Maria Newman, aka @mummyonabreak, lives in Bristol with her hubby and two children, Lea and Louka. Up until two years ago, Maria had a corporate job doing the normal 9-5 . However, she decided to follow a different path at the beginning of the year starting up her own business, Fill That Space which makes affordable art created by Bristol artists accessible to all, so now juggles her role in business with being a mum.
06:25? Why’s he ringing? What’s he forgotten? The first thoughts that went through my head on what I thought was a regular Friday morning when hubby rang me. He’d actually been in an accident on the way to work. His words to me were – “I’ve been knocked off my bike but I’m okay. I’m just waiting for an ambulance and there are a couple of people waiting with me.” What? Obviously, I wanted to know more but he simply said “I’ll call you when I get to hospital.”
At that point my autopilot kicked in as I needed to get my kids and myself ready. I was definitely in a numb trance from that point and somehow I even managed to walk my daughter to school.
The drive to the hospital seemed like a long one,even though it’s just five minutes down the road. My mind started to wonder. What state would my husband be in? My imagination was on overdrive.You can imagine the sense of relief when I got to A&E and he was okay, sort of, considering he had a broken leg. It was so overwhelming that the waterworks started and I couldn’t switch them off. That’s when it hit me. This could have been a lot worse. Something not worth thinking about.
So how have we coped and what have I learnt?
Take advantage of time.Our lives changed instantly, although temporary, and whilst going about our normal daily routine. That’s why it’s important to focus on what matters and let the unimportant stuff fade away. Easier said than done but so true.
A silver lining for me is that I’ve got to spend more time with hubby as he’s been at home for three months. I must admit it took a while to get use to him being around and there were times when he was driving me crazy. Especially as he’s been completely dependent on me for a lot of stuff and I work from home! But it’s been nice to have some company plus it means I actually have to take a proper lunch break.
Supporting each other. Hubby is very active and he’s a keen cyclist. So being told to rest completely for three months was a bitter pill to swallow. When he first had the accident, and so he was less mobile, I made sure he would at least get out of the house. I took him with me to meetings, where it was appropriate, and to pick up the children from school and nursery.
But it was also an opportunity for him to help me. As he was not working, it gave him free time to help me with my business by designing artwork for marketing material. Obviously, something that would cost a lot of money and I was getting it for free.
Don’t try and compensate by being mummy and daddy.Being a mummy means juggling a lot of balls and there was no way I was going to have the capacity to take on more, although initially I did have a go! I can’t help it. It eventually dawned on me that I was trying to do the impossible. So, I took a look at what had to be done and let the rest go, even if mentally it was difficult.
I also needed to make some extra space. For me this was treating ourselves to a takeaway occasionally, batch cooking and also buying ready meals so I didn’t have to do all the cooking. Something that I love to do usually.
What not to do. Dealing with such a major event is really difficult both emotionally and physically. At times I felt like I had three children not two. But there are things I did to adjust to our temporary situation. Don’t get me wrong, I had my five minutes of wallowing, then I put my big girl’s pants on and got on with it. Yes, it was easy for me to look at my situation and let it get me down but actually that wasn’t going to help. I didn’t stop feeling. I just got on with things.
For me, it was about adapting. Trying not to do everything and acknowledging that although there are times when I feel like superwoman, or should I say supermum, this is not sustainable. Asking for help may have felt difficult but it made things easier. It made my life easier.
I must admit this has tested me. There are times when I’ve been angry at practically everyone. There are times when I’ve felt sorry for myself. This has mainly been at points when I’ve been exhausted and can’t see the wood from the trees. But we’ve adjusted and the good news is that hubby is well on the mend. I thank my lucky stars that he only broke his leg. And when he’s fully recovered I will be taking myself to a spa so I can get pampered.
How are you dealing with life?