How do I do it?
Be a Mum, a wife, a friend, work, and still find time to be me….. well it isn’t always easy. It is definitely a juggling act.
I think I’m finally getting the hang of it but, it’s still a work in progress.
There is many times where I cry or scream or completely loose my s*#t. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve felt like a failure. Seriously, where is the reset button? If only you could go back and get a do over…. but that’s not how life works. We have to push forward, learn from our mistakes and hope to do better in the future and yes, you are going to make mistakes, like a lot of mistakes.
I have two gorgeous boys, who are 10 and 8. I like to say that this age is a good age. Both in fulltime school, no car seats or prams, not little boys but not too grown up either. Happy to be seen holding my hand and will always give me a hug and a kiss in front of their friends. However, still cause me to pull my hair out on a regular basis. Seriously, how many times do I have to ask them to get dressed for school….. but that’s kids hey.
My husband works FIFO (fly in out fly out) on a really good roster of one week on and one week off. I have a beauty salon that I run from home which is great for flexible hours and I also do photography part time. Plus I’m a burlesque performer which is mainly evening hours which is a little harder when my hubby is away at work. I think we do a pretty good job of looking after the kids between us but sometimes we need help and that’s when its time to call in the grandparents (thank heavens for grandparents) or babysitters.
So at this stage in life things are running fairly smoothly (for now anyways), but this was not always the case and I’ve found over the years that trying to make everything work at the same time often means dropping the ball on one or more things. There are only so many hours in a day to fit in work (those bills aren’t going to pay themselves), time with my kids, time with my hubby, time as a family and with extended family, time with friends, time for the gym and time for me. Plus housework, homework, paperwork ……… far out and try to eat a balanced diet (note: this includes donuts, wink wink) and sleep enough hours………… I’m exhausted!
Over the years I have tried and failed more times than I can count and usually have someone annoyed at me because I’m “too busy” for them. I am the type of person who wears their heart on their sleeve and cares (sometimes far too much) about others. I am never “too busy” for something or someone but I do have a busy a life so I can’t just drop everything. Believe me I will try my absolute best to do everything and it’s a hard thing for me to say “no”. So if I say “no”, trust me it’s because I really can’t.
Many times I’ve pushed myself beyond exhaustion trying to do everything. This is not good for your physical health or mental health. I have suffered depression and anxiety over the years which I manage to hide away from most people because <my feelings and words> I don’t like to feel like a burden on anyone. This again is not a good thing. Bottling up all of this only makes things worse. A lot of my relationships have suffered from this. A few years ago it got so bad that I put my marriage at risk and even managed to push my best friend away to a point that no matter how hard I’ve tried I think that relationship is over, which believe me is not easy to get over, if I even ever do. All because it was easier to hide my feelings than talk about them.
Even when I was pregnant with my second baby, I worked so many hours that I literally landed myself in hospital and was told enough is enough. So, juggling all aspects of your life is hard. Making time for everyone and everything but also learning to say the big fat scary word “no” is a lesson in itself. One I’m still struggling to learn myself.
When my kids were younger I owned and operated a day spa in the lobby of a city hotel and hubby worked away on a 2/1 roster. Two weeks at a time on my own with the kids still working and commuting to the city most days rushing around doing daycare and school drop offs then rushing back for pick up was not an easy task. Relying, at times, heavily on family to help with the kids while I worked, because of the late nights and weekend work.
So many people ask “how did you do it?”, well you just do what you have to because no one else is going to do it. I did however reach a point where I knew my kids needed me there more and I couldn’t put the time into the salon as much as it needed. Something had to change. So I made the hard decision to sell the salon and set up from home. This meant I would have the flexibility to take the kids to school and pick them up, take them to weekend sports, go on excursions, go to school assemblies and also have time with my hubby on his week off.
Best decision ever! This was the first step into making my life so much easier. I had spent 14 years putting everything I had into my day spa, it was my baby before I had my babies, so it wasn’t easy to say goodbye to, but oh my goodness the sense of relief was overwhelming. I now had so much more time to focus on my family and also finally have time for myself. That’s right ladies, even if you are a mum you are allowed ‘me time’. So many mums I know I don’t give themselves any ‘me time’. I truly believe this is really good for your mental health. At the end of the day you were someone before becoming a mum.
Make time for you, self love is very important. Yes, I know you are very busy but I find doing something for myself makes me, in a sense, a better mum and wife. I’m not just a mum and a wife, I’m me. I started getting into the pinup and burlesque community about 4-5 years ago not thinking I would ever make some what of a career out of something that was, at the start, just a hobby. For me it was an escape from ‘mum life’. I found new friends and found confidence in myself and the way I looked at myself [see blog post – Body Positivity and Confidence]. Even just making time to go to the shops on your own (what a breathe of fresh air that is), or soaking in a bubble bath with a glass of wine is ‘me time’. You deserve it.
I try my best to have some sort of routine for my boys but it does get hard trying to juggle salon appointments and with hubby working away then home every second week does throw off the routine. We try to make it work but sometimes it all goes to s*#t and my anxiety hits all time highs and I end up yelling, crying and swearing like a sailor. It’s not pretty. Just ask my hubby <insert evil laugh>.
I am far from perfect and I’ll be honest for the most part I keep everything together but I do have moments when the house of cards starts to crumble. However, I have found that as the kids have gotten older and are more self sufficient things have become increasingly “easier”. Maybe you get better at handling things as the years go by. Maybe I’ve gotten better at being independent as my hubby isn’t always home. I’m not sure, but I do know that even the people who look like they have it altogether have days where they are screaming and yelling too.
Do any of us really have it altogether? Life is hard, relationships are hard, being a parent is hard but as corny as it sounds , it’s all worth it. Remember that there will always be crappy times, hard times, ok times and good times, but the good will always out weigh the bad. Do your best, don’t compare yourself to someone else. You don’t know how well they are handling things and what goes on in their life. Focus on your own life and living it how you want to and seriously, try not to beat yourself up too much when things don’t go “right”.
-Delza Skye xoxo