This post is part of the weekly blog hop ‘Grooving Mums’ at Kate on Thin Ice. The blog hop has been running 5 weeks now, and this week Kate’s challenge was to reflect on the progress we have made to date. You can read more about the blog hop here.
So, time to reflect on how I’m doing.
The thing that has made the biggest change to my life in the past couple of months has been my blog. It’s about 2 months old now. Before I started it, I felt stuck in a rut. I felt mentally unstimulated. I felt like I needed something ‘different’ to think about. My blog has helped reinvigorate and inspire me, and given me an outlet ‘just for me’. The grooving mum’s blog hop has been great too, because as a newbie, it’s given me an outlet to meet some great other mums, and made me realise that I’m not alone, there are many other mums out there, all trying to find their own particular groove too. Reading other people’s stories and seeing what they are up to has been inspirational. It’s encouraging me to have a go and try some new things too.
Making ‘Me Time’
I’ve been doing quite well at taking some time out for myself, ie, my day out recently. It’s hard not to feel guilty or selfish when I do it, but gradually I’m realising, I need a proper break too, and in that time, focussing on things that interest me, feeds my mind and makes me happier. Little treats like taking some time to buy some new underwear or have a haircut have also helped. They may only be small but they still make a difference.
I’ve also tried to nurture my body a bit more in the last month. So, recently I’ve had TWO WHOLE WEEKS without a sip of wine (a rarity indeed) and switched from a regular sized Latte to a small. Small changes, but actually, they’ve made a difference. I swear my trousers feel looser!
Recently, I started thinking about the behaviours I used to value and (try and demonstrate at work) and why just because I’m at home now, I don’t seem to value those as much. I’ve realised, I do still value such things, but along the way I stopped doing them. At work I was incredibly organised, but at home, I’d become incredibly unorganised in some areas. Food shopping was one; I was going to the shops every single day to buy food for dinner that night. Expensive and time consuming. But, in recent weeks I’ve got my act together, I’ve made a meal planner, with a list of 20 meals we eat regularly, and once a week, I’ve chosen the meals, driven to the supermarket, bought ALL the ingredients for the next week and stuck to the plan. Since I’ve been doing just this simple thing, things feel less of a hassle, and I actually feel strangely satisfied by the simple act of implementing this new process - I’m getting my old organised groove back! The planning ahead has also encouraged me to open a couple of recipe books and do some proper home cooking again, which has been great.
There are a couple of elephants that affect my groove. The first is my longing for another child. I know I am lucky to have one, so I’m not going to bang on about it. But, suffice to say, I’m constantly chasing the cycles of the moon, and I have good months and bad months. On a bad month, sometimes I do fall off the ‘groovy train’ and temporarily into the pit of misery. Most of the time, I’m pretty good at picking myself up. Cake helps.
The other elephant is my SAH mum-ness. Largely because of elephant no 1, I sometimes feel stuck in limbo-land. I constantly put off making decisions about other areas of my life, like whether to try and find a part-time job, or volunteer because I constantly think and hope that I’ll be pregnant that month. It ends up being a paralysing situation as inevitably a month comes and goes, and then the whole cycle of waiting/wishing/putting off decision-making begins again. I know I need to get past this, but I find it very difficult, so this affects my groove too. I guess I’ll eventually work out what is right for me and I’ll get there in my own time.
Writing about elephants reminds me of when I was a young graduate, and first started work. I had a meeting with my boss to talk about a big project. He asked me the classic business management question ’How do you eat an Elephant?” (The 21 year old me was a little dumbfounded.) The answer was, “one bite at a time”. I guess that sums up pretty much what I’m doing now. Just taking it all one bite at a time.
Disclaimer. Obviously I would never really eat an elephant. I love them far too much to ever be able to do that.