August: holidays – hooray! Holidays - help! Even before becoming a mother I had come to realise that holidaying is a skill, not one that comes naturally to me or at which I am well practiced. It is hard to stop and take a break, when you are a freelancer, when you are lucky enough to love what you do, when you believe in it, when you were drawn to the arts in the first place as a way to figure out how on earth to be here, on the earth. Put on top of that being a mother: surely one of the defining features of the role is that it is a 24 hour, 365 days a year job? Even if you do manage to get some childcare or support to help you out with some of those hours, you will most likely be ‘on’ all holiday, fully mothering.
For the last two weeks I have been on holiday: it has been a stressful fortnight. Neither the mothering nor the making have stopped but there has been just enough space and time for other stuff to make itself known, all those issues that don’t usually get a look in because we are so busy: home, health, happiness. Important things. Necessary to have a slither of time to address them, but not relaxing, refreshing, replenishing – all those ‘re’ words that are about building up resources, being ready for more.
So here is my question: how do you give yourself a break? How do you fill yourself up? It may not be a holiday. It may be – as in my case- the two pages of a novel I read at midnight, or the ten minutes of daydreaming I do on the way somewhere when the baby is asleep and my older child is looking out the window. What are your holidays? Your moments, strategies, ways of re-fuelling yourself for the phenomenal work of making and mothering that you do? Share your resources for resourcing yourself here...
Watch this space for announcements of new groups, a crowdfunder and more, coming up next month.