skirt
Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers
Kate Spade slingbag
Black Pearl Earrings from Pleasures 

Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo

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Saturday, 28 December 2019

Wrapping up this Decade

Hi beauties!

As this decade draws to a close, I find myself not only reflecting on this year and what has transpired, but also on what this past decade has brought. And boy, it has been an eventful one, filled with so much unexpected blessings and achievements, most of them not really planned in the traditional sense.

There have been so many areas of growth, expansion, change, and loads and loads of learning. At the start of the last century, my life was on a different course, I was still working feverishly in finance. I was mom to 3 young boys, juggling the crazy extra curricular driving with work, and being a home maker. I barely slept, I was constantly ON, studying part time and just about making time for my gym sessions. Whilst I was not really unhappy, I do remember my health taking a downward turn, my only kidney taking strain, as well as other major health issues popping up. It was clear that something needed to change; and yet it still took me a long time to come to terms with this and take the step toward the change.

During this last decade I started my blog journey (2012), left the corporate space (2013/2014), embarked on the entrepreneur path (2014), to mention a few of the life changing events. My professional journey has evolved so much in the past 10 years, which has transformed many times; into variations based on where I was at the time, what I've learnt and where my path has led me. At the close of the decade, I now find myself the office daily, working more than I did 10 years ago; however, with a distinct change ... I am now focused on growing our own businesses, engaging my passion for serving my fellow human, coaching, mentoring businesses and my continuous search for knowledge and seeing the world; and sharing this with others.

When I look at my 3 boys, who were all under the age of 11 at the start of the decade, I acknowledge that this has been one of the most rewarding area of growth and learning for me. I have had to learn to parent impressionable teens, nurturing them into young adults, being mindful of their individual personalities and characters. These young men have brought me such profound learnings, they have shown me how to look at myself critically and taught me what modelled behaviour should look like.  They have guided me on how to engage with them from a place of compassion, understanding and empathy while at the same time maintaining my parental responsibilities. This balance was the hardest thing to learn!

My personal path during these past 10 years has been nothing short of phenomenal, I have engaged and dealt with my childhood trauma with courage and grace. My past hurts are no longer regarded as millstones around my neck, and instead I am thankful for those tough times as they have shaped me into the individual I am today. There were scary moments of facing things which had been buried for years, but bringing them to light was so liberating and healing. All my inner work has enabled me to parent with awareness of my own weaknesses and when they creep into situations, I have learned how to manage my triggers and deal with my demons in my own way. 
We were immensely blessed to have received our invitation for pilgrimage (almost 3 years ago), a truly life changing event which literally fast tracked my own inner work. It put my entire life into perspective and shed light on my purpose on this earth. It taught me that my faith and the Divine is all I need to navigate my path. 

I have grown so much as an individual, my circle has diminished as I focused more and more on my own internal work and I have grown to understand human nature holistically. The biggest learning during these past 10 years has been to understand that forgiveness sets me free as much as it does the forgiven. That I am not qualified to determine who should or should not be forgiven, I am completely clear that my only focus should be on being the best I can be. It does not matter what anyone else says, does, or thinks as I cannot influence or change anyone else, I can only manage myself and my own actions; afterall I am accountable only for myself and those whom I have been tasked with the responsibility of nurturing and teaching.

This year hubby and I celebrated our 24th anniversary, and even the very foundation of our mariage has shifted during this last decade. Whilst we were both on our individual paths, focusing respectively on our own inner work; it has fostered appreciation, understanding and a stronger bond has been forged through our shared trials and tribulations. During my times of grappling with hurt, I found solace in my soul mate, and when faced with impossible situations, he supported me unconditionally. 🙏🏼

I am therefore heading into the next decade fully equipped to live to the best of my ability, to continue to seek knowledge, to be fully aware of my impact on the world and others, and to take responsibility for myself and my actions as I walk along my Decreed path. There have been so many firsts in this past 10 years, too many to list, and I remain eternally thankful to my Creator for all that I have been blessed with, for all that I have seen and experienced and for all the lessons which have strengthened me in so many ways, Algamdulilah. ♥️

Pics below are from my very first international birthday trip, as we usually only travel in December so that we can take the kids with us. This year we decided to break tradition and do a trip mid year, without the boys. And even though we had some work commitments, there was obviously time for holidaying as well!
Due to the heat in Dubai, I mostly wore silk dresses (like this one), light skirts and linen fabrics...

Wishing all of you a wonderful and prosperous 2020!

 Outfit details:
Boldtique dress
Old Scarf
Birkenstocks Sandals
Desigual Backpack
Old Earrings

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Saturday, 2 November 2019

Coming to terms with the entirety of myself...

Hey lovelies!

I found my way back and it feels good to be back after a while away! This post has literally been in drafts for over 2 weeks 🤦🏻‍♀️
I've been saying for a while that 2019 has really been challenging on many fronts and my time availability has really been limited. However, it was also filled with most amazing milestones, moments of joy and blessings Algamdulilah.

This year has presented many instances where I needed to do introspection, I had to learn how to manage myself in a range of trying situations, from work to family and social engagements. There are many things I have learnt about myself, some good and some hard to swallow, but at the crux of it, I have had to come to terms with the entirety of myself. And accept that my make up is that I have been Divinely created in a specific way for a particular purpose.

Through the course my life I have weathered a pretty tumultuous and difficult childhood, one I do not talk about often; because on the whole I have made peace with the fact that my life has been decreed this way. As tough as it may have been, it has ultimately shaped me into the person that I am today. I have sat with those who have caused me anguish during my childhood years, given pardon and made a conscious decision that my traumas will not trip me up. The impact that this approach has had on my life has been expansive to say the least, there is very little which I carry in my heart and I am aware of what triggers old wounds and behaviour patterns. I am constantly vigilant of living up to my best potential in my mission to serve my Creator. 

Hubby said to me the other day, that my life is very much a reflection of who I am; and that I am capable of moving from one rollercoaster (literally and figuratively) to the next without batting an eyelash. And if I just consider my life from as early on as I can remember, it has most certainly been one rollercoaster after the other, and over 30 years later it has not changed much. However, what has changed significantly is the way I deal with struggles, the way I place my Creator first which then activates the intention to take care of myself. I am clear that this has been my decreed path and lamenting my fate every time I am faced with an obstacle is not an option. So while there have been many instances of life kicking me in the teeth, I have always dusted myself off, wiped the blood off and barged straight ahead. I take my learnings, integrate what I need to, and gracefully thank the Almighty for the opportunity to move forward (again). 

So while it may look like I always have it all together, know that I too have had some serious life knocks, in fact I still have them, but I pull myself together and supplicate to my Creator for guidance. This methodology helps me maintain my equilibrium when life gets hectic, and gives me the stamina to forge ahead.

So when you feel like the odds are always stacked against you, know that you cannot change others, or the situation. You can only change your approach and the way you deal with these hurdles, if you reflect on your own part in things, you will experience a fundamental shift in your inner peace.

This dress was one I've been wanting to share with you for a while, it was such a lovely bespoke dress, which A Sense of Style put together for me in a matter of days. Aaliah is one of those beacons of light who makes me smile and laugh out loud just by being in her company. Get in touch with her to order your bespoke dress, or follow her Instagram account to see what her current range looks like. 

“Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.”

Outfit details:

Dress by A Sense of Style
Scarf by RifWrapped
Ted Baker Heels
Forever New embellished bag
Earrings gifted

Caio for now, 
RuBe XoXo

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Saturday, 14 September 2019

My first-born turns 21

Hi lovelies, 

My regular readers would know that I've been swamped and hence my posts have been few and far between this year. It's unbelievable the pace at which things have been going this year, and everything I have been involved in has meant very little time for my blog. 

But, there is no other time like the 21st birthday of my first-born to force me to sit down, and take a moment to pay tribute to this milestone, for both him and us as parents.
It's really not a walk in the park, parenting in today's society, and yet it is most rewarding and fulfilling. It is one of the most important gifts and responsibilities which has been Divinely bestowed upon me. And with these past two weeks being fraught with emotion, critique and hate speech around gender based violence, I feel the responsibility weigh even heavier on my shoulders. To ensure that these young men, will model behaviour seen in the home, integrate it into who they are and take it into the world and their lives going forward. I pray each day that they are able to withstand the challenges that life throws at them with Grace, and with the consciousness of being respectful of ALL individuals at ALL times. And living the best version of themselves always ❤️

I became a parent at the tender age of 21, so my 42nd birthday was an extra special one, as Ziyaad wished me, he said "Happy 2nd 21st birthday Mom". It was an emotional time, where I was extremely nostalgic and as I reflected upon all the trials we weathered together as parents. I looked at our nuclear family and felt an immense sense of achievement; as any parent knows, having young adults in the home is extremely challenging and yet it has also enabled the greatest growth for me as an individual. Provided I am open to learning from these young men, open to listening to their viewpoints and acknowledging that the world has changed from what I know. 

When we discussed celebrating this young man, we debated so many options for his birthday, and we settled on no big bash and just a trip with mom (since our birthdays are literally 3 days apart). And as the time drew near for our trip, his campus schedule was so full, he was unable to get away, so it then quickly turned into a last minute dash to put together a birthday celebration. And from there, all my attention was focused on planning his party with very little time for his tribute. 

So Ziyaad, this is for you:

As you enter the next phase of your life, 
May you always remain steadfast
In your unwavering quest to be yourself.
I pray that your life is filled with more moments
to treasure than those which create angst.
You are an example to all of being fearlessly authentic,
Walking your path in your way, 
Regardless of the pressures of society. 
Hold your head high as you traverse this world, 
Always confident and crystal in your vision.

You are about to enter the world as an adult, 
Please remember to keep the fire of that young kid alive, 
Never allow the trials of life to dictate your orientation,
Stay the course as you find your way, follow your passion,
And live your purpose. 
You have shown me what courage means, 
you have taught me the strength of LOVE, 
And above all,
You have shared your heart, your gentleness and joy with us,
For this we are eternally grateful,
Keep shining my son.
And we'll always be here to recharge those batteries ♥️

Some pics of our celebration of this young man:

Baby brother saying a few words

Younger brother paying his tribute

Dad representing me as well (I was wayyy to emotional to talk)

24 years married and boy we've weathered a lot!

Putting the finishing touches to his speech

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