A parenting & lifestyle blog written by Claire Chircop.

JULY THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS - ADJUSTING TO A NEW NORMAL.

I've had an awful lot of thoughts and feelings throughout the month of July; It's been an emotionally tough few weeks filled with conflicting thoughts across a few different subject matters, all have which led me to become MIA from my platforms... And today I'm going to divulge why.

Claire sat on the bed in camel coloured loungewear, with a cup of tea in hand discussing her July thoughts and feelings.

July has been a month of returning back to normality. The new normal. And that's where I've struggled.

Feeling myself.
Not feeling myself is the biggest reason for my recent absence online.
Let's go back to Spring, when I'd felt like I'd finally gotten to a place where I'd turned myself into a little powerhouse of self love, self appreciation and self empowerment. I'd finally gotten to a place where I was seeing me as me & not just as a mother & was really reaping the benefits of the added confidence boost.
And then lockdown happened;
All I could be was a mum & at the time I felt really uneasy about it. Of course there's nothing wrong with being a stay at home parent, it's the most amazing (and hardest) job in the world, but for me I don't think it' selfish to wan't more for myself. I don't think I realised at the time the effect lockdown had on my emotions; After all, as mothers, no matter how difficult the day is, we just have to put on our big girl pants & get on with it.
It took me a while to get out of the 'just a mum' funk and thankfully it became something I was able to embrace. I embraced my new normal, began to really appreciate my second maternity leave (that's what I'd been calling it) and enjoyed the extra time we had as a family... So much so I didn't want to return back to what would be normal life for us.

Work life.
I've been back at work now for the last six weeks now, and after what was an apprehensive start, I'm beginning to feel like I'm getting into the swing of things. I definitely wouldn't go as far as saying I'm living my best life there but I'm surviving... Surviving, not thriving!
I suppose I'm quite lucky in the sense that I'd pretty much only just returned back to work after maternity leave, so would consider myself a pro at looking like I know what I'm doing even when I'm actually thinking 'wtf am I doing here!' Although difficult, It's been quite nice this time around starting on a level playing field with other team members; We were all in the same boat having been out of the business for such a long period of time & I definitely found comfort in that.

Parenting.
Parenting has been a rollercoaster recently.... I mean, when isn't it. But this month I've found it particularly difficult.
May started back with the childminder towards the end of June and although it was a struggle to begin with regaining her confidence staying with other people, it almost felt like it'd reached the other end of the spectrum this month. It's felt like she hasn't wanted to come home with me & honestly, it's been heart breaking. I was becoming increasingly jealous of my childminder, the time she was spending with my daughter & the relationship she was building with her... I was resenting having to go to work & miss out on time spent with her.
As we reach the end of the month, things are getting better and I'm sure with time this feeling will lessen even more so. I'm I'll become grateful for that time away from my daughter; But for now I'm still ever so jealous of my childminder & I'm not afraid to admit it.

Claire sat on bed with a cup of tea with a pondering look on her face, discussing her July thoughts and feelings.

#TogetherInMamahood.
As a community builder it's something I'd wanted to do for a little while, however I was always really nervous I wouldn't be able to complete the full months posts and worried I'd become totally consumed and stressed out over it.
And guess what... The latter happened!
I loved engaging with the blooming wonderful ladies who'd joined in, and from a community perspective the #TogetherInMamahood hashtag challenge was a huge success. Unfortunately for me, towards the end of the month I found myself becoming intensely pressurised to perform... I was swamped by the pressure of being back at work, swamped by the pressure of being a parent & swamped by the pressure of being every single version of myself that I could be.
Instagram, as well as my blog and other social platforms took a back seat in order to preserve my mental health, and if I'm honest I've been away for much longer than I'd thought. A few days turned into a few weeks, which then turned into almost two months away from putting my all into my online space.
I've still been present, but I've not been the best online version of myself & to be honest I'm actually cool with it... So cool with it in fact it's made the pressure I'd put on myself pretty much disappear.

'Sharenting'.
The hot topic for me this month as well as many other parenting bloggers has been the discussion how much of our children we should be sharing online.... Or as Meghan Walsh & Beth Eveline call it, sharenting.
Although I believe every parent should have the right to decide if they do or don't share their child without prejudice or judgement, I definitely feel more comfortable not sharing images of May's face online. It's a dilemma I've pondered for quite some time now, marking the beginning of my sharenting journey with an article I wrote back in February discussing how much of my child's face should I be showing online. In the post I discuss how I will be limiting the amount my daughters face appears on my website & social platforms and I've stuck true to this posting images of her face less than a handful of times on my socials.
I still feel rather conflicted, as there's nothing more I'd rather do than show her off (after all I'm the proudest mf-ing mother out there, my child is amazing!) but I want to keep her safe and to myself, and wrapped up in cotton wool in ur cosy little home.
It's such a difficult one, with absolutely no wrong or right answer.

If you've gotten this far thank you!

I wanted to put my thoughts and feelings this month into word form in the hope that not only if I spill the tea on my absence I'll also be letting go of the negativity, but also to reach out and say if you're also feeling a little bit weird about things going back to a new normal, that's quite alright... You can be in my gang! We'll get t-shirts!

How are you feeling about things going back to normal?

Claire.X

July thoughts and feelings - Adjusting to a new normal - Pinterest graphic.