I have been totally overwhelmed with the response to the #ThisMum series. I’ve heard from so many mums getting enjoyment from reading all about the daily lives of other mums. A few of my Guest Bloggers have made reference to their days being ‘a bit boring’ but I haven’t featured one mum yet (posted, scheduled or otherwise!) that has bored me in any way. It has been truly interesting to read about how we all go about our main responsibilities as a mum whilst throwing in all the things that make us different too. I am loving it – and the good news is, we’ve got lots more fabulous mums to come!
Today’s post comes from the wonderful writer Shevy over at moonsomnia.com. Originally from South Africa, Shevy now lives in the UK and is mum to two beautiful daughters. I found Shevy’s post really really powerful. Whilst Shevy only touches on it, hearing about what she and her family had to go through in order to move to the UK sounds nothing short of gruelling and I cannot imagine what she went through during that time. Hearing of her ill health resonated with me big time too. Being a mum is hard, ridiculously hard at times. Being a mum whilst ill or with a disability does tend to make things even tougher – not always, but from personal experience, it does a lot of the time. Shevy is definitely a Super Mum if ever I saw one and I am thrilled to have her involved with the #ThisMum series.
Enough of me! Here she is, this is a day in the life of #ThisMum
‘Mommy, we don’t have any milk left!’ D, aged 6.
‘Ok D, why don’t you have toast then?’ Me, aged 33.
‘Mom, I am leaving now, bye.’ H, aged 11
‘H, come back here and say goodbye properly please’. Me, aged 33
‘Babe, I can smell the litter box.” Me, aged 33
‘Ok, ok, I am going.” J, aged 35
That was all before 8am.
My name is Shevy and this is a day in the life of #THISMUM (or This Mom as the South African children in my household would say.)
Being a mum was never in my life plan, it definitely wasn’t on the agenda for my early twenties and I can assure you, no 21 year old wants to combine a 21st birthday with a baby shower, but hey, that is this mum’s life panned out and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I am a proud and overly protective mum to two daughters, H aged 11 (going on 16) and D aged 6 (going on to one day audition for the role of Sheldon’s biological daughter in BBT). I also parent two fur babies, Ragnar (my moggy black) and Dorian (a not so furry Sphynx) as well as two scaled babies, Valentine (a Burmese python) and Drogon (a Reticulated python). Our home can be chaotic, loud, busy and exhausting but it is home. This is my sanctuary.
I was born in the UK but spent most of my life growing up in South Africa which is where I met H’s father and H was born, I later went on to meet J (my now husband) who is South African and we had D together. A little over 3 years ago, we made the decision to move to England and went through the gruelling settlement visa process that saw me move here and spend 9 months here alone without my husband or my children (I was a Skype mum) due to the strict financial requirements we had to meet in order for my husband to get a visa. Fortunately, it all worked out for the best and my husband and children have settled into the English way of life surprisingly well. I have always strived to do the very best for my daughters, bringing them back to the country of my birth was one of the ways I believe I have done that, affording them so many more opportunities here then I could have ever imagined.
If I had written this a few months ago, it would have painted a very different picture of what a day in the life for #thismum was like. I was a full time working mum and my husband, J, is a full time working dad. Fortunately I worked as a travel consultant from home and both my daughters go to school a stones throw away, life was comfortable and planned to the tee but completely riddled with stress and anxiety. I battled to find a balance, I was putting too much into my work and not enough into my family, I had very little time for the things I enjoyed (like writing and socialising) and I was on a downward spiral to a nervous breakdown.
Then, life happened.
In October of this year, I was diagnosed with an Iliofemoral Deep Vein Thrombosis, clots that stretched from my knee into my inferior vena cava and scattered in my lungs. I was completely thrown; a 33 year old mum of two young children and I was facing a health scare that is a leading cause of deaths globally. So what did I do? I broke down mentally as my body broke down physically. I took a tumble to rock bottom and then came to the realisation that this was my turning point, I was being given a sign, it was time to make some adjustments to my very stressful lifestyle.
You can read a little more on my diagnosis over on my blog, link below.
I made the decision to resign from my stressful, full time job and as I recover, a day in the life of being a mum has never looked so different for me. In my entire working career, two children later, I have always been a full time working parent – since I began my first job at the age of 17. Now? I am unemployed. I am working on being my own boss in the future. I am focusing on putting together a successful, flexible business for myself post recovery that will not only benefit me and my health, but also everyone around me.
A day for me now begins with alarms going off from 7am, though the girls have already been awake for about an hour. Commotion as the cats frantically chase each other up and down the stairs while they wait for breakfast. H and D will go downstairs and have their breakfast, generally some cereal when milk is available – unlike this morning – and then brush teeth and begin the morning routine to get ready for school. H will spend ages doing her hair – usually a style she has trialled the night before on Snapchat for her peers – and D will almost always put her shoes on the wrong feet. She comes into my bedroom and I brush her ragged hair, tie her shoelaces and usually pull up her tights as the crotch sits almost to the knees.
H is at the age where she doesn’t need me -or anyone- anymore.
D is at the age where she never wants to let me go.
My husband will bring me my morning medication and then take D to school and H walks with some friends and their parents she meets along the way, school is but a social endeavour for her pubescent childhood so this leaves my creatures and I home alone. I hope to start taking D to school myself soon, as soon as I can walk long distances unaided and without a breathing battle.
I will then generally start my morning with some coffee, a bowl of oats and some Jezza Kyle (I know, not doing much for the stereotype here). As I am still in recovery, I have to take things slowly so I will start by doing a few household chores and taking a protein out of the freezer for dinner. After I have pottered around a bit downstairs, I take a very slow and tired walk upstairs and generally have to lie down for a little while, I catch up on a bit of social media or Netflix, possibly a nap. I then spend an hour or two on my blog and catching up on writing, this is my ME time and is essential to my future business so I make sure I have some time daily to work on my blogs, reviews and over the last few days the testing of face masks.
Up until the time the girls get home from school at around 15:30, the day is my own. I spend a lot of it sitting or laying down, as I am currently not as mobile as I would like to be and get worn out very quickly but I still try to keep up with dishes and ironing so my husband doesn’t have to. Once the girls get home we do homework together, after which they do their household chores and begin nagging for their device time (Which continues until their actual device time at 7pm). H is a huge help around the house, despite the hormonal stage and does a lot when I am not able to. There have been a few days when they get home and I am bed ridden, barely able to go downstairs, H will make sure D’s homework is done and she will bring me a cup of coffee and make sure I am ok. She is an old soul and she takes care of me, even though she shouldn’t have to.
By 5pm, the girls are having a bath and I am usually starting dinner, we tend to eat by 6pm and my hubby gets home from work by about 6:30pm so we seldom eat together but we always sit and catch up a little about how our days have been, who did what – It is what I like to call ‘Family Discussion’ time. After that, device time kicks in for the girls and they disappear upstairs to their tablets and my husband and I get to sit down in front of the television for a little while before having to bath and get ready for bed ourselves. More often than not, I am upstairs in bed between 9pm and 10pm, watching a little bit of Netflix on my laptop before sleeping and my husband can be found painting his war gaming models until 1am. If I am not in bed early enough, I assume ‘the position’ on the sofa with my mermaid blanket and have been known to drool a little on my Jack Skellington cushions.
Throughout the day, I make sure my non human babies are looked after and usually spend a good amount of time taking Instagram photos of my cats, deep down I know I was born to be a cat lady.
If I can get a gap, I sneak in a little bit of Tipping Point which D absolutely loves to watch with me and on a Saturday morning, if I wake before the girls, I sneak into their rooms and climb into bed with them to wake them up, because I can.
A day in the life of #thismum may not be that exciting at the moment but I am thankful that it is a day that I am alive. It is all because of my children that I am still here, pushing to get better, taking the time to recover so that I can be a better mum and a better human being for them today.
Tomorrow, the dentist.
You can read more about my mental and physical health as well as the facemasks I have been sampling amongst other things over at moonsomnia.com
Fantastic post, Shevy, thank you so much for being a Guest Blogger as part of this series. Don’t forget to check out Shevy’s blog here Next up is the lovely Pnina from the almostsanemom blog! Keep an eye out for her fantastic post on Sunday evening!