This week has been a busy one.
Waaaaay too busy.
I’m the first to bang on to others about self-care, and being in the moment, and taking time to rest, and not overloading the calendar, and being mindful of where your energy is going. Yada yada yada…
Yet, here I am, despite my own marvellous advice, feeling utterly, and completely depleted.
The week started with sick kids, who stayed home from school for two days, and went on to incorporate co-ordinating tradies for some home renovations as the week progressed, while running errands for my mum (who was also unwell), and spending time with my Nanna, who also needed some appointments attended to (and who I hadn’t seen in over a week due to the illness in our house).
These things were smooshed into our already tight schedule, using brute force and sheer bloody-mindedness, and the worry that came with knowing my loved ones were feeling poorly was swiftly stuffed down into my denial bucket (no time to worry! Too busy DOING!!).
Side note: that denial bucket sure can hold a lot.
As part of our NORMAL week, the kids had sporting commitments they needed to be at, Hot Husband had a full week of work, I also had work shifts to get to, and the Girl Child had a sleep over planned. The animals needed feeding, the washing needed folding, and the dishes needed washing. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Of course, as shit got hectic, with a whole lot of help from Hot Husband (I swear, that man has boundless energy), the house stayed upright, clothes were washed, and meals prepared, and renovation dust was vaccuumed up (over, and over again), and we chugged on through it.
But, I found myself at the end of my tether.
My routine, that I cling to like a life buoy, was blown to smithereens. There wasn’t a single day where something unexpected didn’t happen. The time that I would normally spend at home, pottering around with housework, decompressing, and re-aligning, was filled with the sound of power tools, and saw dust, and people coming and going. The work shifts I normally would have been at were cancelled so that I could attend to the care needs of my little people, and I found myself being constantly needed, and relentlessly “on”.
There. Was. No. Peace.
My inner zen was completely destroyed.
The loving-earth-mother got steam rolled by busy-ness, and stress, and distraction, and I’ve got to admit, the fuse was blown. I got to the end of the week, and, I tantrummed. Hot Husband and the kids weathered the storm as I huffed, and I puffed, and I stomped, and I swore, and when all was said and done, I sat outside under a gigantic full moon, and cried a little bit.
The bundle was well and truly dropped, and the cheese had slid off the cracker.
Let me be really clear. I don’t begrudge or resent ANY of these things that we had to do this week. I LOVE spending time with my family. I love being able to help out when needed, and I love nurturing, and loving those dearest to me. My compulsion to care for others is strong, and I enjoy it. I love watching my house being gradually transformed into my dream home. I take pride in knowing that there’s nice food on our table, and that my family has everything they need. Nothing makes me happier than hearing my kids laughing as they play with their friends, and in general, I really, REALLY appreciate this chaotic, yet charmed, life we live.
But sometimes, all of those things, combined into one small timeframe, create a pressure cooker that’s just set to blow.
The thing is, this is how so many families are living their lives, day in, and day out. The obligations, and the requirements, and the neverending list of needs and neccessities can be so damn intense, and so unbelievably overwhelming. This was just one week for us. I know people who live like this ALL THE TIME. It’s crazy, exhausting stuff.
Surely, something has to give? What first? Our mental health? Our relationships? Our careers?
Today, things are calm again. The renovation works are finished, and everyone is healthy, and there’s been some sunshine, which is always a sure-fire mood-booster for me. The routine is back in place (for now) and the Virgo in me is once again, at peace.
This week, I’m keeping some gaps open in that calendar of mine. I’m keeping things simple. I’m going to spend some time just BEING, most likely in ugg boots, and I’m going to try to make sure that Hot Husband is able to do the same, so that hopefully, we can end next week on a much more positive note than we did this one.
Because, at the end of the day, if we aren’t looking after ourselves, then we really aren’t capable of looking after anyone, are we?