We have another new blog series to support you all in your hectic lives. Tune in every Friday for the next few weeks as guest blogger, Elise Eminson, takes us through a big family wellbeing audit and hopes to encourage you along the way.
‘How DO you manage?’ folk are always asking me, alluding to the fact that I have 4 small children and a vicar husband. But how do they know that I am managing? Granted, I haven’t yet run wailing from the house in my dressing gown and slippers, but family life certainly feels more like a white-knuckle ride than a well-oiled machine. We’re forever rushing, always on the verge of tiredness and if you were to see my lounge at the end of the afternoon you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d just been burgled.
Even if your own circumstances aren’t quite the same as mine, I’ll bet you’re under pressure too. Perhaps you’re so stressed at work or anxious about losing your job that you find yourself snapping at your children. Maybe you graft all day then rush out for an evening of shelf-stacking, all to pay off the dreaded mortgage. Or you might be silently struggling to do the three day week of grandchild-minding that’s so crucial to your daughter’s career. Just about everyone seems to be suffering from system overload these days – we may have eradicated polio and smallpox but now we have our own special 21st century disease.
Every spring I brace myself to review our household accounts but this year, as well as picking through our eye-popping food and fuel bills, I’ll be running some family wellbeing checks. Last month I attended a very timely diocesan clergy spouses’ event on emotional and physical health, led by Angela Sibson, former chief executive of Mothers’ Union. We talked about the value of investing in sleep, diet, exercise, prayer and support and it’s these key areas of life that I’ll be scrutinising and blogging about over the coming weeks. By the end of it all I should be able to see where indeed we are managing but also where we’re headed for a crash and need to make some changes. I hope – if you’re not too busy that is – that you’ll follow me, comment, and perhaps feel inspired to run a wellbeing audit of your own.
Elise Eminson, 40, lives in Sussex where her husband Mark is a vicar. A former secondary school English teacher, Elise now stays at home to care for Grace, 5, Martha, 4, and twins Joseph and Beatrice, 2. Follow her on twitter @eliseeminson