The last five and a half years have been amazing. Since I started my private Facebook group (with no clue how big it would grow and how many mums I’d get to know and support) I have been led down so many interesting paths. To the #MatExp campaign, to collaborations with health visitors, to the #hospitalbreastfeeding campaign, to the Growing Families conference and to putting together the heartmummy connection. I had no idea when I gave up work at the end of 2011 that this is where I would end up. It has been incredible.
But….. it has also been exhausting. Not tiring in the sense of busy but mentally draining. I have loved being on the go all the time, buzzing with ideas, tweeting and Facebooking (if that’s a word), emails flying back and forth, opportunities presenting themselves, bringing people together and promoting important events. It has been invigorating. But now I am burned out.
I know this because a few weeks ago I decided to have a day off Facebook and Twitter. And that day turned into a week. And then I went back but my mojo was gone. And my motivation has just not been the same. And worrying about letting people down and not doing what everyone has gotten used to me doing has made me feel crappy.
So I’ve decided that what I need to do is to take a proper break. Not a week or so but a proper “I’m off for now folks” so that I can refill my jug. One of the presentations at Growing Families was from Gail Allan of Family Links and she made really good points about having to “refill your jug” every now and again if you are going to keep “pouring” for other people.
And I really want to keep pouring. Because there is so much still to do, and I have made such amazing connections that I can’t just walk away. So it’s time to refill.
I’m an all or nothing kind of person, I’m sure most of you know that! I’m not very good at just doing “a bit less”, I’m not good at disappointing people or not meeting their expectations, so I thought it would be best to draw a proper line so that I can take a breather without feeling like I still need to check my emails every day or at least do such and such a thing even though I’m “taking a break”.
The things that I am already committed to doing will still be done. I am really looking forward to speaking at Motherwell Cheshire’s Winsford Women’s Day on 8th March, and also to continuing the parent/health visitor chats that Barbara Potter, Wendy Taman and I have scheduled for this coming year. I have meetings lined up at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to discuss hospital breastfeeding, and there are various other things pottering along in the background…… But I won’t be tweeting madly. I won’t be updating Facebook pages or websites. I won’t be keeping on top of current events in the maternity and breastfeeding worlds. I will be clearing my head.
I might even read a book. A whole actual book. That would be quite something!
We originally thought that this would be a big year for us as a family in terms of our youngest needing another open heart surgery. It is now looking much more likely that the operation will happen this time next year, so Spring 2018. Even so, it still feels like the right time to take a break from everything and give my brain a rest. So that is what I am going to do.
Thank you for all of your help and support, I couldn’t have done half of what I’ve done without you. See you on the other side……