Some of you may know that Heather and I are busy organising a few networking events this year, (the first one is at the end of February and its going to be really great – book now if you haven’t already.) including a conference which means we have started meeting with brands.
We had a meeting this with a rather large corporate who has expressed interest in working with us.
On my way to take the kids to school this morning I noticed my tyre was flat but so flat I couldn’t drive it anywhere. (Mom if you are reading this – you can say “I told you so”). Fortunately David was still at home so he did the school run and then he we managed to change the tyre when he got home. Changing the tyre on a bus is not the same as changing the tyre on a normal 4-door car so I think he needs a high 5 for doing it.
It did mean that my “getting lost” time to my meeting was drastically reduced but fortunately my GPS got the time wrong and instead of taking me 42 minutes it took me just over 30 minutes. So I was on time and Heather and I could have a quick chat before the meeting.
The meeting ended up being a lot more formal that I had assumed and to be honest we probably could have been a little more prepared and I was a little over whelmed. I haven’t been in a meeting room for over 4 years. I haven’t had to talk corporate speak for over 4 years. It was totally outside my comfort zone but not a completely terrible experience. This was the first time I was talking about something I am very passionate about, something that we are working very hard to put together, something that I feel has meaning.
While I am not sure I actually miss corporate life, meetings and what not, I can say that I do miss being creative with people, brainstorming, sharing ideas and I do actually miss the structure of a regular 9-5 job. There is something to be said for a day where you know what you need to do, when to do it and with whom you need to do it.
This year is all about nourishing myself, doing things I fear, pushing myself to be better, be more and while meetings are an every day part of most working people’s lives, I never thought I would be sitting in a meeting like this a year ago asking what we were asking.
What are you doing to push yourself outside your comfort zone?
I was recently part of a discussion where a mom asked who was more important your partner or your kids. It led to a rather heated discussion, I sometimes thinks moms could make “which type of cheese curls are best” a contentious issue but this is a rather interesting subject isn’t it?
I would just like to say that one relationship doesn’t need to be more important than another but for the sake of this post lets say you have to chose.
So who is more important, kids or partner?
The short answer, my partner!
*shock* *horror* *gasp*
How could I put my partner above my own flesh and blood! Surely that’s not right? Surely my kids should come first, always? Surely they should be my reason for living?
Well, no I don’t think that’s how it should be. Of course my children are extremely important to me, my life does in many ways revolve around them. My partner, the man I have chosen to spend my life with is equally important though.
As mothers we get so caught up in our new baby. We get consumed by making sure their needs are met, we are often sleep deprived, confused and anxious. We think that we need to dedicate 24 hours of our day to our children when in fact doing that is not particularly healthy! Not only because we forget to look after ourselves but also because we forget to look after the relationship with our partner.
Our partners are the first one we neglect in our conquest to be a good mother. We quickly forget to take the dirty yoga pants off when they get home, dinner gets neglected or completely forgotten or turns into fish fingers and chips, the goodbye kiss is replaced with a “Please don’t forget to fetch child 4 from swimming” yelled out the door as he is reversing out the drive-way, intimacy becomes a word you briefly notice on the cover of Cosmo while waiting in the line at Pick n Pay. You no longer ask how their day was but rather run through a list of things that they need to do the next day for you.
You are the being a good mother. You are putting your children first. You are making this sacrifice for them.
The problem with this is that there will come a time when your children head off to parties, sleep overs, university and ultimately leave home and suddenly you have no where to be, no lunches to make, no sports to watch, no class whatsapp groups to chat to. It will just be you and your partner, alone with no distractions. If you have not nurtured your relationship you will suddenly find yourself living with a stranger.
So here’s why it is important to make sure you nurture your relationship with your partner and every once in a while put them first (yes even above our flesh and blood).
They are a parent too. We very often forget our partner is also a parent. If you are feeling anxious or exhausted, chances are they are too. When you talk to them, talk as their equal not in a “you know nothing about kids so just listen to me because I know it all” sort of way. When we do that (and yes I am guilty of this) we make our partner feel inadequate and often like they are just in the way. That is not fair to either one of you.
They are your PARTNER. By sheer definition a partner is someone who does something with you and shares the risk equally. Treat them like a partner not an adversary. When something happens during my day, good or bad, I call or message David first because he is my partner, the one I share things with but more importantly he is the one I look to for support. He is the one who holds my hand, tells me it will be ok, he grounds me. He is there for me constantly. I have family support, friend support but there is nothing like the support of a partner, they have your back!
It sets a good example! Children learn what they see more than they learn what they are told. There is no better way for them to learn what a healthy relationship looks like than to see it every day. This doesn’t mean no fighting or no hard times, it means healthy communication and team work. It is not healthy for them to see you pushing your partners needs aside for theirs.
Relationships are hard work and very often you have to make an effort to put the work in with your partner, often not because you don’t love them but just because it is easy to get so caught up in your kids you can’t see the wood for the trees. Putting in that effort though is so very important. Ensuring your partner feels appreciated may be hard to do when you aren’t feeling particularly appreciated but I promise you once you spread the love, you will feel the love!
So if this has been something you have neglected, send your partner a message now saying thank you for everything they do, plan a date night or maybe even just spend some time tonight talking about their day!
What are your thoughts on this? Should your kids be the most important thing?
It is already the 22 January – can you handle that?
This week has been a little bit flat, I am still battling low blood pressure which is very frustrating.
I have had a good week though with lots to be grateful for.
- All 3 kids have settled nicely into school.
- I did some major de-cluttering this weekend. I cleared out the garage, toy room and the cupboard we have under the stairs. I was ruthless. Only things that we use stayed – everything else went either to Jane, the hospice shop or in the bin.
- I am swimming twice a week. I think it may be my running. I am really enjoying it.
- We received a school bag full of stationery from Woolworths – who does not love a bag fulled with stationery.
- After trying just about everything to get rid of the millions of flies that descend on my kitchen while I am cooking, I bought one of those Mortein spray things and it is working really well. I don’t particularly like the idea of a chemical being sprayed into the air every 15 minutes but the cloves in fruit, coins in bags and vinegar on counters were just not working.
- I had a lunch date with two friends on Monday. It was great catching up and getting out a little bit.
- I have been saving to finally redo the kids bedrooms and I managed to get all the paint yesterday.
How has your week been? What’s making you happy?
Are you happy?
Am I happy?
What makes you happy? What makes me happy?
What is this thing we call happiness?
- the state of being happy.“she struggled to find happiness in her life”
That’s what the dictionary says. It is still a little bit wishy washy isn’t it? A state of being happy? What is happy?
- feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.“Melissa came in looking happy and excited”
So based on that definition if I (or Melissa) walk into a room laughing because my baby did something cute or I heard a joke then it is assumed I am happy?
That assumption would be incorrect. Maybe I (or Melissa) was just retrenched or maybe the car just broke and there is no spare money to fix it or maybe a family member is sick or maybe you suffer a deep dark depression and were just faking the laugh.
It is such a difficult thing to define this happiness thing and an even harder thing to achieve. I am not talking about feeling pleasure, that is easy to feel in the moment but to feel a sense of contentment and pleasure continually, that is a little bit harder. It is hard because life isn’t all about happiness. Things happen, bad, negative, frustrating things happen that make us feel unhappy. We find ourselves in abusive relationships, soul destroying jobs or caught up in family dramas. This is the nature of life – we need the good with the bad, how then do we manage to reach a state of happiness?
We embrace it!
We focus on it!
We find the happy in the everyday, in the mundane, in the negative!
I joined a group on Facebook last year called Embrace Happy. It is the brain child of Karin and I am enjoying the group so much. One of the quotes Karin shared was “Not every day is a good day but there is good in every day“, this was my light bulb.
I have a slight flair for the dramatic, I had a whole blog post in my head about the walk into school yesterday morning in the rain. It was a 5 minute little trip but I could have written a 400 word post about it. I do tend to focus on the drama of a situation. I feel sorry for David sometimes, I think I exhaust him. Like Tuesday, my car wouldn’t start, I was at the kids school, Cam was at home with Emma (it should have been a 10 minute trip). I phoned David in a state shouting “My car won’t start! Cam is at home with Emma and I am here and the car won’t start ever and I am going to be stuck here forever and my 12 year old will have to look after the baby and I am a terrible mother and no one can help me”. Ok so I didn’t really SAY all of that but I might as well have because that’s what was going on in my head!
Anyway the point is, instead of getting out my car, asking the school for help, I have a small dramatic break down in the parking lot. Three months ago this little incident would have ruined my day. I wouldn’t have gone to gym because I got home later than planned (and obviously now I needed to spend the day finding money for a new car because my car was broken), I would have wallowed in the negative way too long. I didn’t do that this time. I went to gym and swam 30 lengths, I focused on my to do list and ended up having a really good day.
Everyday all the members of our Facebook group share 3 good things from the day. It is very similar to a gratitude journal but with support because some days, despite our attempts to focus on happy, are just rubbish but even on those days there are always 3 good things.
I am consciously focusing on the good, the happy, the things that bring me pleasure (like hot home made bread).
How easy is it for you to keep the focus on the happy? Do you also have a flair for the dramatic?
I am joining in on a 52 Weeks of Gratitude challenge, this challenge appeals to me because there are no rules, set time lines (if I miss a week, its ok).
Sheena recently posted on Facebook that if she gets a FB notification of a birthday and she doesn’t feel close enough to the person to wish you then she unfriends them. At the time I thought “Shame, imagine being unfriended on your birthday” but it stuck with me and got me thinking about my Facebook friends.
I don’t have many Facebook friends and I have come to realise I actually ok with that. When Facebook came out, we had a massive class reunion of sorts. Suddenly I was friends with almost everyone I went to school with, people I hadn’t even thought about it 10/15 years suddenly had a front row seat into my life. Then I started blogging and readers and fellow bloggers were suddenly my friends. After my appearance on 3Talk, random viewers were suddenly asking to be my friend.
Friend requests were coming from all sides, even a few desperate solider’s from Afghanistan wanted to be my friend. I was finding myself scrolling past feeds of people I had nothing in common with, didn’t know or didn’t even want to know.
I share my life online, I share here, on twitter and on Facebook but I share different things on the different platforms. I am all about the noise on twitter, its where I get my news from and where I catch up on whats happening in the world and where I go to for quick crowd sourcing. I share stories from our lives on my blog, offer advise and build relationships with my readers. Facebook is somewhere in between all of that but I do feel it needs to be, for me, a little more personal than twitter and should enhance existing relationships.
Some time during last year Facebook introduced the unfollow button, we all cheered and unfollowed everyone we didn’t want to be friends with but couldn’t unfriend. Very passive aggressive of Facebook, and us! But I unfollowed people but it still felt wrong. So I have started, slowly cleaning up my friend list. There has to be a real connection between us, we have to connect and talk to each other.
I am also clearing out the negativity and drama. If all you share is negative stories about South Africa, or moan constantly or are just in general negative about life, I don’t want to be Facebook friends with you. The same applies to pages I follow that are constantly negative or promoting drama.
I am clearing the clutter out of my timeline!
How do you decide who you make friends with? Do you accept all requests?
My word for 2015 is Nourish and the more I think about it the more I love it. Last year was the 3rd year I had a word and to be honest it was the first year that I took it seriously and actually lived the word.
Linked to my word is my need to nourish myself by accepting who I am physically! You would think at 36 years old this wouldn’t be an issue anymore but it is and I am tired of it being something that holds me back. This was also part of my acceptance last year and during our holiday in December I spent the a lot of time in my costume, I even wet on a water slide. 6 months ago I wouldn’t have done this, I have issues with being in my costume but I am getting over them, quickly.
As soon as we got home from our holiday I raced to jump on the scale to see how fat I had gotten. Fortunately my scale is broken because as I stood there I started thinking about how that line of thinking “how fat am I?” is NOT nourishing anything! So I got off, pushed it under the cupboard and decided then and there to not get it on again and here’s why!
1. It is demotivating. How many times have we eaten well and exercised and then we jump on the scale and it either says we have put on or lost nothing. That does not motivate me at all. In fact it makes me want to run out and shove all the Steers chips in my face because what difference does it make.
2. Its not accurate. Of course it is accurate in that if it says 100kg I am probably 100kg BUT it does not necessarily mean that I have not lost weight/centimetres. Last year when I was doing the whole low carb thing with David I actually put on kgs BUT I lost centimetres, I know this because my clothes got loser etc but the scale still threw that horrible number out at me.
3. Does it really matter? I used to think it did. I used to think that getting to that magical number of 65kg was when life would begin. I used to think I needed to get there to be a healthy person. The reality is I don’t! I don’t need the approval of the scale. I am not linking my self worth to the numbers on the scale.
So I have decided to stop checking my weight. I will know if I am losing or putting on – we all do, I don’t need a scale to tell me that.
Instead I am focusing on getting healthy by making changes in my diet, getting more active and generally just shifting the goal from reaching a number to reaching a lifestyle!
How important is the scale to you? What are your health and fitness goals for the year?