Time has flown by so fast and I have so much to tell. But I will stick to just 2 stories in this post. My Mini is now 7 months old and I am back into full work mode. A 3 day business trip to Rome, a few days in Rotterdam for a course, going to the gym on Saturdays and doing groceries & laundry on Sundays. I usually come home around 19.00 h and leave at 7.30 in the morning. I feel like supermom sometimes but other days I feel just plain tired. Yesterday it seemed like everything came out: I slept for half a day. Back to what I wanted to share. The past month has been a lesson on letting go of fear and guilt. This has everything to do with my crazy schedule, being a mom and probably also hormones.
In November, after returning to work, I went on my first business trip to London. In my plog, I wrote a little bit about my fear of flying but honestly there is a little more to it.
I have never been fully relaxed in a plane. For someone that has travelled half around the world, that is a remarkable statement. But it is true. I don’t like it but I do it anyway. The trip to London was my first flight after the birth of the Mini and it was not exactly a good experience. I left a couple of days after the Paris attacks while the whole world was on edge. So was I. I have never been more afraid to fly. Think breathing into a bag, trembling in my chair nervous to fly. When I touched the ground, I vowed to take control again. I was going to get help.
CHALLENGE 13: LET GO OF FEAR
My friends and my therapist say it might be hormones. Apparently many women experience some kind of anxiety after giving birth. It might have something to do with the responsibility over a tiny human. Some quotes:
” In the first 2 years I was so afraid that my parents or myself would get sick. I would drive myself mad just by thinking about it. Then all of a sudden, it went away. ”
” I was just so afraid something would happen to the baby. I checked on him 5 times every night just to see if he was breathing. ”
” I could not really watch the news anymore. I made me very depressed. What was happening to the world?”
For me it manifested in a fear of flying. I will share this. It has been kinda hard to deal with this. When you feel fear, you cannot exactly switch it off. But the point is you have to be brave. Deal with it head on. Don’t start avoiding things because they make you feel uneasy. Try relaxation techniques. Find rational arguments why your fear is ungrounded. Acknowledge that you are afraid and let go. Some helpful sites specifically for fear of flying can be found here and here.
So I went to Rome last week and I am kind of proud of it. Isn’t the sky beautiful? I went to Rome for a 3 day business trip and had to leave the Mini behind again. There was a lot of cuddling involved but I also learnt another valuable lesson: letting go of guilt.
CHALLENGE 14: LET GO OF GUILT
I have 2 masters degrees, a ton of extracurricular activities and started my career in a much coveted management traineeship. Basically, I was an overachiever from the start. My career has always been important to me. It is part of who I am.
Back to the now: when I close the door behind me, I feel a familiar pang. She is so little. Won’t she miss her Mommy when she wakes up tomorrow morning? Will she be looking for me around the house? Will she experience a sense of abandonment? I push back my tears while driving to the airport. Should I even been doing this?
My answer is a loud and clear yes. Being a business woman is part of my identity and so is being a mom. When I am at work (or in this case in Rome) I try to be 100% there. I really enjoyed every minute of the trip. But when I am home, I am there for her, focused only on her.
Let’s face it. Many women feel some kind of guilt towards their offspring. You do not have to make the same choices as me. My point is: stick to what you want to do and go 100% for it. Don’t feel guilty about wanting other stuff. Do it (or not do it) but stand by your decision. Let go of the guilt.
Honestly, this process has been quite hard but also rewarding. Give yourself a break when you have little setback. I am not flying to the States anytime soon for example and I will probably still feel guilty on my next trip. It is ok. Just try and improve little by little.