Mother’s Day has given me a rare and welcome opportunity to pause.
I’ll be honest, during these last dregs of winter, in the lull before spring, I feel at my most depleted. I am running on empty, fraying at the edges.
I am living more than one life. Not just mine, but the lives of my children and family (and now the dog), making sure everyone is cared for. Despite knowing better, when my diary fills, it’s my exercise class that I cull.
I know I am not alone.
When was the last time you took a moment, just for you, when you knew you would not be disturbed or distracted? Perhaps this is why we get up before the rest of the family wakes. And stay up too late in a sleeping house, trying to carve out some space.
Mother’s Day feels like the right time for a resolution. A day to recognise the extent of our caring responsibilities, and their cost to us, however willingly we fulfil them and however lucky we are to have them.
It also feels like the right time of year for a resolution when spring promises fresh energy and new beginnings.
Like me, many of you may be approaching your Second Spring, as the menopause is called, which can offer the opportunity for positive change and reconnection.
My resolution is to return to myself. To weave restorative breaks throughout the fabric of my everyday family life - without resorting to removing myself for a weekend away or a yoga retreat in order to get a break, (although these are great resources too!)
Who is with me?
Here are the spring resolutions I will be making (and keeping)
My yoga class will be block booked and my working week will fit around these times. Exercise allows my body and mind to unfurl - I always find solutions for family or work issues, after a good workout.
Instead of giving Farley, our dog, a guilt ridden blast around the park (while I'm furiously responding to emails on my phone). I'll put my phone away and appreciate the time outdoors, taking time to be present in nature.
Extend my tea breaks. I will embrace the ritual of waiting for the kettle to boil (I don’t have a hot water tap for this reason) and make myself pause for the tea to infuse naturally (no bashing the bag against the side of the mug!) and sit down to savour it slowly. Tea drinking is going to be focused, rather than a lukewarm activity I do throughout the day.
Reaching out to my nearest and dearest. I've recently wondered whether my intense desire to be 'focused' and 'efficient' in both my work and the running of my home and family, stops me from regularly contacting people I love. Like many working mothers, it can be challenging to fit everything in, calling a loved one (or even making time to sit down and speak to a spouse), can be deprioritised. I plan to take more time to connect with the wonderful people that I'm lucky enough to have in my life.
Early night. Clean sheets, a calm space, a soothing book (I am currently working my way through all of Kirstin Hannah's books - all centred around amazing women who battle through adversity. The Nightingale is one of my favourite books) allows me to experience my home as I have designed it to feel, as a restful and restorative place.
Buffer weekends. Every few weeks I will ring fence a weekend in the diary and keep it clear from commitments. Unscheduled time is a luxury. Time free from expectation can be filled as creatively as I like, be it a solo pottery session or a leisurely family lunch.
I've also made a conscious decision to stop 'over-scheduling' my children. Do you ever find yourself battling to get your child to a club (that's extortionately expensive and they don't want to go to!), you arrive late with both mother and child throughly fed-up? Thankfully, both for me and my children, this has meant an end to 10 years of swimming lessons... we all get a Saturday lie-in instead!
So hear's to a simpler spring, taking things down a notch or two...