We’ve just returned from a local holiday while our oldest daughter had her school holidays. Usually I find holidays quite hard because all the childcare rests on my shoulders as opposed to the school or our helper at home. I’m used to spending time at home, resting and writing while they are at school. Only through rest will I fully recover from my illness. It’s a stretch to call it a ‘holiday’ tending to the every whim and demand of small children. “Mommy, I need to wee” at the most inopportune moment or ‘Mommy, I’m going to vomit” when you haven’t brought a change of clothes and you are hours from your accommodation.

When they were babies I had large bag I took everywhere with a range of baby necessities and it was usually well stocked. Now that our children are older I no longer need to carry around all the paraphernalia that comes with a baby. But you still need superpowers, like being able to locate the nearest bathroom anywhere in the world, or to have superhuman strength to carry two children at the same time. The comedian Michael McIntyre has a great clip about parenting and the mayhem that ensues when children enter your life.

Now that we are back, I thought I”d get a chance to do my own activities, like writing and reading. I thought it would be my turn to get my needs met. But we went straight into a weekend. Weekends are the most exhausting time for me with little time for myself. With Monday being the last day of school holidays, my eldest was at home, making a series of demands that wrench at my heartstrings and make me drop my plans. Then came Tuesday, for me, a great relief that school was back. And what happens? The little one has a cold so stayed home from school. She is a very strong character and more demanding than anyone in our family. So you can imagine how much progress I’ve made on my goals in the last few days.


I feel like I’m tumbleweed, being thrown around into the direction that everyone else wants to send me. I feel that I have little control over how my time is spent. When that happens for a few weeks, I tend to get very grumpy. I enjoyed the holiday very much, in fact much more than our usual holidays. I got a chance to really rest and I actually enjoyed spending time with our children.

But on return, it has taken more than five days and my schedule is not back to normal and my time is not my own. It’s enormously frustrating and I feel at times like my recovery is being set back. I don’t get to do what I want to do and I’m not able to rest. My home is not a place for me to relax. I need to go out to relax and I find that difficult because interaction and excursions tire me out.

I know that my daughter’s cold is temporary and that it wont be long until I’m back into my routine of writing and having the house to myself. I’m not good at relinquishing control and merely surrendering to circumstances but at times that is what is required. But I can’t be tumbleweed for long, My dreams wont be fulfilled unless I take deliberate actions to firstly recover, and then to write my book.

I think there are a lot of people living their lives like tumbleweed. Just passively blown around from experience to experience without defining their path. It is possible to design your life to be how you want it to be. Many people feel trapped because they feel that it’s too late to change jobs or career paths. I say it’s never too late. I say that even one year lived happy is worth the effort.

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I am a champion for living your passion. Writing is my passion, my destiny and my calling. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife and live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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