Do you know what I am doing next week? Nothing! Yes, you heard me right. I am giving myself “leave”. No deadlines, no stress, a massage, coffees, lunches, reading, working on my own little projects – ME time.
I realised on Monday that I have not been physically alone for more than 2 hours since the day I got married… To elaborate, we got married on 3 May 2013 on our 7 year anniversary and went on the best honeymoon ever – travelling together in the USA from the 5th – 27th May.
I went flying back into an incredibly hectic work month on the 3 June, surrounded by amazing stressed people, working insane hours only to stumble home beyond exhausted and incredibly short-tempered and moody to my poor brand new husband.
On 17 June 2013, I was feeling weird at work – exhausted, the worst heartburn of my life, joint pain and generally awful, and I just had this feeling that wouldn’t go away. At 14h45 I dashed down to the Spar (which was in the complex I worked in) and sneakily bought a pregnancy test. I was sure I was being silly, but that heartburn was just “wrong”. So I snuck into the loo at work and exactly 3pm I got my first positive pregnancy result.
I called Brett and told him to buy many many more tests and we chatted all day, freaking out but excited as well. I can’t believe I did my first test in an office toilet and then had to work on some major crisis management and only got to leave work well after 6pm. Rushed home, did 2 more tests and Brett and I got into my car and I drove to my parents in Lakeside from Kenilworth with my handbrake on – the first indicator of porridge brain – to tell them. We went for a blood test the next morning, and discovered we were 4 weeks pregnant with our honeymoon baby.
Anyway, the point is that from the second I found out I was pregnant, I was no longer alone. There was somebody else who always came first, who was always with me, always front of mind. Every breath I took, everything I ate, every move I made, was all for the little heartbeat under mine.
And I have never been away from Charly by myself for more than 2 hours since she took her first breath. On the very rare occasion where she has slept for 3 hours or a little longer, I have been right there next to her. And Brett and I have had a few date days where we have been gone for around 3 and a half hours, but that is still not “me” time.
Even though my mom is here 4 days a week to help with Charly, I haven’t felt like I could relax and do nothing. I feel like I have to optimise that time; working on clients, building the blog, doing research, and when I haven’t had a looming deadline, I spend that time with my mom and Charly; because they are right there, how can I just lie around and do nothing?? The mommy guilt would kill me; with a dash of daughter guilt thrown in there.
Well, after last week, I have been given strict instructions that I have to do just that. Nothing. I have to nap for a few hours and give my body the rest it needs. I have to leave the house so that I am not tempted to just check in on Charly or help my mom prepare lunch or just do a little extra research for that client article that I need to write in July. I can write for the blog, but only things that don’t have a direct deadline attached to it; things that bring me joy and inspiration.
This has meant that I have pushed myself hard this week; wrapping up client work for the month, and working on all the set content for the blog and my guest posts elsewhere, so that I don’t have to get myself tied in knots knowing that there is something else I should be doing.
So first thing Monday morning, I will be heading down to Angsana Spa at the Vineyard for a 90 minute full body massage (which will probably end up being a 90 minute nap). And I have ideas of what to do the rest of the week, but no “set” plans, because otherwise they once again become deadlines for me and the stress cycle starts all over again.
I will likely still be popping up on social media, and responding to mails and comments, because not doing that will cause me massive anxiety. I can’t just “ignore” people, it is my absolute worst. And the thought of unread emails just piling up in my mailboxes literally gives me hives. But I might take a little longer to respond, because I want to try to go “offline” every day for at least a few hours; so please be patient and know that I have NOT forgotten you and I WILL get back to you.
Sending ALL the love xx