It all came to a head the day I found myself standing, fully clothed, in our master walk-in shower, evading the screams of my 6 month old and his toddler sister while trying to sound professional on my business phone call, my voice echoing off the shower walls. As I hung up I promptly started doing that hideous half-crying half-laughing thing that only managed to put a physical face on my internal emotions and made me look like the deranged lunatic I felt I had become. This was not the life I had planned!
The reality of developing and launching a business while holding down a full time job as a stay at home mother to a 6 month old was so vastly different from the ideal that I had concocted in my head while pregnant with my first child. In that dream, imagined from the chair/cubicle of my corporate job, I was to walk away from all the office politics to build a fantastically successfully company in all the spare time I was sure to have while my baby slept. The reality was something very different; a colicky child who chose not to sleep and all nighters after an exhausting day with baby where sleep deprivation had me misspelling my own name. Forget having enough clarity of thought to develop a healthy business model.
Those were the rough early days, and not that there aren’t difficult days now, but those days led me to my ‘ah ha’ moment as Oprah would say. That day in the shower catching a glimpse of my messy, wailing self in the mirror it dawned on me that I needed an out, a reprieve that would keep me sane if I hoped to avoid the asylum and continue on the bumpy road of entrepreneurship.
Spas are great but when my brain feels dead, being ‘up’ and making conversation with a chatty aesthetician (coupled with the ’‘oh my god how much do I tip’ fear) is enough to send me over the edge on a bad day. It just seems like too much work for relaxation. Additionally, I love shopping as much as the next girl but that too – the driving from point to point, looking for something I love, getting annoyed when I can’t find anything or worse finding something I adore that is the price equivalent of my car – can also feel burdensome and disappointing.
I’ve realized that when I get to that point of cracking, when the walls start closing in on me, all I’m capable of doing is walking out the front door. So I do. And I run, or I walk or I just escape down the block where I am out of eye sight/ earshot and can no longer see the four walls that operate as my everything – home, office, cleaning project, prison and sanctuary. And I sit. Quietly. Oh how nice the quiet feels. I don’t have to do anything – I think that is the best part – no driving, no chatting, no pressure, no responsibility. I listen to MY music or I listen to the birds. My only job is to come back more balanced and sane than when I left, and quite frankly, that isn’t hard to do. Sometimes all it takes is time away – anywhere – from all that exists within those four walls.
I believe in balance but more than balancing the craziness of life, I believe in perspective and keeping the important things in perspective. Escaping the house for the wider world gives me back the perspective that I inevitably lose through days of specific focus on MY family and MY company. Watching people drive by and birds fly overhead, I’m reminded that I’m just one little blip here. As important (and overwhelming) as my little details seem some days, it is good to be reminded that there is a lot more that exists than just my world.
Perhaps it is the peace and quiet that allows my common sense to kick back in. I realize that my company really won’t fall apart if an account received a late delivery, or that my child won’t be scarred for life because I wasn’t able to get her into the perfect summer camp. Grocery shopping will get done – at some point – and until it does, I know we won’t starve. The class my 7 year old missed because I couldn’t get off the conference call and out the door in time really isn’t a life altering issue.
Sometimes all it takes is that time out – the time out to realize that I do love my life and am so very grateful for the people involved, for our good health and that our basic needs are met. And I find that my “burnout” recedes and my motivation for life and the important aspects returns. Everything else is the just the ‘stuff’ that makes life more interesting.
Kahleia Murdoch is a proud mom of a 7 year old girl and 4 year old boy and owner/operator of Cocoonbaby – Accessories for the Urban Babe (www.cocoonbaby.ca) – and yes, that is her in the photo! Cocoonbaby provides a variety of blankets that are both stylish and practical, funky bibs that will protect your baby from drool soaked clothes (and look cute too!) in addition to diaper clutches, water-resistant totes and changing mats that make it that much easier to be a cool mom on the go. Outside of work and motherhood, Kahleia enjoys getting out for that moment of perspective, post run endorphins, spending time with her friends & hubby (who keep her laughing) and taking the time to be looney with her kids