Happy Women’s Day mammas. With today being all about celebrating how women can make a difference, I thought I would share a little bit about where I am on my journey to make a difference to other mammas, and a few other things.
It seems I have lost myself a little in the pieces I am posting of late. While I’m making sure I’m delivering on my promises to you, bringing you amazing inspirational stories and helpful lists when trying to find the perfect school for your baby and introducing you to amazing new services and products; I need to remember that this is my space too.
I have a dozen balls in the air at the moment; I’m dropping one or all of them regularly, but I keep picking them up and practicing keeping them up there. Where to start?
I’ve been having all kinds of feelings of failure and guilt the past month or so. Particularly when it comes to Charly. This isn’t one of those moments where I’m looking for reassurance that I don’t suck as a mom; Laverne used the term “distracted parenting” in one of her recent posts and it hit me right where it hurts – I have been a distracted parent. I am working literally 24/7 at the moment; on all the good things with great intentions and purpose; but I do mean constantly. I’m working on my phone even when I’m sitting with my baby in my arms and it is the WORST.
I’ve been fighting with it and struggling through it with the help of my amazing therapist “Dr” Rob (he isn’t actually a doctor, he’s a clinical psychologist; I just call him that to separate him from the other Robs in my world). By the way EVERY mom should get themselves a “Dr” Rob; just picture a whole hour a week when somebody only wants to talk about you… It is as amazing as it sounds. So much the better if your “Dr” Rob is someone who gets you and leads you through your stuff and you leave feeling better every time.
Anyway; he has been getting me to a place where I’ve been purposefully leaving my phone in another room for at least an hour every day to start off with; some days I am even managing longer before I start panicking about my endless to do list.
What are you so busy with Mandy, I hear you ask… Let’s start at the beginning – my beautiful Charly; I can’t believe she is already 18 months old tomorrow! Over the past 6 weeks she has suddenly blossomed into a full blown running, climbing, talking, mini human who has her own very strong ideas and opinions on everything. And she expresses those opinions very very loudly while wagging her finger at you, pushing you along where she wants you to go and shaking her head and tutting when you inevitably get it wrong. She is gorgeous and hilarious and full of energy and laughter and love. She is still waking every 90 minutes throughout the night, leaving me beyond finished; but it doesn’t even slow her down one beat. Being more vocal (her vocab is at roughly 170 words this week), she also makes it very very clear when she wants to be with me and she isn’t nearly as easily distracted; so plenty of interruption during my work day.
Next on the list are my business clients; lots of research and reading of business and accounting and technology news to keep up with what’s current in their industries to make sure my articles are relevant and interesting to their industries. I write website copy and profiles and blog articles and columns for accounting journals and business case studies and manage social media. I love my clients and believe in their businesses and it stretches other parts of my brain; but deadlines and making sure I am always 100% can be incredibly stressful to this exhausted mamma.
And then there is Pregnant in Cape Town & Ever After… This is my happy place without a doubt. Until 3 months ago, I only wrote once a week if I was lucky and it was all about Charly and I. I loved that and it was doing what I wanted it to in terms of sharing my experiences with other mommies and making them feel less alone on their own journeys. And then I started getting restless and wanting to do more and help more and reach more… So I gave PiCT a facelift and started my interview series’, first Pregnant in (_) and now Surrounded by Supermommies; which have really captured my heart and so many of yours as well. I have loved sharing these amazing women’s stories and being able to reach out and touch so many other mommies in the process.
I have also been incredibly blessed to work with so many small businesses doing reviews; and then getting to share them with you and give you amazing gifts, completely indulging my gift giving addiction legitimately. These giveaways take a lot of work; mostly because I love doing them personally, from testing the products and websites and services to getting good quality photographs to help highlight the brand to responding to every single one of your comments and entries in person, to entering every one of the hundreds of entries into a spreadsheet by hand, to making sure to promote it across all social media the week it runs, to corralling our little helper into drawing the winners and getting photos of that too. I LOVE doing it all; it is one of my favourite things to do, but it can be incredibly intense and a LOT of work.
I have adored working with the incredible Lizanne and Candice over at Mamahood; I help them with reviewing their amazing Mamahood Approved businesses and they sponsored the Surrounded by Supermommies series. I can’t wait for their website to come online!
I have also started writing for and being featured on some wonderful sites; like Diary of a Fit SA Mommy, Baby Group, and Mammas Meeting Place. As part of my mission to reach more mommies and ensure there is no mommy left feeling alone or lonely out there; I plan on continuing to write for and do interviews with, as many different amazing places as possible. Part of that is creating content that is slightly different in style from what I do here, researching where I would both reach more mommies and have something of value to offer their readers. This requires a lot of research and reading, which is wonderful but also tends to fall off my list because it can get a little hard to justify reading a magazine when I have a list of 40 active things to do.
I am also really really excited about another project I am working on. To help me do everything I do better, from working with brands for PiCT to working with magazines and PR agencies on occasion to my very special new project, I am again working with the amazing Andrea Barras on creating a new website which will have a mini blog for sporadic posts on non-parenting related topics. So I am creating all the content for that; putting other things in place and also studying up on some things.
My special project is all about helping small businesses, especially mom-owned businesses, get all their branding lined up and consistent across their websites and social media. I am loving the little bit of consulting I have done with some of the mommies I have reviewed so far and have realised how many of these amazing women have great services and products and are full of creativity and they are just missing that one “thing” to help them share their awesomeness with the world. I’m on a mission to help them figure out what that thing is and help them make it happen. I will – of course – share the site as soon as it is up.
So yes, I’ve been a busy busy bee of late. I keep feeling like if I can just get ahead on one or two things, I will be able to find my rhythm and it will all feel manageable. I have invested so much if my heart in all of it that I can’t let anything fall away to give me some breathing room, so I just have to keep on hoping that I can get that little bit ahead…
Isn’t that just the way we women are though… We always keep striving, keep pouring our hearts into the things we love, keep trying to change our little part of the universe for the better for ourselves and our families and our children; no matter how big it all feels or how heavy it might get. Somebody told us we could have it all and it now feels ingrained that we have to at least try to strive for that.
I hope the people in your life are showing you how special you are and how much value you bring to their lives.
Sending all the love xx