I have been feeling really very tired these last few months. Two young children (daughter almost 3 and son just 1) demanding attention for most of the waking hours is the obvious reason, but also, I put it down to just not getting out of the house enough. Unlike the husband who goes to work every day, I stay at home. I do however have projects that I consider to be work (such as studying to be a Homeopath and working on a few product designs) although they do not actually require me to leave the house, plus, I like to be around for my children. Therefore, my everyday backdrop is basically the same and it is this, in itself that I find very draining.
I recently went to a dinner party with some good friends but also there was one girl there that I had never met. She is a successful 'high flyer' and has one child. I was curious and interested to meet her and ask her about her life. However, as soon as she understood I was a stay at home mother, she didn't bother to even pretend to show interest out of politeness, all she said to me was "I don't know how stay at home mother's do it, I couldn't." No doubt I have this all wrong and she is in reality a lovely lady and perhaps just a bit shy (shyness is rudeness in my books!) but, I took offence. It was almost as though she was saying; "You must be absolutely brain-dead to be able to stay at home all the time and I have no interest in talking to you." The experience left me feeling a bit desperate and depressed. Desperate to prove my worth and depressed because I was wondering who was I trying to prove it to?
I hate to admit it to myself because I really love to be spontaneous, but the key to feeling more productive and less tired as a stay at home mum, is actually organisation. Having a timetable and sticking to it really helps, or at least a framework of one to adhere to. For a couple of weeks now I've been going to the library and doing some work there for a few hours - at the same time every week. Those few hours are dedicated to my study and nothing else. Closing the door behind me, sitting in a different environment and concentrating on the things I love to do as me (not mummy) means that there is an energy shift and the tiredness magically evaporates. I have focused on something that is adding to my life and my overall self worth. (I therefore feel less desperate and depressed!!) Having that date with the library every week is actually the key to me feeling good about being a stay at home mum.
Prior to being a mum I enjoyed being busy in London, developing a little jewellery business, which was starting to bud. I loved making the pieces and then having them cast so that multiples could be made to order directly from shops. My pieces were stocked in Italy, New York and a few prestigious shops in London. I wasn't making much money but it was early days and I was excited to see where the business was going. I was developing my name in the industry and creating a brand. Moving out of London when I married and having two children in a short space of time meant wrapping everything up for a while. Not only did I not have the time, I simply didn't have the energy or the inspiration to be creative anymore. My priorities had changed. I wanted to be around for my children, but I didn't realise quite what that entailed.
Now, I am that much wiser and starting to learn from my experiences. It seems being the best mother in the world is not quite enough - and what does it mean anyway? I have decided it means too many things to try to fathom. But for now, for me, it is going to mean being a balanced woman who takes the time to stop being mummy for a few hours a week, taking the time to get out of the domestic routine occasionally. Doing this means I can return to the home refreshed, with a new energy and a higher self-worth, ultimately to pass onto my children and be a better mum!