Every day for the countdown until Christmas I will be having guest bloggers visit my page and share some tips they have learned along the way in their motherhood journey. Be on the look out for our Guest Bloggers Series!
My name is Alexandra and I normally blog over at Hedgehog Hollow; I am a Mummy to two amazing girls Tilly (2) and Maddi (10). We moved to the States in November in 2016 and of course the path of life never runs smooth. My eldest has JIA a form of Juvenile Arthritis and has had a pretty rough ride through her ten short years, I have had many health issues and after two children, a divorce and a marriage; a life-balance has been hard at times! Today I want to talk to you about my tips for taking time out for you, how I coped with motherhood the second time around plus some ideas if you miss working (yes, I really did!).
Looking back on it now I had severe Post-Partum depression after the birth of Maddi; I was completely alone, my husband at the time worked long hours, we lived in a small company condo and I was very isolated. It was only once I got divorced, moved back the UK (Maddi was born during a previous adventure in the USA); I then married my high school sweetheart and we decided to have another child. I realized that I need to look after Mummy this time; we had nine months to prepare but this was his first child and it had taken me a long time to find ‘me again’ after Maddi, I knew we needed to establish some ground rules; she was now 10 and independent to the point of getting herself up and dressed, she could make a bowl of cereal and I could take an hour or two to work, make something crafty or watch TV programme while she kept herself amused with the horses, playing games or around the house.
However, we were now about to have a helpless little thing who would need us for everything, I was lucky Maddi had always been a good sleeper, but would number two? Would we ever have time to ourselves again; I knew it was going to be a major readjustment after eight years. I was lucky that Greg completely understood my need for some time out and that I would need time for me and not just as a Mummy. I had always had demanding jobs and being a stay-at-home-mum was going to be super hard for me. As much as I wanted to be at home for both girls and be there for them; I also knew that I was going to struggle. So Tilly was born, she was the most amazing chilled out and happy child. However, the need for something more than just being a mum came far quicker than I thought it would. Tilly was around 6 weeks old and whilst I had consciously taken time every evening to have a loooong bath; I took time to read blogs, watching some YouTube videos and every weekend I would take a couple of hours to make a card or do something creative. It just wasn’t enough, I needed to stretch my mind and I felt so guilty that being a Mum wasn’t enough. I tried so hard to find coffee dates with friends, fill my time when Tilly was napping, helping my husband with his thesis, journal papers and business but it just wasn’t cutting it.
I struggled for a few weeks with the guilt, but eventually I plucked up the courage to discuss it with Greg. First of all, he reassured me that I shouldn’t feel guilty. I am not the kind of girl who can just keep house; I’m pretty awful t it actually! I can cook and organize; but cleaning is just not my bag! We discussed so many options; everything from going back to work part-time, but I really didn’t want to do that because my skills mean lots of traveling and that didn’t appeal at all. Then we talked about starting a consulting business but again the travel issue came up. Eventually we settled on going back to blogging, I had started a blog when Maddi was young but needing to support a child on my own meant I had to go back to a proper job and so I had left it by the wayside. I knew crafting was a great niche for me, it was more something to do than an income. I blogged for about six months before Greg was offered a job in the USA and we needed to move the family. That’s a whole other adventure! But we are here and settled and now I blog full-time around both girls; it’s perfect for our family. I can be there to support Greg, take Maddi to all her appointments and spend quality time enjoying Tilly growing up.
The moral in this story is to not feel guilty if you need time for you; in fact it’s important and I’m a better Mum for it. Ask for some time, whether its a supportive husband, family who are willing to take over for an hour or two; even a friend you trust who will take them for a trip around the grocery store. Find something that you enjoy and you feel relaxes you or you enjoy. Also, don’t feel guilty if you miss working; maybe that hobby can become a business from home; you might find direct sales offers you some time out meeting friends and new people plus allows you some time to do something you enjoy and you might earn a few dollars for you and your family.
You can follow all my Prickle’s adventures across the pond on my blog ‘Hedgehog Hollow‘; it’s also full of crafty ideas, recipes and more! We’d love to see you over there.
Have a wonderful Holiday Season with friends and family.