Cliches are cliche for a reason, right? So, I suppose it comes as no surprise to anyone but myself that taking a little bit of time off from my various creative projects over the past couple of weeks has lead to all sorts of epiphanies.
This year has been a year of throwing a lot of things at the wall and seeing what sticks. It’s been a time of tremendous change for me, and through it all, I’ve clung hard onto these little side projects to make me feel more like myself when I felt subsumed under my identity as Benjamin’s mum - a role I adore, but which is only a small part of me. I’ve gone from being on full time maternity leave, to easing my way back into work (in a new role, no less), from the mother of a baby to the mother of a rambunctious toddler, from blogger to podcaster and from feeling a bit lost to having my feet on slightly sturdier ground. If I am grateful for anything, it is for all of you following along with me, offering your wisdom and support in my Instagram DMs and cheering on each new venture as I tried it on for size.
I am a multi-passionate person and what I have learnt about myself is that I am often chasing the next thing ahead of me, because I want to do it all. But, doing that this year has left me feeling a little burnt out and without a lot of time for the other things that I value. Creativity is so important to me, but it is not the only important thing. Time with my family and friends. Reading books. Cooking. Yoga. And by taking a little break, I’ve had space for those things and I am happier as a result.
Motherhood, unsurprisingly, changes you in a lot of ways - and one unexpected way for me is how much more able I am to roll with the punches. Despite my increased responsibilities, I am so much less anxious now than a couple of years ago - and maybe that’s a coincidence, and that will come back to me, but I am willing to embrace this slightly-more-easy-going version of myself whilst it lasts. Because, really, I have a good life, and I don’t really see much benefit in making myself stressed if I don’t absolutely have to (although as a Type A overachiever, it is in my nature to do just that!).
So, all this to say that I’m going to be taking a step back from this blog for a while (if you haven’t noticed from my total lack of posting in the last month!) and Work Like a Mother is on a little hiatus. I don’t want to let it go forever, as there are so many stories still to be told, and the connections I’ve made through that podcast have been a highlight of my year. But, it’s also a lot of work and I want to stop pushing myself to the limits when it comes to what really amount to hobbies.
Instead, I’ll probably start writing my newsletter again; just short little missives on the things I’ve been thinking about each fortnight, so I can stay connected with the people that want to. And, of course, I’m loathe to give up my Instagram habit so you’ll still be able to find me there, if your inbox is already stuffed to the brim. I’ll also be keeping up with Readers Gonna Read, so if you miss my voice, you can find me chatting over there every fortnight and I’ll be sharing some book reviews on that site if that’s something you’re interested in. I’m working behind the scenes on a new project, which I hope is going to take me in a good direction, but I want to do it slowly and without the pressure, so that one is staying close to my chest for now (although newsletter subscribers and Instagram followers will probably get some sneak peeks, because I am terrible at keeping things to myself). And, last but certainly not least, A Creative Day will still be going ahead in January, so come and hang out with me there!
This is not goodbye, it’s just a little retreat - a hibernation, if you will, for the winter months. In throwing everything at the wall, I’ve found what is sticking for now. I’m a blogger at heart, so I’m sure this space won’t lie dormant for long, although I may give it a spring clean if I ever get a spare minute. So, thank you for reading and I hope to see you elsewhere on the Internet for now!