As a 40 something year old, with a gorgeous 2-year-old, and a wonderful husband living here in Fremantle, WA I feel blessed. I am a full-time mum and wife. A part-time teacher working with teenagers who through no fault of their own, have not succeeded in mainstream schooling. A part time University student working towards my Masters in Education, determined to not be left behind in my professional life by having a child and deciding to only work part time. A good friend, a fitness fanatic, a lover of the outdoors….and it goes on. In this stage of my life, the push to be so much to so many as well as to continue to achieve and pursue professional recognition, is terrifying and demanding and all too real.
I was diagnosed with anxiety and stress not long after having my baby. Again, nothing new or rare. In a society that places so many demands on new mums and yet offers very little support or guidance, this is common place. Another element to this is that my husband and I have chosen to live in a part of the world that we love, but this means removing ourselves from family support. My parents reside in North Wales, my husband’s family are all in Victoria. This choice for the good life of WA, comes at a cost of no immediate support. We are each others rock. All of these factors, I know are not rare. I decided to go down the self-help route for my anxiety and stress. As a teacher within a CARE ( Curriculum and Re-engagement) school, we are trained to deal with vicarious trauma. For me, addressing my stress with Relaxation, Exercise and Creativity seemed the natural route. It also enabled me to go back to my roots as a Therapist, back in Wales before I emigrated. Taking care of others and giving them strategies to look after their bodies and minds is second nature to me, so how difficult could it be to apply it to myself?
Well, very difficult.
Finding time to put all those extra elements into my day, my week is actually near impossible. Every day ends with saying ” Just one more job, then I’ll stop”. Starting this blog, is my stop. I’ve decided that I will embrace the creative (my love of writing and communication) with the relaxation (the stop). Nothing here is new, groundbreaking or innovative. I draw on my experiences as a first time mum, and my qualifications and experience in Leadership and Management, Teaching, Holistic Therapies, Stress Management and Counselling. It is the opportunity to share the ways we cope as mums and wives and workers and friends, in a world that taunts us with the joys and benefits of relaxation, whilst we are running around the home at night, packing, planning, folding and shouting above the chaos, “Just one more job, then I’ll stop”.