Well hello, stranger! Yep. It’s been a while.. But today is the day, I make time for myself to post on my blog again for the first time in what feels like forever. I spent an hour or so, putting the bulk of this post down last night, but with Aurora having a little kip, it’s as good a time as any for me to go over it, and finish it up. So, where do I start??? I feel like a total novice, and like I’ve completely forgotten how to do this, to be honest. But I suppose a good place to begin, is by giving a bit of an explanation as to where I’ve been, and why my blog has been largely on hold for the past few months. I guess it’s no secret that I have been a bit AWOL on here over recent months. Truth be told, I’ve been pretty hectic, and I swear I have had the very best intentions of sharing various trips, holidays, mummy milestones, toddler insights, shopping hauls, recipes, and a few fitness updates; all of which, I am bursting to write about, but the reality of it is i just haven’t consciously made the time for it! It’s not that I haven’t had content worth sharing, but finding the time to balance blogging with everything else, has been tricky, and for the most part, forgotten. As that age old saying goes- “it’s not about ‘having’ time. It’s about making time. If it matters, you will make time.” And isn’t that the truth?! That’s not me saying that blogging doesn’t matter to me, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not top of the list of my priorities. Trust me, I am very much kicking myself for not making more time, or being a bit more pro-active and productive with my time, but at the same time, my blog doesn’t provide an income, and I have a small human to take care of. Therefor, my daughter, my family, and my job, (in that order) need to be my priorities.
Back in January, I started a new(ish) role working as a recruitment consultant/ advisor, (I’d actually done this role for 8 months previously whilst I was pregnant, so it was something I was very much familiar with, but was very different to my previous role) which resulted in big changes to our day to day routine. Where I’d previously worked either afternoon, evening, or night shifts since returning from maternity leave, meaning that every day I was getting several hours of mummy daughter bonding time, I was now having to sacrifice a lot of that time, and go full days barely seeing my gorgeous little ray of sunshine. With the commute and child care drop-offs before I head to the office, I am out the house for 11 hours, so some days it’s literally a case of waking up at 6 rather than 6.30, to get that extra time with Rory, and then taking the second round of our evening gym tag team, so I get to do her bedtime routine with her, and put her to bed before I train..
8 months later, and I still get massive pangs if mum guilt, questioning myself, and wondering if I’m doing the right thing. However, I’ve worked the anti social hours, to devote Rory’s waking hours solely to her, but I was exhausted from lack of sleep, and felt like I was in zombie mode for the most part. That didn’t feel like balance, and Aurora wasn’t getting the best of me. I enjoy what I do, and job satisfaction makes such a big difference to your overall feeling of well being. I’ve been miserable in work in the past, and it spills over into your personal life, and effects everything. We spend a large portion of or time in work, so you’ve got to do something that gives you some sort of fulfilment, or what is the point?!
I don’t think anything could have prepared for the crazy, busy, rush our life would become once we became parents. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. When you have a passion for fitness, work a 30 hour week, are trying to maintain a social life, whilst attempting to raise a kind, compassionate, caring, confident little person, keep in touch with old friends and family, and you have a million books on your ‘to read’ list, and your ‘to do’ list is bigger than your arms width, then yeah, I guess trying to achieve balance can feel a bit like you are running a marathon, on an uphill, icy ascent, in gale force winds. Lord knows I’ve had the occasional (or quite frequent, I should say) melt down, where everything has felt all too overwhelming. Thankfully, Mr Woods & I, have this thing sussed and tend to take it in turns to have these melt downs, managing to quickly pull the other out of the slump before we actually believe the voice that says, you are so out of your depth.. Instead we have the other half of us saying ‘don’t be so ridiculous. Pull yourself together, and look at how blessed you are!’. T.r.u.e. S.t.o.r.y. Plus, Rory is watching me. I don’t want to pretend I’m a super mum who has it all together, because quite frankly, like hell do I!? But, I want Rory to look at me, and see a mother who embraced the chaos, and smiled, and laughed, and loved, throughout it all.
So yeah, I’ve mostly just been trying to juggle – at times really, really terribly. And my writing has taken a back seat. Reading inspires me, and even finding more than half an hour to sit back with a book, is quite the rarity. The outmost priority has to be, and always will be, our child. If there’s one aspect of my life that I refuse to screw up, it’s being a mother. If there was only ever one thing I was sure of, it was being a parent. I have changed my mind on career prospects, and ambitions, more times than I can count, but I always, always knew I wanted to be a mum some day. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought about how much more beneficial it would be to our family financially, if I went back to full time work, but I just cannot bring myself to do it. Not yet. Gosh, my job would be easier is I was full time and playing catch up every Wednesday. But, my Tuesdays with Aurora mean the world to me, and while she is still so little and in her pre-school years, I’m just not willing to give up any more of our time together than I already have. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it time and time again; I need her, probably more than she needs me. Our Tuesdays together give me life. They are ours. And until she’s in school, I’m not giving them up. We are fortunate in terms of childcare, as she loves her nursery; she literally doesn’t even bat an eye lid when we drop her off. Plus that beaming smile when we pick her up, and the stories of her kindness throughout the day, make my heart feel as through it could burst with pride. And she loves her days at her Mamgu’s (Welsh for Grandma), where she also has the company of her Granddad, who forever winds her up and has her in fits of giggles. But she also gets to spend they day with our beloved Daphne Dog, who is the closest thing to a sibling she has. In fact, Aurora gets to spend more time with Daphne, than she does anyone else. She’s growing up with the very best friend. She’s a happy child, and I’m so very proud of that. She’s in no means, deprived. So in the world of parenting, so far, even if on odd days I tell myself otherwise, we are doing a grand job with her. *free tip* telling a parents their child is a credit to them is possibly the greatest compliment. I never get bored of people telling me what a wonderful, kind, little lady she is. She makes me proud every single day.
So yeah, like I said, I’m fully aware I have been a terrible content creator, and kicked myself for not making time to keep up with posting on my blog. For one, I have experienced some incredible things this year, which I desperately want to put into words, and savour so that I can look back at it in years to come, and tell Aurora all about it, with all the finer details still in tact. – Our holiday in Kefalonia for one. I absolutely HAVE to blog about it. Not just to share with you all how much of an incredible place it is, but to freeze those memories, and lovingly capture those beautifully special moments.
Blogging has served as a great outlet to me, and I just know that taking myself back there in my words, is going to be such an enjoyable experience. That’s how it should be, isn’t it?! And that’s how it is for me. I ended last year feeling free, happy, and full of excitement and anticipation. I was regularly writing on my blog. Yes, I had ‘more time’, but actually I think I was just better at managing my time. It’s become really easy to just switch off once Aurora is in bed, and training is done, to zone out, scrolling mindlessly through social media. Does it bring me joy? Nope.. I’ve talked about my relationship with social media in the past here, and here, but what I have found is that it is very much a game of snakes and ladders. I’ll find myself racing ahead, feeling like I’ve finally got it all sussed, comfortable in my own skin, and like anything is possible, when bam, a ginormous python slithers into my path, and I’m back to square one; comparing myself, not feeling good enough, doubting my own abilities. The more time I spend on social media, the more I seem to let it have a negative impact. It’s time I could be using way more productively; reading a book, doing a puzzle, having a stretch, writing a blog post. –Don’t worry, I’m not about to vanish from your feeds, but I will be re-introducing a much more mindful approach to my social interactions.
So what does this all mean for my blog now? To summarise, blogging is something I do for myself, and my own joy, so I know it is in my own favour to make more time for it. In order to make more time for it, I need to be smarter with my time. I need to get out of the habit of procrastinating, and I need to generally just get back into the practice of being more mindful. I still won’t commit myself to the pressure of posting on a set day, or ‘x’ amount of times, as I want my blog to remain organic, and don’t want to get into posting because I feel I have to, as opposed to because I felt it, and the words flowed freely.
As for mission balance. What even is balance?! Is it really even possible to maintain balance across all aspects of your life for a sustainable or significant amount of time? I’m not so sure. But maybe the secret to getting closer, is in simplifying things, including our thoughts. Even this concept of, ‘I must try to achieve some sort of balance’, is just another example of our ability to overthink. Maybe what we really need, is to just be.
Apologies if this has all just been a bit of a ramble, but thanks heaps for bearing with, and reading, and I look forward to bringing you some sparkly fresh content, and getting back into the swing of posting more frequently!
lots of love