Mother of all breaks

Picking myself up and dusting myself off after a particularly gruelling print deadline (or as I like to call it, death line) has got me reflecting on work, home life and juggling the two. It’s made me wonder: How do we cope with the demands and stresses of work, and the pressures and anxiety that come with having a full and meaningful life outside of the office?


It’s coming to that time of the year where we’re all getting a little tired, our motors are running out of stream and we’re fast becoming the little engines that would if only we had a little more energy. In short we’re in need of a break. As I’ve mentioned before, sleep is something other people do, but still remains the Holy Grail for all mothers. Juggling a home (including a baby and a husband) and a job that I love and am committed to, is exhausting. So, how do we do it?

Without trying to sound like a martyr, the way we cope is, we just do. And that really is the long and the short of it. But maybe there are a few things we do along the way to push ourselves forward a few metres when we threaten to fall down. And those things really do help, like going for a mani or a pedi or even just having our eyebrows mowed while we catch a little nap on the treatment bed. Yes, I didn’t know it was possible to sleep while having my eyebrows waxed until I had a baby. Anything for a chance to shut my eyes!

And if you’re looking for a little make-up related R and R, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is launching the Pretty Powerful campaign for women and girls on 8 March, International Women’s Day. This campaign ensures that women and children affected by HIV receive the education, life skills and job skills necessary to thrive. Join Bobbi Brown for event activations at Gateway Theatre of Shopping from 12-18 March, Sandton City and the V & A Waterfront on 19-25 March.

Or if you’re looking for a gorgeous weekend break where you can escape the crowds and lie on the beach, try Rocktail Beach Camp, in the Maputaland Marine Reserve. Cosy and luxurious accommodation is available from R 1 686 per person sharing per night (please note that the price quoted is per person sharing per night, as specified in the T&Cs on page 124). For more information on this fab beach camp, visit and read more in the March issue of Essentials.

Something else I’ve always loved doing and I’m struggling to make time for now is reading. My Bookspassion for reading and for books started at a very young age and has by no means dimmed over the years. To my long-suffering Mister’s utter horror, I insist on buying rather than borrowing books. So, as our library grows and our bookcases groan and creek under the weight of millions of well-thumbed pages, the bank balance takes a steady beating. Still I can’t part with my beautiful little friends. Although I know in my heart I’ll never, out of choice, read a book more than once, I cannot seem to let them go. I will, and do, read anything that is printed in English. From cereal boxes at the kitchen table to shampoo bottles in the bath. Nothing escapes my addiction.

As I grew older, I was introduced to the library and the millions of little rectangular possibilities awaiting me. From Richard Scary and his beautiful poems, to Dr Suess, the paragon of madness, and his green eggs and ham. I soon progressed from fairy tales to Enid Blyton and her exquisite world of imagination, mystery and adventure. I journeyed with the Famous Five (Julian, Dick, George, Ann and Timmy the dog) on every one of their amazing quests. I had clandestine meetings with the Secret Seven at the bottom of their little garden. I learned about ‘Bellypoppers’ from the Big Friendly Giant and travelled all over the world with James in his giant peach. I detested the Twits and their spiteful cruelty to hapless birds and almost tasted the delectable chocolate in Willy Wonka’s factory. Nancy Drew and her friends became my friends and we went everywhere together. I never tired of reading and eagerly awaited birthdays and Christmas presents that would undoubtedly include a box of books. When I was sad I had my own worlds to which I could flee. When I was happy, I had millions of friends with whom I could share my joy. I am so grateful to my brother, Nicholas for teaching me to read and for unlocking a world of endless delight, and increasingly grateful to my mother for encouraging me to read and for supporting my habit. I hope one day I can bestow the same passion on my own children. I am a bibliophile and proud of it.

If you’re looking for an amazing new book to sink your teeth into, have a look at the Essentials website for our book editor, Taryn’s recommendations at  And if you have any favourite favourites that you’d like to share with us, or even if you want to share your most memorable reading experience, visit us on Twitter at essentialsmagsa or Facebook at Essentials Magazine South Africa; we always love hearing from you!

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