CONFESSIONS · LIFE · THE ART OF HAPPINESS

Confessions of a Single Mother: Filling Up Your Cup

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I don’t even know where to begin on this blog post as it’s been so long and I’ve got a list of about 40 blog posts to write. It feels like day one all over again, as if I’m starting a brand new blog.

I just recently got back from Texas, where I spent ten days staying with family. I had the best time, and arrived home feeling somewhat lighter, refreshed, revived and ready to blog like crazy.

I went without Maia, one because I couldn’t afford for us both to go, and two because I needed a break. I really really needed a break. So I took my wonderful sister Berlyn up on her offer of coming to visit, and stayed with her family in their beautiful home, in Houston.

I didn’t really think much of it when I booked it. It was 10 days, not 10 months. My Mum was more than happy to have Maia and I was thrilled at my first proper solo holiday since becoming a Mummy. For 10 whole days I would be relieved of all Mummy duties.

F R E E D O M. 

There was a sense of guilt at leaving my little girl behind. But I knew deep down she would be well taken care of, she’d have fun with my parents and spend time with her Dad, and I had nothing to worry about. I knew deep down, I was meant to go on this trip, and the outcome would be best for everyone.

People said it would be hard leaving her for 10 days, and the truth is yes of course I missed her. I missed her little voice, her laugh, her spontaneous hilarious comments. I missed her singing, her cuddles, her big blue/green eyes. Her presence.

But I didn’t miss the stress. I didn’t miss the tantrums. I didn’t miss the whining. I didn’t miss the stubbornness or the laundry. I didn’t miss the never-ending mess. The constant to-ing and fro-ing from the kitchen to fetch things she may or may not eat.

There was a lot I missed and a lot I didn’t, but all in all, I truly made the most of my break.

I didn’t cry once. (Although I did choke up at a video my mother sent me of Maia singing, two days before I came home). I didn’t worry about anything. I didn’t overeat (okay that’s a lie I had a lot of ice-cream and the Denny’s portions of pancakes were ridiculous, it’s safe to say I embraced the culture).

I did some form of exercise everyday; swimming, jogging and gymming. We ate well; lots of smoothie bowls, salads and kale. (Before all the ice cream and cheesecake, it was beginning to feel like a wellness-retreat..)

I did my morning pages most days (where you write 3-4 pages non-stop without thinking, a stream of consciousness type exercise..) and read lots.

I went for breakfast with Berlyn and her Mummy friends, enjoyed getting to know them and gobbled up the yummiest French toast I’ve ever tasted.

Together, the two of us laughed a lot. We went on road trips. – With and without her kids. We ate out at some of the best places, sang along to Ed and Bruno in the car and filmed the occasional vlog.

I couldn’t really have asked for a better holiday. And I know it did me the world of good, which in turn is better for everyone around me. I learnt the importance of self-care and having time out, every day, to help bring some sanity to the crazy world of parenting a small child. I sometimes forget I deserve a break. I forget that being a mother is a huge responsibility, and you cannot care for others before taking care of yourself, you cannot pour from an empty cup, so it’s important to take a breath and re-charge when you feel yourself dipping. (Not necessarily ten days, but even just ten minutes, to yourself, daily). 

As much as I enjoyed my time away, it did always feel like there was something missing, or someone missing. Coming home to Maia – with a more positive mind and rejuvenated self – was the best feeling in the world. Seeing her little face light up in the airport the moment she saw me, and the warmth that spread through me as she wrapped her little arms so tightly around my body, was an indescribable feeling.

I think that’s what makes travelling so special now that I’m a mother, knowing what I have to come home to.

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