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.
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,