In the last month since starting working again I’ve felt under pressure – all of it self-inflicted. I was feeling the neck strain of looking up to the sky as I desperately fumbled to keep all my juggling balls in the air. The predictable ones fell first – self-nurture, time out and clean floors. I was still keeping the partner ball up there, but only just … it wobbled and threatened to drop as I fumbled and kept juggling.
Despite adequately keeping the parenting ball in the air, my old friend guilt threatened to distract me and make me drop that ball too. I’d put J into an extra day care so I could meet my work demands without dropping all my other balls. He was happy, I was happier, but still the guilt. The endless, pointless guilt. Guilt was still there even though I continued to work around Hugo’s needs on my three work days, despite stopping work to play with him when he was awake.
I’m enjoying the work itself – I love working away here at my little desk with it’s view to the hills. I love having the radio humming in the background as my fingers type to a deadline. I love thinking of new ideas and putting them out there and seeing the reaction.
What I wasn’t enjoying was all my anxiousness and negative self-talk that was holding me back from really being in the moment of right now. Of the constant rushing and dropped balls, of constantly feeling depleted and reaching for comfort foods.
So, over the last week or so I’ve been practicing going easy on myself, of being mindful of my competing demands but not letting them pressure me into always feeling I wasn’t doing enough.
Today with both my boys here at home, my big boy decided it would be a fun game to throw all the couch cushions on the floor and throw some food down with it. I would usually try and get him to listen to me, to fix it up, to pick it up, don’t do that sort of thing in a mum voice that was never listened too. But today, I picked up the cushions and helped him make a house out of them. When he asked for a roof, I found a nearby bright coloured blanket and when he asked for a door I jammed a cushion in the front.
And there he sits, content and happy and my ‘perfection’ ball dropped from the sky and I sit here typing with him and I feel happy too.
So today we made a house. And if that’s all we do, it’s been a pretty good day.