What Do You Do When The Wheels Fall Off?

Untitled by Gabi~
Untitled, a photo by Gabi~ on Flickr.

Last week the wheels fell off……everything! I had been sick for a few days, but because I had so much to do, just kept working through it. Apparently that was a bad move, because I’d let my health come a very poor second to my work, and consequently by the beginning of last week, I was absolutely out of steam. I ended up with several doctor’s appointments, tests, x-rays, the lot. Now I’m taking the prescribed medication, and trying to slow down just a little bit to get back to normal health.

I think this is a common scenario for most mums, the jobs need to get done, and you’re the one to take care of that. Factor in also your job, and that makes it all the more stressful. When you’re working for someone else, chances are, there is someone else on staff who can cover your workload for a day or two. When you are the entire company, that luxury is usually just a dream.
So, I had a huge week planned, several business opportunities had presented themselves and needed actioning, at least a million new ideas were swirling around in my head and the new Zen Designs range was all ready to be put online and launched. All this on top of the normal life stuff that needs to happen, including early starts and late finishes at school for Bella. Thank goodness John took on most of the cooking duties (read: much mess in kitchen), and most of my orders were up to date.

The thing is, when you’re doing it on your own in business, you really do have to stay on top of your own health. This sounds quite obvious, but it’s too easy to put everyone else first, and not take notice of any warning signs that you may be in for a fall. A good idea is to have measures in place in case you need to take a few days off. Also having a good support network is a huge asset. If you have customers, let them know orders may be a little late. If you have suppliers, keep them in the loop. And most importantly, if you are offered help from family and friends, take it!

Hopefully I’m back on track for this week, and the new Zen Designs range will be up and running. The photos are all ready to go, and I think they look quite good. I’ve also got another business idea forming in my over-active brain that needs researching, so stay tuned for something completely different…..guess I’ll be tackling that one in my spare time.

As mums, I think it’s a natural instinct to want to do it all ourselves. Just try to be a little kind to yourself, and maybe have a little break every now and then. Stay healthy.

When Is A Wonton, Not A Wonton? When it’s A Dumpling.

I do not enjoy cooking. I love to eat (really love!!), but the preparing, cooking and presentation of food….not so much. This is something John simply can’t understand. He LOVES cooking, especially when there is great mess to be made. Apparently it tastes better the more pots/pans/dishes you use, and if there is something sticky and slippery on the floor after he’s prepared the meal, it must be a gastronomic delight!
So, it’s taken him quite a while to realize that lunch will not be a “meal” in our house. I can easily get through the middle of the day with a couple of extra coffees and some rice crackers and hommus. Yes I know, I know, then I wonder why I’m ready to eat a whole chocolate cake at 4.00 o’clock!

Because John is a nightshift worker, he’s around during the day and expects to be fed. I’ve made it quite clear that I will do breakfast and dinner, but lunch….sorry, you’re on your own. So, not being a great fan of the kitchen (don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to be just like Nigella. Her wardrobe is quite lovely, and all those appliances look like a bit of fun), I also jump at the offer of dinner out.

We went to our favourite Chinese restaurant the other night, certainly not local, but definitely authentic. Deciding to try some different dishes to our usuals, I liked the look of “BBQ pork in plum sauce with pineapple”. John tried to warn me that this sounded suspiciously like sweet & sour, but know-it-all me just had to give it a go. So, we all had a little bit of everything, except I just couldn’t stop myself from going to town on this new tangy delight. Sadly, his suspicions seemed to be pretty spot on, “sweet & sour is a great hiding place for older meat”. Yep, that drive home seemed to take forever, and I’m pretty sure I’ll listen to the great foodie from now on. I just won’t ever admit it to him.

School Camp Blues

leaving home 1 by faeristarlite
leaving home 1, a photo by faeristarlite on Flickr.

I’m feeling a bit fragile today, after sending Bell off on her first school camp. The “camp” is really just a one night sleepover at the school, complete with a day full of pool/waterslide/jumping castle activities, and a night of pizza, disco and not much sleeping, but it just feels like a big milestone. We’ve been having a countdown since the note came home last week, and she was beside herself last night as all the packing was done (how much stuff do 8-year-olds need for 24 hours?!!).

She also asked me not to volunteer as one of the sleepover parents, as she’s just started at this new school this year, and I feel that she’s wanting to show her independence a bit more. I’m obviously happy that she’s confident enough to not want me around all the time, but also just a tiny bit sad that she’s not my “baby” any more. So, it’s time for me to be a big girl, and just get on with it…..but I was secretly relieved when, as we were walking towards the classroom, all loaded with sleeping bag, pillow and about 25 changes of clothes, she slipped her little hand into mine and gave it a squeeze.

Once I was dismissed, along with the other parents who all wanted to stay for just one more minute, I headed to my favourite coffee shop on the beach. An hour there with a good latte, a fresh mag and the amazing view of the islands, and I was ready to get back into the home/work gig. John and I are even going to catch a movie this afternoon, seeing there’s no school pickup, but I’ll be wondering what they’re all up to, and how much fun they’re having.

It’s wonderful when you realize that you’ve done something right, seeing your kids head off on their own adventures, in a confident way. But, sometimes I do miss having the little person who relied on me for even the most simple things. I think I’d better prepare myself, there’s many more challenges she’ll tackle without me holding her hand, and I think I’m quite proud that she’ll be able to handle most of them pretty well.