It’s been a crazy couple of months. Since my move I’ve been on a rollercoaster of highs and incredible lows. In my naive mind, I had the move down as the time I was really going to sort my s**t out and live my best life…I imagined securing a job, cosy nights in with Diptyque candles burning whilst I blogged away with my little lady tucked up in bed, becoming a domestic goddess and all that jazz. Turns out, things haven’t really panned out that way and whilst I honestly don’t have a lot to complain about (aside from the lack of Diptyque candles, which is a very real issue), I’ve found myself feeling pretty down in the dumps of late.
When moving day came I knew I would be busy making my house a home for a couple of weeks at least, but as you can see, I’ve managed to post twice since then. I was on a real roll with my content prior to this; sharing on a regular basis, working with some amazing brands, active on my social media and then poof. I seemed to drop of the face of the internet! I feel like I’ve always been an all or nothing gal when it comes to blogging, and recently there may as well have been tumble weed rolling across your screen if you visited my site! It’s not that the intention hasn’t been there, because it really has, but I just haven’t had the motivation. I look back to where I was even four months ago in the blogging world and I miss it; I miss the chats I used to have over on Twitter, I miss the buzz of posting a new photograph to Instagram, I miss feeling like a total girl boss when I have three blog posts scheduled and a million ideas for more flying around my head. I miss working into the wee hours to get those pictures edited to perfection. I miss reading blogs and cheerleading for my favourite blogging babes. So the plan is to get back into the swing of it all, and please bare with me because I know it might take a little while, but I’ve come to realise that not only do I love blogging and all that comes with it, but it is also so good for my mental health. I started Spread The Sparkle back when my little lovely was born, because I felt as though I’d lost my identity in being ‘mummy’, and working on this site has got me through some pretty rough personal patches over the last few years. It has, quite literally, been my saviour, and although I’ve kinda saved myself this time, I’m ready to feel the comfort and accomplishment that comes from my little corner of the internet.
Another thing I’ve realised is how little I have been prioritising myself. To give you an example, I recently went to the doctors. I’d had a cough for a good three weeks before I called, and when I did the quickest appointment was two weeks away. So all in all, this cough had plagued me for at least five weeks by the time I sat in front of an actual doctor. I knew I had been feeling rubbish and pretty wiped out (bed by half past eight wasn’t unheard of, ahem) but plodded on regardless because I have a little human to look after, and that’s just what I do. So when the doctor told me I’d had bronchitis, but was over the worst of it, I could have cried. Despite me knowing something was wrong, I had not mattered enough to myself to get to the doctors, or to even take it easy. Before moving, I looked forward to relaxing baths with lots of bubbles and a good book; the reality is I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve indulged in that, always opting for a quick shower instead because this house isn’t going to clean itself, you know?!? I don’t want to run myself into the ground, and I know that things are easier/I cope with things better when I look after myself. Going forward, I am making myself a priority. I’m literally going to block out slots in my diary for self care; whether that’s a good old catch up with friends, a lavish bubble bath, an early night or watching Gilmore Girls in peace…whatever. As long as it makes me feel good I’m all for it.
Finally, money has been the biggest thing making my head hurt! Now I know we all have money worries from time to time, and I am by no means pleading absolute poverty. I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge and a car which I know is a privileged position to be in. Hell, my daughter even goes to ballet lessons which cost £40 every half term! But I got to the point where I was so sick of budgeting literally down to the penny. I couldn’t cope with anything throwing a spanner in the works, even something as little as having to buy some new school shoes would throw me all out of whack. And then my car broke down. And was shortly booked in for an MOT. Cue complete meltdown, uncontrollable sobbing and heaps of anxiety. Luckily, I have the most amazing family who have supported me (and lent me the £230 it cost to get my car through the dreaded MOT) and I am forever grateful, but that made me feel like even more of a failure because I want to do this myself. I want to be independent and support myself. I want to feel like I got this (even when I clearly haven’t). Extra work is out of the question, as I have enrolled on a course to help me get back into teaching after ten years, which I should be patting myself on the back about. I’ll be going back as a teaching assistant for the first few years but then who knows? Between the course, the placement, blogging, mummy duties and general life, there’s no room to squeeze in a few hours paid work. This year is going to be a toughie financially, but I’ll get through it and at the end of it, will be back in a stable job with my little side hustle of Spread The Sparkle.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I achieved this big thing; I moved and set up home for me and my girl after a rocky couple of years. I should have been on top of the world but I’ve been drowning in a sea of guilt and the feeling of failure. I’ve put a smile on my face, I’ve gone quiet on the internet and distanced myself from friends. I needed to realise that it’s ok to ask for help, and it’s necessary to swallow my pride from time to time and admit that I’m feeling vulnerable. I’m in a much better place now and looking at the reality of it, I’m happy with my lot. Yes, presently it might be a struggle but I know that I’m doing a good job. To quote one of my favourite authors/girl bosses/people, Laura of Superlatively LJ…”none of us is f**king up like we think we are”. Amen to that.