The truth be told: I am the kind of person who wants it all at all times! I want to be there 100% for my job, 100% for my children, 100 % for my partner, 100 % for my social life, have everything 100 % organised, be 100 % the best version of myself. Are you seeing a trend here? The calculation and my endless to Do lists do not add up. This obviously ends up, me giving myself too much of a tall order. Something has to give.
Surprisingly (or not) I find myself overwhelmed by all the things that I should be doing. I am very much aware that this is also a self made conundrum. This self awareness is a far cry from being able to change myself however. When someone tells me to slow down and take some time for myself, all I can hear is there is another thing to add to my busy schedule.
With the birth of my third child, I had not made any plans to take a break at all. Surely, it was no Biggy and I had done all of this before, right?! Guess what?- it all came tumbling down on me. For the first time I found out what Baby Blues really meant. The arrival of our third started smoothly and I was super lucky and the birth was easy. I did not expect that recovery and hormones were going to be tough. Partly this was due to the fact that I have had three children quickly one after another and I am now in my late thirties. So my body simply needed time to recover. Most importantly, I did not stop to take some very much needed time to recover mentally or physically. I neglected that I needed to adjust and bond with my Newborn.
It is hard to describe but from one to the next I felt like I could no longer move or be productive. Fatigue migraines kicked in, dizziness, mental overload and my lochia stopped too early. I was overwhelmed by having to take care of my other children, household or alas Xmas dinner, I had to let go. So instead of being the super productive never moving supermom, for a couple of weeks I was utterly tapped out of everything but taking care of my youngest. I am grateful that a couple of weeks rest with the help of my family allowed me to heal quickly. Will I be better next time and go easier on myself? I honestly do not know but I learnt some lessons:
Here is what I learnt:
I learned to be guilt free and give responsibility also to my partner and the grandparents. Be grateful for the help you get and accept it. Like a lot of mothers I feel like I should be doing it all and consequently guilty when I pass on things to others.
I learned to give up control. If others take over, they might do things differently to how you do it. It is okay If my children don’t go to bed at a certain time, eat different food or watch TV with grandma. Guess what: they survived unscathed!
I learned that I am a better mother (and woman) if I stop trying to be a perfect one.
What I am still learning
I am still learning to be kind to myself and my body. My third child has blessed me with over 20 kilos more post birth. Something that I will have to also physically and mentally come to terms with.
I am still learning to be vulnerable and admit this to myself and others.
I am still learning to find a balance between challenging myself and having high standards and simply putting too much pressure on myself. Stay tuned on that one! If I ever do manage, I will write an award winning book for you all on that one ;).