In the New Year, I set some personal goals that seemed to always be pushed to the side and caught myself at the end of the week mumbling, “I’ll start next week“. Well my days started to fly by and before I knew it I was in my last year of the twenties. It always seemed to be go, go go, packing Koa’s nursery bag, preparing dinner, hanging the laundry, making sure we have all those house essentials, nappies were changed, snacks ready for the girls, fruit, veggies, dishes are washed, sheets are cleaned, toys put back, dog walked, husband fed, babies bathed, creamed and put down. Then by the time I was able to relax and take a sip of tea, Knixon would be up again wanting more milk. So it was bedtime for me at 8pm every night trying to rest up and have it start all over again at the crack of dawn the next morning.
My husband’s job recently had transferred to a different location and the era of him traveling and hotel living had begun. In the blink of an eye, four hands around the house quickly became two and I was on my own with our tiny tribe. It was just me. I didn’t have those extra pair of eyes to watch the girls while I took a shower, went to the toilet, or cooked, and let me tell you, cooking for a toddler, a baby, and myself was quite stressful. Not only was it the cooking and preparing whilst two hungry monsters were hanging off of my legs like they were dying of starvation, but it was also the tornado that would be left after the feast. Trying to keep their best interest at heart, I was getting into a routine of pasta and frozen dinners for quickness. Koa was becoming acquainted with chips, peas and Quinoa balls that I was able to just stick in the oven and I was finding myself just eating their cold leftovers. If I couldn’t find time to myself before, then how was I able to find time now?
“When we stress and feel exhausted we tend to give up things that nourish ourself.”
I recently came across an excerpt written by another inspirational mother and it read, “I end up focusing on what other people need from me rather than what I need from me… I need to return to my way of slow living”. I was getting caught up in a rushed routine that wasn’t setting aside any time for myself. Something needed to change. I needed to slow it down baby.
When I started to open up and share more of our life, I began to realise that I was getting caught up with social media world. People were writing us lovely messages and I began my journey of inspiring. I loved it! However, when my personal life took a shift, I had to step back and reassess myself. I decided to go forward with a social detox. I removed my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter apps off my phone. Being inaccessible to me during the day. I needed to slow it down baby.
Social media was how I was keeping in contact with my family who live in different countries. It was how I found myself relating to other mothers and how I was easily getting sucked into comparing. I was putting that extra time in my day to double tap, like, comment, post and share. I was putting energy into focusing on what other people wanted from me. Or what I thought they wanted from me. I was giving my time to others when I couldn’t even find time for myself.
I had to put it on pause and slow it down baby. I needed to put myself first. It was time to show myself some lovin. It was time to celebrate and nourishme. Press that refresh button and get back to loving me. Realise how amazing I am again. How kick-ass I am for the amount of love I have to offer to others, but now learn how to share that same love with myself.
Funny enough, during my social detox the girls and I went to go visit their Dad in Bristol, what will be our new home city. We stayed in a hotel for the whole week where I did not have to cook, tidy up, hang any laundry, pack any lunches, or food shop. I even found myself taking a few naps with the girls during the day. I found myself relaxing and this was exactly what I needed. Free from media, free from engaging my time in other people’s lives and free from sharing mine. I was simply enjoying MY moments. I was having my own little private party learning how to love me and baby oh baby I was finally slowing it down.
My social detox lasted for just two and a half weeks. I was starting to piece myself some time little by little. From reading a book, to mediating a little bit more, to finally getting back into the kitchen and whipping us up some delicious and healthy meals. I found time to not only to be by myself, but also use that time to keep my mind still. I wasn’t thinking about what needed to be done next or what need to be on my shopping list. I set time aside to get back into the gym and show my body some lovin as well. I am in the process of getting my mojo back baby and finally being Alaina again. Not just a mom, not just a dog walker, not just a wife, but as Alaina and I was beginning to see the love everywhere.
“We don’t see the world as it is, but as we are”
In the midst of guiding my two little girls and being able to be there for my husband, I was finally finding a way to juggle quality time for myself. I am on that constant pathway of soul-searching always opened to learning more and more about myself.
Although I am now back on social media, I am keeping myself first priority. However, I am very excited to be back doing what I know how to do best and that’s being me.
“Trust yourself enough to let go, shift, and uproot, give yourself permission to shed who you used to be. You are allowed to start over and find ways to bloom into your best self.”
I now challenge you to try a little social detox. Don’t put a time limit on it whether it be one day or one month, try to be still in your mind. Take a walk outside without your phone and look up, at the sky, trees, and listen to the birds. Stop talking to yourself in your head about all the things you have to get done and just breath. Enjoy that moment of freedom and peace and just slow it down baby!
I suggest anyone and everyone who can find time to read, ‘Mindfulness’ a Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World, written by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.
Sign, Squeal, Mumble,
The Bennett Babes