The week that was, was really really hard. Charly has started doing this awful hysterical crying thing when she wakes from her naps that scare me half to death; work just seemed to pile higher and higher no matter how much I worked, bills are competing with that work pile, and I am facing Christmas time in need of a break but unlikely to have one. In fact, with my mom not around, I kind of have the opposite of a break to look forward to. It isn’t like me to feel so despondent, but even working at home, I’ve still hit that not-quite-end-of-year slump.
So, Charly. Our beautiful clever funny independent force-of-nature child is just getting smarter and more gorgeous by the day. BUT. She has also fully embraced the meaning of the words “MINE” “WANTS” and “I NEEEEEEEEEDS it”, accompanied by the related throwing, grabbing, smacking, kicking and full blown throw down tantrums. And then this new terrifying thing. Basically, she wakes up after her nap, looks around and has a complete hysterical meltdown; crying as if her heart is breaking and she is in agony, clinging to me, freaking out if I move an inch or if anybody comes into the room to see if they can help, including Brett. And then it just stops completely as if it never happened. 3 days in a row, the first two lasted over an hour each, the third was with my mom and she seemed to recover much faster with her than she did with me. It was so very scary and overwhelming and traumatising. Wednesday she doubled down, pre nap with a 90 minute tantrum and post nap with 90 minutes of whatever the new thing is. It didn’t happen today, so I am desperately hoping it has passed now.
We visited her nursery school on Saturday past, and there was a moment I wondered if that may have somehow triggered this all. I was extremely anxious on the day, feeling awkward and out of place with everybody and looking around and seeing the life my baby is going to lead without me. Facing that so many of the things she learns and says and experiences from January onwards will be outside of us.
I think that comes from the awful arrogance of being able to be home with her every day since she was born. While there is no doubt in my mind that I work just as hard as anyone in an office job, no matter how busy I have been, I have never been away from her for more than a few hours and I have been able to stop whatever I have been doing to deal with every new development, every smile, every tear, every joke, every game, word, step, tooth, bump, bruise and graze. From January that will all change; she’s going to know things I don’t know, she is going to laugh at things I won’t be there to see, she is going to cry and I won’t be there to sweep her up and save her. That is all kinds of eating away at me.
She however was happy and excited, running around the playround between the rain bursts, colouring in and playing with playdough in her classroom, making a friend, and saying her pleases and thank you’s and goodbye’s on cue. She certainly didn’t seem upset or traumatised in any way.
And we went from there straight to the opening of a “party” to celebrate the new store for the lovely Leo & Lola brand, where there were balloons and popcorn and toys and she rearranged the shelves while they politely smiled, took photos of her and repacked everything subtly. For those who missed it on social media, I was completely enamoured with the store and everything in it, including the incredibly sweet owner Sam. If anyone wants to buy
me Charly unusual things, kids decor from this shop is the way to go. The pillows and blocks and fluffy animals had me desperately wanting to redecorate my Charly’s bedroom. If you are ever in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town and want to step into a peaceful classic boutique with beautiful things for kids, this is the place to go.
Work. So. Much. Work. Mondays and Thursdays have become my nemeses. I am pretty much on 100% Charly duty Sunday and Wednesday, daddy takes her to give me a break for an hour or two on the Sunday sometimes; but those days I can literally hear the work just piling up. And is it only me that suddenly gets full of inspiration the second I am away from a keyboard and can’t write or catch the ideas in any way? Also, Monday and Thursday I have deadlines across 3 of my businesses, one of which also grates at me because it is somebody taking advantage of my inability to let people down and not paying me for big chunks of my time.
Some days I wonder what I have done. I have such big plans for the magazine and the directory, I am so excited and passionate about helping people grow their brands and their businesses and stretch themselves in their writing skills – I love that I can provide that for people and I know I have so much value to offer; but there are days where I wonder what if… What if I fail? What if the readers don’t like the changes? What if the businesses don’t get the attention they deserve? What if I let everybody down? What if I don’t end up making any money? And all of that after working myself to death 24 hours a day 7 days a week, semi-neglecting my family and almost all of my friends?
And my readers here seem to have been quieter and further away this past month, and I have been a little heartsore over the response to my Christmas series. I adore all of you that have engaged and commented and supported these amazing businesses, but I expected more somehow. I wanted so badly to share these awesome ideas with more people, to give these hardworking small businesses a boost before the Christmas season. I have wondered if there was a perception that is was “paid for” promotion in some way, even though I really hope I was clear that it wasn’t. I sought out or requested the participation of the people and brands I have included because I believe they are exceptional at what they offer. Nobody paid me to be a part of it.
Speaking of not being paid… The medical aid isn’t covering my Dr Rob sessions until next year again, which they kindly never told me, leaving me with 2 months worth of bills to cover, and having to cut down my sessions so I don’t go compeltely bankrupt. That is a term people use quite loosely, including me – because I am nowhere near that point – but when I was a child and my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer (that thank heavens didn’t end up being terminal), the hospital bills cleaned us out and he was liquidated – literally bankrupt. I remember clearly people coming and taking our things to sell and my mom crying and all the fear and anger and uncertainty, and that makes me incredibly anxious about money. So while we are in no danger of being without a roof over our heads or without food, the money I usually spend on the people I love at this time of year isn’t around and that makes me feel sad and like again, I am letting people down. And yeah, less Dr Rob sessions right now feels like really bad timing.
And then I feel guilty. Because you know what I did on Thursday? I spent money on myself. I went and had a mani-pedi at a beautiful tranquil spa that has been hiding just up the road from me for years. My favourite rockstar mommy blogger Maz has often written about her great experineces at Rouge Day Spa and so when I was looking for that little something special for next week’s All I want for Christmas, I decided I deserved a mani-pedi. For the first time since, um… I literally can’t remember. Maybe my birthday in January? Yep, I think so. I stopped working for a full two hours (if you include lunch when I got home) for the first time in months. I deserved it right? I am not being enormously selfish by taking that money and spending it on myself and a few hours off? It was such a great experience and I will tell you all about it on Tuesday, but I can’t say that makes me feel any less guilty.
A few other highlights this week were the arrival of my beautiful new necklace from MiiniiMee (my Christmas present from me ordered ages ago before I realised I was broke); a perfect much needed reminder for my desk from Vin d’Easel and our monthly Book Owl delivery.
And then the subject of perception has been tickling at me, and I might get around to writing about it at some point. For now, I have found the perception of who I am has shifted of late. There is one (exceptional) mommy blogger, who I have been a fan of forever, who tells me I am a “somebody”. And another dear and close friend who tells me that I have “made it” and am a “big deal” now. I cannot begin to tell you how bizarre that is to me.
I am nobody special. I am just a very tired grumpy mom, that feels like she is failing somebody at every turn, who works very very hard. I rarely leave the house, and while I am invited to events and given amazing things; this all comes at a price – more work. Nobody is giving me anything “for free”. I will be writing about that event or product or service until midnight before dealing with my baby girl being up every hour all night and then being woken before 6 and will be writing again by 7 the next morning. I am not “lucky”, I certainly don’t think I am special or better at what I do than anybody else; I have found a way to help people (whether it is my friends in PR, my blogger friends who are wanting to grow their brands, or businesses who want to reach more people) that (hopefully) will begin to pay me enough so I don’t have to feel guilty about getting my nails done once every 6 months.
So that was the week that was. I am excited today because I am getting a few hours “off” to go try a new (to us, not new) restaurant in town with hubby; and tomorrow I am having a special friend (who I have never met before, but I interviewed many moons ago here) and her family (yay! tiny baby time) for a huge breakfast.
How was your week?
Sending all the love xx