I reached a turning point today.
It happened while I was at gym because what else is there to do while on a treadmill but re-evaluate your life am I right?? There I was, suffering but enjoying the workout and wondering why I wait so long between gym visits (I didn’t even make my 36 swipes last year. Bye bye 75% discount!) Lately I’v been feeling as if I am spreading myself too thin. By trying to do too much, I have been putting a half assed effort into everything. And that’s not me.
I love my life. I have a husband who adores me, two kids who fill my heart to bursting, more friends than I ever thought I would have and a hobby that fulfills me. The problem is that all these things require a certain amount of effort and Time is a finite resource. I cannot carry on as I have been. Juggling all these balls has resulted in my Physical Health ball falling. I havn’t made the time to exercise and go to gym so my back issues have crept back in and my lovely new jeans don’t fit comfortably anymore (cry). I’m 34 years old and I wear frikken orthopedic sandals. That’s just not right.
I am a (relatively) smart person. My skill lies in cutting through the bullshit to get to the heart of any given situation. My issue is not that I don’t have enough time. It’s that I don’t manage my time effectively. Being a blogger is not easy regardless of what it may look like. There’s so much of work that goes into content creation as well as being visible on social media so that the algorithm doesn’t wipe you off the grid. It can be quite taxing, more so on the family members of the blogger though. It really bugs me when my daughters have to ask me for something more than once because I’m busy on my phone. I do think they need to learn patience but this isn’t the way I want to teach that lesson.
From my largest time takers, the only one I’m willing to compromise on is blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging. It provides both the mental stimulation and the social interaction that I didn’t know I needed as a stay at home Mum. Having something for myself has actually made me a better mother and wife so I’m definitely not going to stop. What I am going to do though is have set ‘business hours’ where I will check my mail and social media. This will be from 8-10am and 7-9pm. This includes Whatsapp which is often the biggest time stealer. Any writing that I do usually happens when everyone is asleep (like now) so I don’t need to schedule that in.
It may seem like a simple fix but it really isn’t. My phone is never out of arms reach. I am constantly checking social media or my email or responding to WhatsApp messages that I feel needs an urgent response. It rarely does. What feels like five minutes online is often actually twenty. That’s twenty minutes when I was only listening with half an ear to what anyone around me was saying. I hate talking to people when they’re looking at their phones. It makes my blood boil to see Jarrod on his phone when the girls are talking to him and yet I am way more guilty of the very same thing purely because I spend more time with them. I don’t want to be that person.
This July will be five years that I have been a stay at home Mum. That’s almost as long as my working career. It has been my full time job and as with the perks of any job, I have taken many things for granted. I get so much of time with my girls that I don’t really appreciate it as much as I used to. Now it’s just a way of life for me but that’s wrong. Times are changing. Next year my eldest starts Grade R. ‘Real Life’ begins for her and I know she is going to grow up so quickly. I only have seven months left of her being really little. It’s not just her though, my baby starts school for three days a week in Jan as well. I had four years of having my eldest to myself but only two with my little one. Part of me wants to keep her at home an extra year and only send her to school when she’s three but I saw how hard it was for my eldest to adjust to the social dynamics at school. Plus this little sausage is crazy smart and will enjoy the extra stimulation and fun activities. This means seven months until life changes as we know it. Hence the gloom and doom title of this post. It also means that in seven months I will have three mornings a week to work exclusively on the blog. Instead of killing myself trying to grow my brand now while doing everything else it takes to run a household, I’m going to cut myself some slack. I will run the blog like a part time business with set working hours, as strange as they may be. These seven months will fly by and I don’t want to have any regrets. The blogging world won’t really notice if I’m not available for nine hours a day but my family will.
This afternoon I took the girls out and I had such a lovely time with them. I was present. Besides a quick video to send to my folks, this was the only pic I took.
The rest of the time I was climbing in jungle gyms or pushing swings. There was no ‘trying to catch the best angle without their faces being in the pic’ stress. When they called me, I heard. I took the time to look around and just be. It felt freeing.