Do you never have enough time? I’d love to go out, but when? I just want a bath but I don’t have time. I don’t have time to exercise or meditate.
I used to say these things to myself and my family all the time in between the never ending mountain of laundry, the sides that seem to make themselves sticky when I turn my back and the never ending to-do list. Not having time to go to the park because I have to get the house clean, keep the children clean, walk the dog, make myself pretty, make the thing for nursery, find clothes to donate to charity, and make a lasagne I can drop off to that friend in need.
And what did I have to show for it, miserable children that couldn’t let off steam so were constantly under my feet or drawing on the walls (add that to the to do list!). Friends I never had time to see properly and when I did, all I had to talk about was complaining about The List, the children, the husband. And, to add insult to injury, the sides were still sticky, the floor still covered in goodness-knows-what, and that mountain of laundry never seemed to get smaller.
Eventually, even the social engagements with friends and family felt like another thing on the to-do list. I was stressed. I wasn’t a fun mum. I wasn’t a fun anything. I complained about life to my amazing husband, and I complained about my husband and my home to anyone who would listen. I felt I was drowning until I literally couldn’t face it anymore.
I had other problems at the time too, problems that exacerbated this need, and this need added fuel to the already raging fire and I was consumed by an apathy and lethargy that can only be described as burn out. I cried and slept for what felt like eons, until I learnt that it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a secret the media don’t want to tell you, even some women try and keep up the façade…
As amazing and awsome as you are, YOU ARE NOT SUPERWOMAN. I thought I could be and it only made me and my family miserable.
Picture a bucket in front of you, with a hose filling it with water. The water is slowly filling the bucket and you come along and put one hole in it, the children. Then you put another hole in it for your partner. Then another for work, another and another and no matter how much water the hose puts in the bucket, it is getting emptier and emptier until there is nothing left to give.
When we breath, we take a breath in, and give a breath out. We give AND WE RECEIVE. Try now, take a big breath in and then one long breath out, give everything you have and take nothing back, and you will soon find yourself in very desperate need to take a breath in. It is natural to have this balance, to give and to receive. (If you haven’t already, please stat breathing now)
Now I am able to have balance and look after myself, every part of my life and my families life is unrecognisably better. I take the time to exercise and I have more energy to play with them and feel happier because of it. I take the time to meditate, and am calmer and shout less, I make time to do these things because they are important to me and they make me a better person.
We have days out as a family, and with the girls, and even the odd date night.
My children are better behaved, and when they aren’t I am more equipped to handle it. They give me more space at home to get things done between the fun at double the speed.
Do I look like a model everyday, no, because I’m a mum with toddlers.
The pile of laundry didn’t magically go away, the sides still need wiping before I cook but my house is about the same as it was before and we are all happier.
And the children being clean…well it’s much more fun rolling down the grass hills in the rain. that’s what splishy, splashy warm baths are for and cups of hot chocolate!