It’s 1am. Knee deep in the passport queue at Dubai International Airport, a heavily pregnant woman is having such a bad coughing fit that onlookers could be forgiven for thinking that she might go into early labour. After bursting into tears she is whisked to the top of the queue by an attendant who takes one look at her huge bump and red, snot filled face and takes pity.
Actually, that woman is me. After struggling through a 7 hour flight from London with searing sinus pain and the husband’s ‘manflu’ that I thought I had escaped from contracting, I had finally reached my wits end. It was a not so nice finish to an otherwise fantastic trip to Bath for my Dubai best friend’s beautiful wedding – a chance to relax and spend a few days on my own (which at 31 weeks pregnant, will be in short supply of very soon!)
As I sit on the sofa fit for nothing but rest and a cup of ginger and lemon, I take a look back over the last few weeks. Weeks that I’ve found myself rushing around like a crazy woman. Running from A to B to Z and back again, trying to tick just one more little chore off my endless to do list. There have been many mornings I have woken up with a sense that the future is rushing in on me at break-neck speed, and if I don’t get X done right now, I might never have time to do it. A feeling that I need to squeeze everything in before the balance shifts away from being in my favour again.
Yes, life as I currently know it is about to change very soon with the arrival of baby number 2. A thought that both thrills and terrifies me all the same. Having navigated the crazy rollercoaster of parenthood for nearly 3 years now (sometimes hanging on by a mere thread), I am already somewhat armed with the knowledge of what lies ahead! But, being floored with the flu has truly thwarted my ongoing efforts to be Superwoman and get every last little loose end tied up. Is it a spanner in my well-oiled works? Or a reminder to: Slow. The. Heck. Down. I am beginning to realise it is definitely the latter.
So for now I resign myself to the fact that Superwoman has gone on strike for a while and you know what? That’s perfectly ok. That maybe if we didn’t run around trying to do it all right now, then life might just feel a little less crazy. Can we forgive ourselves for not hitting the gym today? For not completing an hour of yoga or meditating for the recommended 20 minutes? Can we remind ourselves instead that this practice also lies in showing up for the little things? Like pausing to watch our children laugh. Listening to our partners without an iPhone to hand. Having a cuppa without reading a status update. Closing our eyes and just taking a few deep breaths. Being ok with the fact that there are times we just won’t be able to put a cross through every last chore.
Yes sometimes life requires us to take an unplanned step back to realise that the things that really matter are rarely on our on daily to do list. A step back to stop and see that we are doing a blooming great job after all. Now go and pour yourself that cuppa and put your feet up. You deserve it!
“I realised this week that I cannot do it all. So I will do what I can, fabulously.”
– Clinton Kelly