I’m not someone who thrives on stress. I like taking my time with things. I pride myself on being organised and having systems in place to keep all the balls I juggle in the air. Five years ago when I first started seriously thinking about becoming Dr Mum I talked to my coach about what this would look like. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I like to give things 100% – one hundred percent of the time. When I cook a meal, I want it to be an amazing and healthy meal. When I entertain I want ambience perfect. When I work, I need the work I produce to be at a level that I can be proud of. I’ve never thought of this as good or bad, it’s just me and how I work.
My coach smiled and suggested I started working on just focusing on giving 100% to something for a set amount of time. She gently reminded me that I couldn’t be the perfect wife, mother, and professional all at the same time. But when I was working I could be the best at my work. When I was with my husband I could focus on being entirely present and available and so on.
I’m now edging closer to having my baby and while I haven’t had a difficult pregnancy (it’s actual been quite the opposite) I am pregnant. That realisation has brought a sense of determinedness in me to really focus on what I’m doing. I can’t say that I’ve slowed down, I think I’ve accomplished more since finding out I was pregnant then the months before it. I jokingly say it’s all in an effort to baby proof my life!
So what’s changed?
- I say no more often. It’s amazing how many little projects we say yes to. A 200 word guest post. An invitation to speak on something that could-kinda-maybe-remotely be made to fit our area of expertise. These are things that would just cause me a lot of grief to get done. I just said no.
- I say yes more often. This probably sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? But once I emptied my life of all the above busy stuff – the noise – I had the time and space to say yes to the things that brought me so much happiness and joy. Things I was truly happy to do, that when I sat to do it, took up almost no time and created no stress at all.
- 100% to one thing at a time. I started doing this much more. When I was working I was completely working and not looking up baby clothes. When I was reading my baby a story, I was there completely. When I ate I was mindful of the process. When I rested, I rested completely.
And just like that I’ve felt calmer, less tired and have been incredibly productive. I’m sure I would have come to these processes eventually but I think pregnancy provided that little nudge I needed to get there sooner. But let’s be realistic, the fear that in a few months I won’t have two hours to plan,photograph and write my posts has scared me. Am I going to be too tired? How will I feel? What will the little one be like? This type of uncertainty and anxiety can be caused by a variety of changes to ones life – pregnancy just happens to be mine!