Remember when I naively published this blog post, about how to succeed in the summer holidays? Erm yeah, I hate my former self.
I actually wrote that last year, and really stupidly thought that 2022 would be the same, even tough I’m now a single mum and my business is even busier, AND my own marketing is now a lot more complex.
I am writing this on the Final Friday of my time without Sophie, her Dad & I do one week on, one week off. So in theory, I spend one week soaking up Sophie time – and then one week to focus on my business. Sounds easy, right?
Except, I’m not a robot. I actually thrive in routine, and of course that got thrown out the window on the 20th July when she skipped out of school for the last time that term. My whole week revolves around Sophie, I work and work-out between school runs, then my evenings are filled with her various activities, she even dictates what we eat and when. So to then have all of that thrown out the window – my brain just struggled to adapt. Usually I have a maximum of 2 days without her, so it’s easy to force myself to maintain the routine and she’s soon back. But this has been three weeks really close together.
We are not meant to do a fortnight’s work in one week, plus you know – look after ourselves. We all know by now that I’m an avid gym goer, and I can’t train whilst I’ve got Sophie – so by the time she left me on a Friday evening, I was desperate to get back into the gym. Which takes physical and mental energy. I stupidly thought that as I felt so refreshed after our week in Ibiza, it’d be repeated three times during the six weeks holiday – it was not.
Relaxing by a pool is not the same as copious days out and back to school shopping, and I massively underestimated how tired I was from entertaining a 6 year old, by myself, for a week at a time. There’s been a lot of driving, a lot of museums and days out, and I didn’t even stop to think that it might take its toll on my performance both at work and in the gym.
All I’m trying to say, is that I’ve really struggled this past 6 weeks.
Not going away has meant there was no distance between me and my business, and I bet there was barely one single day when I didn’t check my emails or do a ‘quick’ task for work. Meaning no actual down-time from work.
Having to parent and entertain on my own, was exhausting. I didn’t feel as though I could really relax and enjoys the days out and trips we were having, because I could feel my inbox mounting up and I was getting anxious about how behind I was falling at work. And I wasn’t giving myself any single days off to just be a human and restore my energy – expecting to just pick up all of my work and gym without skipping a beat or even getting a decent night’s sleep.
Trying to fit two weeks worth of work into one week, well there aren’t enough hours in the day. So I worked extra days, and then couldn’t sleep because my brain was whirring with everything I still had to do. I constantly felt like I was falling further and further behind, any attempt to catch up was dashed by clients (quite rightly) asking me to ‘just’ do something extra.
That lack of sleep, and being unable to clear my brain, meant my workouts were hard. I barely got out on my bike so got naff all fresh air, I gave myself one whole rest day in three weeks worth of training, strangely ended up injured (I know, I can’t imagine how) and every time I had an appointment I spent the entire time stressing about how I ‘should’ be working instead.
I also make really really bad food choices when I don’t sleep, so although I started the holidays on a great trajectory with my fat loss (not weight loss, different things yo) that soon changed course and I was eating worse and worse, then feeling worse, then training worse, etc etc.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly. I really really missed her. I don’t think I ever stopped to consider how it might feel to be alone alone for a week at a time, three weeks in close succession. It’s loooonely guys. She causes a lot of noise, and she’s the light of my bloody life. I missed her from the second she left, I tried to look at the positives – her room stayed tidy for long than half a day, I had way less washing to do, no-one eating every snack within 2 hours of buying them, but honestly? I missed my girl and I felt really sad.
Then flip that to my week with her, and I felt a huge amount of pressure to make the most of each and every second. I remember one Friday lunch she was driving me crazy, and I felt guilty for wanting 5 minutes peace as she was going in a few hours and then I knew I’d miss her – and that’s a hard headspace to be in. It’s really hard to switch between feeling just… sad, to then ‘making the most’ of this tiny whirlwind of a girl who is a big personality, one which clashes with mine on the regular. Honestly, it’s been a really hard place to be in mentally and I don’t think I realised the toll it would take.
You can see the downward spiral coming a mile off, can’t you? At the beginning of this week, I actually thought I was going to have to call the doctors. I felt out of control, like I was constantly battling my way through thick fog and I couldn’t see any light at the end of any tunnel. Plus being single, means being alone, which means no-one to offload onto which doesn’t help the feeling of everything being bottled up and then overflowing.
I’ve not ruled out going to the doctors yet, as I said, I get Sophie back tonight and that’s it for her long stints at her Dad’s until Christmas (and then it’s only one, so easier to deal with). We’re not doing as much next week, so I should be able to easily do a bit of work here and there, but I’ve also ticked off my to-do list finally for this week. But I’ve got a lot riding on her going back to school and everything falling back into place, and I’m not adverse to asking for help if that doesn’t happen.
I have to say a huge thank-you to my nutritionist, Jack, for endless voice notes and messages to just cheer me up and not berate me for refusing to track the fish & chips I ate in bed. Also I visited Nellie Taylor Holistics for some Reiki and honestly, it was an amazing decision. I walked away lighter and brighter, and hopefully I’m now going to be able to enjoy the last week of the holidays feeling in balance and ready to get back to normal without feeling so behind.
As I said before, I just wanted to admit that I’d been struggling, and to let you know that if you didn’t enjoy the summer either – then you’re not alone.