By Guest Blogger Tarah (@harrisonandwillow)
I was chatting with a friend at the park while we waited for our kids' soccer class to start and casually asked her about her week ahead. She frantically replied with how manic her week was going to be, rattling off all the things she had to do and that she just couldn't wait to get on with the week and get things over and done with.
I have absolutely no doubt at all that her week ahead was going to busy - we all have our own unique set of circumstances that make us busy. But, it got me thinking about my own life and that of a lot of mums I know...do we really need to be stressed to the eyeballs and placing high and unrealistic expectations of what we think we "should be" setting out to achieve everyday? No, absolutely not.
As mums, we need to avoid getting caught up in the "busy-trap" and glorifying busy-ness and rushing around as though it's something we should all be aspiring to.
If you find yourself rushing from one thing to the next, feeling stressed all the time and feeling like you have it tougher than everyone else, you may need to evaluate things and look at why you are doing them. Some things are going to be non-negotiable (like getting the kids dressed or going to a job everyday) but a lot of things we can let go of if we regulate our to do lists and evaluate the way we think we should be doing things. If you're staying up until 11pm every night making a Kermit the Frog out of your kids' school lunches and it's stressing you out, then maybe you need to find another way.
Learning that things don’t need to be done perfectly or done a certain way for you to be an amazing mum and human being is also key.
The thing is, as modern-day-mums, we are SUPER-dooper ambitious (sometimes to our detriment) and for the most part struggle with the concept that being a mum IS enough. We must have multiple roles and be doing many things at once. We must have 500 emails to answer, we must be in demand, we must be achieving and we must be doing it all with ease. And what's fuelling this more amongst mums today is this exhausting race on social media of mums trying to "out-do" and "out-busy" one another.
I admit I felt like I needed to be doing “something more" after I had my first baby. I had a major case of identity crisis and I couldn’t seem to flick that feeling. Like many modern-day-mums before having children, I had my own aspirations and bringing these to life had always been a huge part of my life. So, post baby, I started an online business from home to keep my mind ticking over and to fuel my desire to be doing "something more". But as life became busier and stressful, I found myself asking why I truly felt I needed this in my life.
Do I really need be at Officeworks at 4pm on a Monday afternoon with a two year old running around pulling everything off the shelves and a wiggly whiney seven month old with a runny nose on my hip while I guillotine and glue 200 business cards with 10 people standing behind me? No, probably not.
I am a big believer that if something is making you feel stressed, then something is not working for you anymore. You need to find a new way of doing things. Cut back on things, ask for more help, tell someone you are drowning, evaluate the expectations you are putting on yourself. It might even be a change of mind-set that is needed. Whatever it is, don't just keep pushing through it. It's not worth it.
After reflecting on my own "busy-ness" I realised what I really wanted deep down was to be a stay-at-home mum without feeling I should be doing anything more than being a mum.
Our own desires to be a modern-day superhero - to have it all, to be it all - are also based on our beliefs about self-worth. The modern mum is pushed to do more, be more, and have more. But who is it that pushes her most? Herself, really. A lot of us base our self-worth on how well we can achieve these high and often unrealistic standards that we set for ourselves and that "trying to do it all" makes us more awesome or important somehow.
Well, you are important, you are awesome and that's just based on the fact that you did nothing other than keep the kids alive today, and maybe took a shower. Go you!