Our family routine is not like most. We don’t work 9 to 5 during the week for then to have a fun-packed yet relaxing weekend. Our working hours vary. The majority of the time we like it this way and it works for us. It might be hard for friends and family to fully understand, but I feel very blessed to further my career yet spend time watching my boy go from baby to toddler to child. To have the time to play with him and explore the world through his eyes.
One thing I miss though is family support. They say it takes a village to raise a child and we don’t have that village close by. It’s the nature of the beast when you make another country your home. Yet this is admittedly hard at times and naturally, adds to the daily stress of caring for a toddler while still working. Not to mention throwing our ongoing house renovation and finding time to still be a couple and not just parents into the mix.
OUR PRECIOUS SUNDAYS
Despite having to work on Mother’s Day last month and again last Sunday, we do generally try and keep Sunday family focused as we never know what the other days of the week might bring. Sometimes both Daddy Long Legs and I are working 14 hour days and sometimes we get the day off on an ordinary Tuesday. It makes planning a little harder and occasionally I miss not having more of a routine. Once Caspian starts school we might begin doing things a little differently but until then I’m very much enjoying this freer life and trying to make the most of it.
Don’t get me wrong though, I love my job and I need it on so many levels, but working for yourself means that it can be harder to switch off. There is always something you could be doing to improve your business, there is always a project needing your attention. Over holidays like Christmas and Easter, bloggers often see their audience dropping off for a few days taking time out to be with their families. It, therefore, seems like the perfect time to focus on mine.
We enjoyed Easter Sunday at our local doggy cafe indulging in a full English breakfast followed by a stroll in Bushy Park.
WORKING THROUGH HORMONAL CHANGE
Though despite enjoying today I’ve recently felt very hormonal, which has naturally affected my everyday mood. Through February and March, I’ve been blessed with some exciting work projects, some of which are yet to be revealed. Though these have meant challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone which naturally led to added stress. This, in turn, made me feel exhausted and frustrated at times and combined with Caspian’s unsettled night time it’s not been easy sailing. Knowing that I handle stress reasonably well I’ve had to dig deeper though to try and figure out if there was something more to my building frustrations.
As you might know, if you follow the blog regularly, I still breastfeed. It was never the plan to continue for this long, it just kind of happened. I know Caspian takes a lot of comfort from feeding and often he seeks me out because of this more than needing the actual milk. I’m trying to drop daytime feeds by explaining that boob is only for bedtime. He accepts this, some of the time, though being a toddler he also likes to get his own way. I suspect that dropping feeds is leading to a change in my hormones and overall well-being.
Coming off the pill over Christmas after finally admitting that it was causing me a hormonal imbalance that in turn affected my relationship with those closest to me, I have felt a lot better. I’m aware of my PMS which rears it’s ugly head on a monthly basis yet recently those feelings of anger, sadness and general frustration with the world around me haven’t gone away as easily as I would like. With stigma unfortunately still surrounding mental health, I do believe it’s important to talk openly about these things in order to tackle them before they snowball and turn into something more sinister.
WHAT CAN I DO?
I’ve therefore started looking at how I can help myself. The first step is my diet, as I know this plays a part. Falling victim to snacking on sweet treats and easy to prepare empty calories meant I haven’t been eating as healthily as I used to. I also noted that I’ve upped my caffeine intake and not been drinking nearly enough water despite the warmer weather.
The second thing I want to start doing more of is exercise. My weight is back to pre-pregnancy but I feel like I should be doing it for my sanity. Chasing after an excited toddler most days means I can eat what I like, though again this isn’t about weight. I’ve shied away from running due to breastfeeding and I haven’t used my bike for a good couple of years. It’s time to make some me time while getting in shape.
Lastly, I’m finding channelling my creativity helpful, too, which for me at the moment involves taking photos. Nature is so beautiful at this time of year so I couldn’t help capturing some of my favourites blooming; wisteria, lilacs, and laburnum on our walk home from the park today.
How do you deal with the effects of hormonal change? Either physical or mental?