I feel as though my writing has changed recently. Although this has always been a creative outlet for me, I find more solace in this dedicated alone time. It’s an opportunity for me to share what’s going on inside this brain of mine. I recently saw this on Instagram and had a little chuckle. It couldn’t be more poignant at this time in my life:
I find that the change in my writing style, reflects the change I’m currently going through as a person, as a mother, as a wife, dietitian and friend. I’ve spoken before about the shift in priorities but it’s more than that.
I want to savour every moment that life has to offer. Be that with my little girl. I want to show her how wonderful the world is. How much she can achieve. I want her to experience life to the fullest without this attachment to material possessions.
I want her, like me, to take a step back and enjoy life. Slow days. Self care. The simple things.
I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called ‘The Minimalists’. Extremely thought provoking. Mumma’s – watch this on a day where your coffee is strong and your babe decides to sleep. You will want to be fully alert for this one.
This quote has stuck with me.
I’m trying to live by this daily.
So what does this have to do with theemergingdietitian?
Well, good question.
I’m navigating this new role in my life. I finally feel like I’ve found my purpose. I’m doing what feels right for my family & I. I have a changed, more simplistic outlook on life. This is exacerbated in my cooking and food preferences too. I’ve always been an advocate for wholesome, nourishing produce. But it goes deeper than that now. To nourish, to nurture myself, my family and the environment. I’m even more passionate about shopping local, supporting our farmers, eliminating food waste and making the most of what we have.
Previously, if a recipe asked for an ingredient I didn’t have, I would have marched down to the shops and bought a brand new jar. This jar would remain almost untouched in our pantry, clogging up space until it eventually was past its use by date and ended up in the bin. Wasteful. Unintentional. Expensive.
Now, I look at recipes and think, what can I use instead? How can I make the most of what we have at home? How can what I have in my surroundings adapt to this?
Alex, if you’re reading this, I promise there will be a gradual decline in our cluttered pantry. I’ll make the most of what we have and finally you can reorganise the pantry and it won’t be a mess after I bake just one cake.
To slow days.
Alex is currently overseas. He has been for the last two weeks. This solo parenting gig is hard work. To those who are solo parents, I take my hat off to you. You are incredible souls.
I’m so lucky to be supported by my wonderful friends and family who have offered their support by the dozens. The warmth, love and compassion you have offered me has been overwhelming and I’m so grateful.
But it’s still hard. I don’t think I will ever get used to the sleepless nights but coffee most certainly helps.
As does the importance of meal prep.
Before Alex left, I had a crazy few hours in the kitchen. All within one afternoon I made my bliss balls, wholemeal spelt loaf, apple & pear loaf, roasted cauliflower with tumeric & tahini, batch roasted vegetables, boiled eggs, chopped up salad for easy snacking, kohlrabi fritters, steamed broccoli, bircher muesli + Alex made me a delicious thai inspired pumpkin, coconut soup. I sliced the cakes/bread into individual portions to pop in the freezer.
This kept me going for almost a whole week. Breakfast, lunch + dinners sorted. I can’t tell you what a lifesaver this was.
I did miss my time in the kitchen though. Cooking for me has become quite remedial. A sentence I never thought I would type when I first created this blog. It’s a beautiful thing really. However this meant I was able to spend time with my babe who needed me whilst also ensuring I was nourishing myself to the best of my ability.
It would have been so easy to press re-order on my Menulog app. Too easy. So expensive and again so wasteful.
The following week, my wonderful mother-in-law looked after Emilia whilst I meal prepped on a smaller scale. This time a big batch of roasted vegetables, boiled eggs and stewed rhubarb, pear and apple was on the menu. It’s amazing how something so simple can make such a big difference.
So how does meal prep = slow days?
Well, it allows me to give all of my attention to my darling Emilia.
The next point is intertwined with self care.
I’ve always had a difficulty saying no to others. A will to appease others. A will to not want to upset anyone, often at the extent of my own health and wellbeing. I was always one who had a million and one things on and could never slow down.
Since having Emilia, I’ve come to the realisation that isn’t doing me any good, nor Emilia. I need to put us first. To slow down. To take time to self-care. To say no to plans. To just spend time together. Playing. Snuggling. Cooking. Singing.
I try to only have one planned activity per day. I find this makes for a much easier day on everyone involved. Any mum knows the juggle it is to get anywhere on time when planning feeds, naps, changing the babe etc. Some days just to leave the house is an achievement, let alone arrive anywhere on time.
So one thing a day? That’s something I can manage.
It often means I have to say no to things. I’m still learning to sit with this uncomfortability. I’m still the same person. Eager to please everyone. But I
need have to put myself first. In order to be the best person I can be and best mother to Emilia, this is what I have to do.
A friend timely posted about this topic on social media this evening. The importance of this seemingly simple act. She discussed how initially she found this a hard concept to practice and how in a way she thought this was a selfish act. Her words resonated with me as this is exactly how I feel.
With such a hectic life, how can I afford to take time out for me?
Right now as I type, there’s a mountain of washing to fold, an even bigger load of washing to go into the machine and a kitchen to clean.
This makes me uncomfortable but yet I’m sitting here drinking my hot cup of tea (mumma friends, you will know what an achievement this is), eating banana bread fresh out of the oven and typing this seemingly endless blog post. Perhaps this is such a long post because I’ve been singing the alphabet all day long…
I’m doing it because I need to. It’s restorative. It keeps me going. It helps me to be the better person, mother, wife, dietitian and friend I spoke about earlier.
For me self care is:
- Slowing down
- Meal preparation
- Going for a walk with my babes
- Drinking a hot cup of tea
- Reading cookbooks
- Having a long, luxurious shower.
Tell me, what do you do for your self?
How often is enough to engage in self care?
How does this affect your life?
I’ll leave you with these thoughts to ponder on.
Until next time,