|A's view from the plane in Toronto|
Do you ever go on vacation, and make promises to yourself that you're going to take more time once you get home? Slow down and enjoy your life? I do it all the time, but once I'm home, things seem to get crazy for a while and I'm anything but slow and steady.
Children can certainly sense this lack of routine that follows vacation time (or starts during vacation time!) and it usually leads to troubles with sleeping, eating and behaviour. And this leads to even more tired Mommies and Daddies.
Right now I'm trying to figure out how to reduce the amount of stress in my life, while keeping my busy schedule the way it is. I have my research assistant job at the hospital 3 days a week, which brings in nice, steady income and I get to work with a great team of researchers. The downside? It's very boring - I spend my day at a computer doing data entry or data analyses. To compensate for this, I have my doula business on the side, but attending a birth for 15+ hours makes it hard to get up in the morning and feel refreshed for my day at the office!
One solution could be to focus all my time on doula work, which would take away the guilt that I feel about my desk job (i.e. am I not focused enough at work? Not spending enough time on my projects?). However, in order to make an income that would allow us to eat and have a roof over our heads, I would have to take 4 clients per month at $550 each. First off, it could be a struggle getting 4 clients per month. What if I only had 2 one month? How could we survive on half our income? Secondly, I'm not at a stage where I feel comfortable charging that much for my services. Doula fees are unregulated, but there is still a general understanding that you're worth more with experience, and I would definitely need another year or more before considering an increase in fees.
So my only option at this time is to just stay where I am, and keep doing what I'm doing. But it means sacrificing time I might need for extra rest, exercise, and a proper diet (it's a wonder why all doulas aren't obese...at 4am the only thing that keeps me going is an Oh Henry bar and a coffee!!) My goal is to begin to carve out space during the day that is being used as time wasters - those things that we tell ourselves we must do (e.g. check my email at 10pm before bed), but really, would be better left until the morning. Instead, how can I motivate myself to stretch out on my yoga mat and do some deep breathing for 10min rather than surfing the web?
How do you take time each day to relax? Is it working for you?