It’s OK To Say No

Often the journey of motherhood can feel like you are trying to stay afloat, whilst desperately juggling all our other demands in life. And sometimes it can be too much. But the thing to remember is, when we feel like this: We. Are. Not. Alone.

One of my biggest motherhood inspirations is Giovanna Fletcher and despite being incredibly famous for her novels and writing, what draws me to her is her normality. Giovanna has posted several times on social media how it’s good for reality to be seen, that mum life as beautiful as it is- can be damn hard. And that sometimes juggling all those balls in life is just not possible. Sometimes it’s ok to say I need to drop a ball and although it might disappoint some people, although some people (loved ones and randomers) may not agree with your decision (and be quite happy to tell you so!) you know that ball needs to be put down for awhile, before all the balls bounce away or break everything surrounding them.

This was the case for me a few months ago when I had to make the decision to postpone my final years in my Masters. My Granda Shilliday was a massive advocate for getting an education to open up many possibilities in life. When the opportunity arose for me to be in a position to be able to do something else, I decided getting my Masters in Education and Leadership would be something he would be proud of and would have liked, alongside the fact I would love to help lead a school one day (think ‘Dangerous Minds’ and ‘Freedom Writers’).  So I began my Masters journey when I was 6 months pregnant- I mean Go Big or Go Home…right? Becoming a student again and first time mama at the same time was definitely interesting. I will say… my marriage survived! Through countless late night tutorials (time difference in Abu Dhabi meant I was putting on my academic hat at 11pm), desperate WE HAVE RAN OUT OF WINE runs, assignment deadline meltdowns and monthly- actually who am I kidding- weekly, breakdowns- we got there. I say WE because it really was a WE. The whole ‘It takes a village to raise a child’- well it takes a village to pass a year of masters. From my husband taking Noah for adventures at the weekend so I could study (bittersweet as I desperately needed the time but felt like I was missing out on so much valuable family time), my dad being my chief editor (thank you dad- you know you totally have a full time job when I become a famous author), to other family members being my biggest cheerleaders and to my friends chilling the bubbles…well we made it.

In reflection I am pretty proud of myself for doing something completely out of my comfort zone (studying again) whilst doing something completely new to me (motherhood). I remember 3 weeks after Noah was born, sitting on my sofa pumping, well trying but very unsuccessfully, to pump milk and just wailing. It was time to start studying again and gearing up for the next deadline- and I just thought NO way. I can NOT do this.

My mum sat down next to me and said “Repeat after me- I can do this.” I kept crying and blowing my nose and told her to stop. But she kept saying it.

Repeat after me:

I can do this.

Repeat after me:

I can do this.

I can do this.

I can do this.

I can do this.

After much resistance, through my snot and blubbering, I found myself saying-

I Can Do This.

And I did. I actually got my highest mark in that assignment.

So although I knew I had to take this year out- that I have never not been a mama to Noah without studying, I have also learned that I can achieve things that I never would have believed. And that is worth celebrating.

Even Noah had enough of my studying.

So lets not underestimate our ability to achieve the ‘unachievable’ but also do not  beat yourself up when you have to take a step (or mile) back and say no thanks I can’t do that…I can’t go…I won’t be doing that. It is OK. And if it isn’t Ok for some people, then maybe they’re not the kind of people that will create sunbeams for you.


What have you achieved that you’re proud of and didn’t think possible?



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