Friday, 7 May 2010


So, one month into being a mum with a baby, a toddler and a business and I am a tad stressed. Add to that workload the fact that I only have two weeks to apply for a Visa for my partner for Australia (which usually takes most people a month or more to get together) and I am the closest I have ever been to going grey!

It's hard! Fitting a whole little person into a life that was already crammed to over-flowing. And, of course, initially you fool yourself into thinking you'll still do everything you did before but there are areas of your life that suffer, like sleep, like replying to emails, like Twitter and before you know it you're like a greyhound at the track trying to catch that rabbit. I knew I had reached this point the other day when I found myself gripping the steering wheel of the car, white knuckled. I was so wound up and tense thinking about all the things I hadn't achieved.

So, what to do? Well, number one is to believe everything that everyone tells you about having two. It is more than twice the work and god help you if they aren't a good eater, sleeper, are ill etc etc. In fact, prepare for the worst and then if it's any better than that, you'll almost feel you've been let off the hook!

Number two is to try and continue doing everything you want to but at the same time take note of what's not fitting in and think about why. Is it because you always wanted a good excuse not to fulfill this task? Does the time of day/week need to be changed to fit it in? Where would it fit better with your new responsibilities? Try moving things about. Fitting them in different slots and give yourself time to find a new fit.

Number three is to be honest about whether everything actually still fits in. When you put a brick in a bucket of water some of the water is displaced. Your time is the same. You only have a finite amount and adding a baby to the mix may mean other activities/chores will overflow. What can you let go (even if it's just for the time being)? What can you do smarter? What can you get other people to do? Rather than just allowing the the end of your to do list to get pushed back every day, conciously think about and choose what you want to maintain and achieve in your life and what you want to let go.

Number four is to allow a routine to reveal itself. Life, and babies, have their own natural rhythms and if you give them time you may find that things work out.

Number five is don't compare yourself to anyone else - or if you must do it (as we're all prone to) then remember what you're seeing is only a small percentage of the total picture. It's easy to believe that everyone else is doing so much better than you but it's most likely they're just putting a brave face on it when the washing and dishes are piling up, their email inbox is over flowing and they're so stressed they've bitten nails down to the quick!

Number six is to reflect on what you have achieved every day. That day in the car, instead of thinking of all I hadn't done, I started to think about what I had done; bathed and dressed Freya, dressed Amelie, made beds, played with Amelie, Twitter for 30 min, made breakfast, lunch and dinner, sent some emails, made two phone calls, chatted to my boyfriend, showered and dressed, washed dishes, washed and hung out clothes, updated my website, changed nappies... and lo and behold, I started to get some colour back in my knuckles!

1 comment:

  1. This is such a true reflection of the reality. Like you when my second was born, the big shock was that "Holy crap, what they say about having 2 is true!" :)
    It does get so much better AND it is so important to leave space for flexibility in your days. Women are so good at wanting to be superhuman. Although we are closer than any other human being can be to superhero, we are not quite there yet :) Good luck, you have your hands full now. Oh and I hope the visa will get sorted in time!