We are often left with the need and the should’s of trying to tick off our to do list under all the different hats we wear – mother, spouse, sister, daughter, co-worker, neighbour, friend, etc
But the reality is there just isn’t enough time in the day to do it all nor are you required to do it all.
So take some time to reflect:
What is it that you’re doing?
What does ‘doing it all’ mean to you?
For each person, it will be different. Maybe you need to be a perfect mom, spouse, friend, sister, etc. Maybe you need a clean house or to eat healthy. Think about it. What does doing it all mean to you?
Once you have it figured out, go through and identify the things you actually enjoy doing compared to the things you are doing because you think you should. Some people think they need to be doing everything because those are the expectations that society has given us. Society tells us we need to eat healthy, work out, parent a certain way, keep your house neat and tidy, behave a certain way, take child A to this activity and child B to that sporting event, etc. The reality is that maybe you don’t want to do some of those things. Maybe they aren’t a priority for you. What is actually important to you? Are you reaping the benefits of doing those things? Sometimes we need to just take a step back, look closely at what we are doing and be mindful and aware of whether they are worth it.
Figure out what you’re doing and why you’re doing them. What you think you should be doing, what you actually enjoy or want to be doing and see what’s left. Those things that are left, get rid of them. Just stop doing them all together as they might not be necessary. You are an individual, so you get to decide what you are going to do, regardless of what society might be telling you. You will be way happier when you do things you want to be doing as opposed to what you think you should be doing. The decisions are yours.
Start asking yourself why you feel you need to do certain things. Are you doing those things because you were raised that way? You have expectations put on you from a young age, but maybe you want to do things differently. You don’t have to do things the exact same way. What works best for you as an individual or you as a family? It doesn’t have to be something you did all the time. If it just makes things stressful or adds too much to your to-do list, just get rid of it. Focus on the things you really do enjoy.
Many of us feel pressured by what we see on our screens. Often we see on social media only the positive and edited versions of other people’s lives. Chances are, there are things going on in the background that are not being shared. It’s hard when we feel like we’re being bombarded with the perfect pictures and are comparing their storybook lives to our own. No one is telling us to feel this way, but it can be hard to remember that we’re only seeing highly edited snippets of people’s lives. If you find this is something or someone whose posts trigger you, take some steps to not surround yourselves with reminders you feel point out you’re not meeting those expectations. This will allow you to focus on yourself instead.
Often we feel that there is a lot of judgement, particularly judgement of ourselves. We have crazy standards that we hold ourselves to that are not realistic, leading us to feel disappointed, frustrated, shameful, or angry that we aren’t meeting these goals. But it’s important to remember that we are the ones setting the goals. If we became more honest and expressed vulnerability by speaking up more, we would realize that everyone is struggling the same way. If they aren’t, more than likely they’ve already been through this journey and figured out what their priorities are, and how to lessen the load of to do.
As mothers, we often run into the trap of taking care of everyone else while self-care tends to fall by the wayside. We get caught up in ensuring that others are taken care of while neglecting our own needs. What kind of role model are we becoming though? Children pick up on when we’re anxious, stressed, not having fun. Think of what you kind of life you want your child to have and start living that life yourself. Children learn through observing so make sure you’re being true to your authentic self.
Figure out where your energy sucks come from. Recognize when you are in a situation where you just feel stuck or something’s not right. Maybe you feel things aren’t going in a direction you think they should be. Maybe you just feel blah. Compare a day where you feel blah to a day where you feel pumped up and like you want to do things more often. It could be our mindset, a physical ailment, or it could be the tasks themselves. Really take some time to analyze what exactly it is that’s making the day be blah and make the choice to stop doing them if they’re not necessary. If they need to get done, figure out who can get them done for you. Even if you don’t have a lot of spare cash around, there are always ways to get around this.
Maybe you hate making dinner, and we can all agree that that’s a necessity. Maybe you do a meal swap with neighbours, have meal get togethers with friends and family, take some time to make freezer meals. If you ask a couple friends if they’re interested in doing meal swaps, you’re more than likely to find others who want to cook less as well. Then it just comes down to organization, whether it be once a week or once a month. Possibly you have a friend who hates a chore or task you love and you can swap these necessary tasks and make each other’s lives easier. One of you cooks while the other cleans.
Be very mindful of the stories we tell ourselves. Often we say, “Of course this happened to me!”, “I should have known better,” “I could have done better,” or “I should be able to do that!”. It can be really insightful to see how often these things come up in your head, particularly when they’re more often than not negative. Try to catch yourself, and make an effort to realize that these things aren’t true. A lot of times things go right, but they don’t stand out as often as when something goes wrong. Learning to rewire our brains to change from identifying when things go wrong to identifying when things do go well can really take away the pressure you might feel to get everything done as you are recognizing when things do go right.
Think about what makes you feel good. Where do you get your energy? What gives you a boost? There are things that you engage in that will bring you up. Everything we do is a choice. If you feel blah and need a boost, it’s a good opportunity to recognize that you’re in that state. Once you realize you’re not being productive, change the energy. Do a dance, go for a walk, sing in the shower, whatever. As women, we often need a greater level of connection. It might be just meeting up for coffee or tea, having dinner with another couple, have a game night. Whatever it is, bring more of it into your life. Stop doing what you hate doing, that makes you less productive, and start doing what brings you joy and makes you feel happy.
Want help with this? Grab your free 30 minute call with me here katiekahvo.com/30min and let me help you walk through this step by step.