I admit to being woefully unprepared for my life. Seriously! And today I am the most unprepared. For the last few months you may have noticed a little quiet pause on the blog here and there. While on the surface the blog may have looked glamorous, stylish, fashionable and unique, like a treasure trove of wedding Vogue-ness, behind the scenes this shaggy haired love was in tatters.

After months of constant work I was suddenly alone, in tears all the time and craving empathy from someone who understood! Blogging every single day had left me exhausted and I was mentally ready for a bottle of wine every night just to cope, lucky for me, I’m not a big drinker. I felt guilty, hopeless, vulnerable and scared – for the first time in my life, I was behind in everything and my life was out of control – when did that happen!?

I’ve never really written many personal posts on the wedding blog, this is a happy, inspiring place right? But it’s important for me to get to know you and I’d love you to get to know me. After all, it can’t just be saturated with beautiful wedding photos, tons of stunning fashion and unique real weddings can it :-)? The reality is that behind all this beautiful imagery is Me. Someone who is not perfect and glamourous all the time, someone who finds it hard to be vulnerable when the s*** hits the fan and someone who is struggling to hit the publish button on this post right now because of it.

When I started Alice In Weddingland I was totally unaware of two things, firstly the amount of time it would so very quickly soak up and secondly the exhausting amount of social media I would have to learn and do, and it took over my life. Blogging and being a Mum suddenly made life go rushing by me.

It’s not all glam and photo shoots and most days I don’t look like this

Behind closed doors

Bbehind my nice, average sized front door, I had become exhausted. Life was a messy roundabout and I was living Groundhog day! Attempting to blog full-time, run a house, be a Mum with a 4 year old about to go to big-school, friend, sister, worker, cleaner, cook, accountant, manager, wife, researcher, oh man… the list is long and we all have these lists, but mine was suddenly overwhelming me. And the guilt of not coping was the hardest. No matter how big the puddle, I’ve always gotten around it – but this time, I’d sunk, deep!

Something was wrong!

…I was behind in emails. I still hadn’t returned the phone call to my Dad from three weeks ago. The dog was in desperate need of a haircut before he transformed into some mountain gorilla, and my washing, well, lets just say I could build Mt Vesuvius on my kitchen floor. My life was out of control and I was the ring leader. It had become one large furball of blogging madness that had taken over my life and I was starting to resent it and I was in conflict because I love it so much. I’d made a really, big mistake.

My mistake

I want to interact more with you guys on my blog: I love reading about your thoughts and your advice in your comments, so it’s only fair that I start and let you get to know my life over last few months?

Some people who know me on twitter and FB have DM’d me to say “hey, you OK? You’re not around as much anymore” and they’re right. I retreated away from twitter and the blog over the last few weeks leaving me on Facebook, because that’s what I’m really good at and I find it easy so it doesn’t take up a lot of my time. But I had to do it, I needed the break. It took Rob a lot of jumping up and down to convince me to do it, but I did so that I could come back, refreshed and vibrant.

Oh, and that big mistake I mentioned, was my inability to stop, take a breath, look around and take care of myself. I foolishly took on so much thinking that “I can cope”, and I could, that was until life around me got crazy. Everything was going wrong, and this year has been the hardest year for us as a family with a licorice allsorts of things happening around us and that’s when I started to crumple, totally unaware of it happening, I started to lose control of my life.

For some reason somewhere along the way I suddenly forgot to be the boisterous, loyal, fashion addicted, wedding loving creative that taps away and adores her day job and runs a great, fun ship at home. Instead the stress of life meant I lost my sense of humour. I thought I could manage the Superwoman role and run a home and be self employed. Don’t we instinctively cope with all the challenges once we’re a Mum? Taking on board a wedding blog would be easy peesy right?! Insert reality check… being a Mum and working is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life! Honestly! Your dedication gets divided into the stratosphere, your patience gets tested, again and again, and you lose all sense of self. You become a robot! And I-was-a-robot!

The blog took over my life and life took over me

In January this year, when my blog suddenly took off, I ran with it, working harder, faster and doing everything I could to keep it building, I had accepted my first sponsors in December last year so that meant I was a business and I had to act like one – something I was not prepared for until September this year when Boo would be starting school and I would have a lot more time. But in January this year I kept going; emails, twitter, Facebook, wedding shows, lunches, networking, researching, googling, reviewing, reading… take a breath… cooking, cleaning, taking Boo out, reading to Boo, teaching Boo, helping Boo, get ready for school everyday, oh, don’t forget lunch with friends, friends birthday parties, shopping, bill paying, move house, entertain family from Australia… SOMEONE STOP THE WORLD FROM SPINNING! And it did… in July, I crashed!

Unable to cope with everything while trying to cope with my life, I hit the bottom.

The guilt set in

Suddenly I was waking up in the morning uninspired. I was unprepared for everything that was going on around me and was unable to cope with the pressures of even the little things. I just wanted my life back!!! But I love what I do, I love the industry and I think I’m good at it and I was not prepared to lose what I had worked so hard for. Something had to change. We all have limitations right? I just had to discover what mine were, to stop feeling so sorry for myself and to take control.  Easier said than done! But I had to. I was fed up with going to bed feeling guilty as a Mum for one reason or another or guilty for not doing something on/with the blog that day.. what was I posting tomorrow, did I email Jo Blow, can I make the meeting next week…


First day of big school

I hadn’t blogged as much as I wanted to since July and I felt so guilty because of it. I wasn’t blogging everything that I loved either and this made me feel like a fraud. I was guiltiy for not spending time with the two people I crave, guilty for not being the mother and wife I craved to be, guilty for not spending time with friends, guilty for not creating this or that… just guilty! I had become the Queen Of Hearts and was pacing the lounge room happy at nothing and cranky at everything.

It was time for a change

And it happened in the most obscure places…

Have you ever experienced one of those monumental moments when you realise you suck at life but it’s time for a change and it’s OK. This is what I had last week. That little, sometimes aggravating voice in our heads, you know the one that badgers and badgers and becomes incredibly annoying sometimes. Well that voice forced me to listen to it in the middle of Sainsburys, Sainsburys‘! Can you imagine it, a nearly 40 something year old woman standing in the tea/coffee isle in tears, staring at a box of Twining’s Earl Grey. It must have been a hilarious yet confusing site to see for passers by.

But for me the world disappeared in that moment. I suddenly realised that I hadn’t sat down and enjoyed a cup of tea in silence, for months. Instead I had my iPhone or iPad in my hands or thoughts and ideas running around in my head for AIW. I hadn’t had a break even over the one thing that used to be my own little ritual, my cups of tea and just enjoyed ‘being’.

The spirit of life

Yes the last few months in the AIW household have been a wash of colourful displays of emotions, exhaustion and crankiness but I WANTED to change, I NEEDED to change because life was passing by and I was starting to miss it.  I procrastinated over the post today because of it’s subject – exhaustion, vulnerability – especially when I consider wedding blogs to be a happy, vibrant environment – who am I to lay my vulnerabilities on the table in such a place – but blogs are real places, with real people taping away behind the screens and in reality, we have warts and all. Somebody said to me a couple of days ago – its your blog, you’re behind it, just be! So here I am trying to just ‘be’, I hope you don’t mind 🙂

For the last few days I have embraced just being again: letting each moment sit with me, no matter what I’m doing, being it blogging or picking up Boo from school. Life’s getting happy again, I’m smiling again and I woke up this morning ready to bounce out of bed.

I wanted to write this post today, no matter how personal it is for me, or how hard because to me because I think it’s important to hear time and time again, that we’re not alone. Life does suck sometimes but it’s how you make life happen that counts, even through those times. Without getting all D&M on you, it’s during these times that we are reminded of who we are and what lies beneath the facade. Sometimes we just need a kick up the backside. I had become so suffocated in ‘life’ and its busyness around me that I’d forgotten the most important thing about any relationship, be it in a marriage, with your friends or with your children, and for me, with you. And that is, honesty and vulnerability. The reality is that life has ups and downs and no matter who you are it feels so damn good to be human!

I struggled to hit the ‘publish’ button on this post today as the thought of nobody responding to it, nobody hitting the like button, nobody being inspired by my vulnerabiltity and me laying it all out there is really, really, scary.  But I’m prepared, I’m finally prepared. {And I do hope you comment :-)}

The loves of my life: my inspiration, my motivation!

And she was right.

Sometimes i like to curl up in a ball, it’s the title of the book by Charles Fuge that I read to Boo last night. It’s about a little wombat who isn’t afraid to ‘be’ himself from jumping up and down and being boisterous, to sitting quietly and watching the world go by, get messy, staying clean and sometimes, when life’s a little too scary, he curls up in a ball. I had huge empathy with that little wombat last night; I realised I wanted to be that little wombat and just be!

It’s a hard thing life, sometimes, but if you don’t stop once and a while and look around… you might miss it.

Whatever you get up to today, just be!

P.S. There is so much more rummaging around in my mind that I want to say like not just ‘being’, but being you! The real you! The whole ethos behind Alice In Weddingland is being unique by being you and somehow I’d lost that in myself, but I’m back and getting better at being me!

P.P.S. I’d love to hear from other bloggers, business owners and work at home Mums? How do you cope? How do you manage that out of control feeling? What’s your respite? If you have any remedies I am waiting with cuppa tea in hand to hear your advice.

Zarn

I’ve never followed trends as I disliked being just one of the crowd so my love for things that are different, unusual, beautiful and stylistic that I’d had all my life transformed into Alice in Weddingland.
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