It’s easy as a mum to lose your identity. When I walk in to Nick’s kindy to pick him up, there’s typically a chorus of, “Niiiiick, your muuuum is here!” Because to those kids, that’s who I am, Nick’s mum. I’m lucky that when I had him, I had a very good (and wise) friend tell me her rule. She said, “I’m Mel first. I’m the boys mum second.” It doesn’t mean she puts the boys second, it just means she is true to herself always and she is her own person always.
This week in Deb’s 52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life challenge we’ve been challenged to pick a thing or a neglected area of our lives that makes us us, and try to make it a high priority. I’m pretty certain every mother (at least every mother who wants to be a good one), has found themselves putting everyone else’s needs first. It’s a maternal instinct to make sure your family is well taken care of before you worry about yourself.
Before I was pregnant I played tennis. I played golf. I was interested in photography. I liked to scrapbook. I have always had several hobbies. Unfortunately most of them have fallen by the wayside since having Nick and going back to work. Any spare time I had I was spending on the computer and now it is spent running, training or doing chores. Apart from a couple hours here and there there’s just been no time to do anything that I used to do.
My husband surprised me yesterday with a gift. A 24-105mm L series canon lens for my camera. To say I was excited is a bit of an understatement. I’m definitely making it my mission to get out and shoot more now that I have this baby in my bag. It’s rejuvenated my love for taking photos. I got a bit lazy and my iPhone has been my camera for quite a while now. It’s easier to carry around, the picture quality isn’t terrible, and it’s just much more convenient. Not anymore. Photography is something I love doing for me, but can involve my family, too.
Last week I talked to my boss about dropping a day from my roster. I have been flat strap for 4 months now, working with split RDOs and grinding myself into the ground. I hit the proverbial wall and got sick, and realised just how much difference having two days off in a row makes.Thankfully both bosses were understanding and accommodating, so after my boss takes her holidays and we take ours, I’ll be dropping Tuesdays from work which will give me a whole extra day to do things. The list of things I’d like to do on this day is long, and includes but is not limited to, chores (groceries, laundry, clean the bathrooms – easy), take photos, go for a run, have coffee with girlfriends, read, nap, relax. I finally feel like there is a good balance to make sure I stay on top of everything and don’t get so run down. And I may even get to catch up on Nick’s scrapbook that right now, is only done up to his 2nd birthday (he’s 4!).
I know the more I can do these things for me, the better wife and mum I’ll be.