I'm sure as mothers, we've all been here. You know what I'm talking about.. The burnout, the anxiety, the fear that you're not doing enough when in reality you do ALL THE THINGS.
The problem with trying to be everything for everyone, usually means that you aren't left with enough in your tank for yourself at the end of it all and BOOM - welcome to burnout town!
Have you ever noticed that no matter how good a mother you are, once you arrive in burnout town, you don't even have the energy to make your kids a decent lunch for school? Or maybe you let them go one too many days without a bath? Ever forget to brush your daughters extremely long hair and then have to deal with dreadlocks the following day?
Me too. And I don't know how long I can keep doing it. One of the main reasons I started my business was to spend more time with my kids. What I soon came to learn was just how difficult it was to obtain finance as a WAHM. I'm still currently working my full time job so we can get ahead financially but I know my heart just ins't in it anymore. I want to leave and focus on my business and my kids. Last night (in the middle of a heat wave in Melbourne) I jumped off my chair and announced we were going to the beach. My kids absolutely love spontaneous outings and watching them run along the sand, climb rocks and play in the water together filled my heart so much I thought it would burst!
This is what I want for them. Not rushing off to countless after school activities (although Swimming Lessons and Martial Arts classes are non-negotiable) I'm just so tired from all the other "stuff" we race to and from, the arguments, the "hurry up we're leaving in 5 minutes" and the grumpiness.
I've put pen to paper recently to try and visualise what I want from life. And this is what I have come up with for our family.
- Set the kids (and yourself) a realistic bedtime and stick to it.
- Set an alarm for yourself half an hour before the kids alarm (yes, set them an alarm too) that way, you have some time to get yourself ready before they wake up
- Pack lunches, school bags or swimming gear the night before and have everything ready to go just in case you sleep in (I'm so guilty of this)
- If you're blessed to be a SAHP or WAHP then prioritising chores and ticking them off as you go is a MAJOR help (TIP: I have one available for purchase in my online store)
- Pre-chop veggies and fruit when you do the grocery shopping and store in containers in the fridge. This is great for a quick snack but also makes meal prep a breeze
- Even if you're super busy all the time, try and schedule in 1 hour a day of uninterrupted time with your kids. Take the dog for a walk with them, watch them ride their bikes outside or, if you live in Melbourne, start a water fight with them and try not to melt in this heat!!
- Leave some time for yourself. I'm not talking about sitting on the couch watching re runs of Dr Who until 3 am cause you JUST.NEED.TIME.ALONE. I'm talking real relaxation time. Book yourself into a day spa and have a massage every once in a while. I know they can be pricey so maybe schedule one every 3 months. Giving yourself something small to look forward to can make all the difference.
- Try and save the heavy cleaning of the house until the kids (and husband, let's be honest) are out of the house. Maybe hubby can schedule some time alone with the kids and take them out for the day. There's nothing more soul crushing than spending 8 hours scrubbing every corner of the house to find the kids have trashed it right behind you. Give yourself a couple of hours to enjoy the cleanliness. Better yet, if it fits your budget, hire a cleaner once a week to help lift some of the burden.
- If you have multiple children, try and spend some one on one time with each of them. My daughter adores her little brother but has mentioned to me on more than one occasion that she misses the time she had alone with me.
- Accept offerings of help. Have you ever heard the saying "it takes a village to raise a child"? If your mum/sister/aunt/cousin/neighbour offers to clean your house, tell her you'd love her help.
Now I'm all too aware that all above points won't be an option for everybody, hell a lot of them aren't an option for me most days, but the only thing you can do is try try try (and keep trying)
Trying to juggle everything on your own only leads to feelings of inadequacy (and exhaustion, ohhhh the exhaustion)
And with that said, I'm off to take a nap ;)