This is for all those mums out there striving to get through the hour, the day, the week, the month, the year - without completely falling apart.
At some point, I’ve no doubt that you’ve found yourself in a place where nothing is going to plan. As most of us do these days, you check Instagram and Facebook, only to be inundated with positive mantras, motivating memes and so-called inspirational messages of wellbeing and health. They’re all the rage at the moment, and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing by any means. It’s just that, when you’re scrolling, you’ve probably had your baby projectile vomit on your device, and these feel-good posts seem far from reach.
I’m no stranger to this feeling of life seeming out of your grasp. Having listened to a few high-profile motivational women and lifestyle “gurus” speak, I can guarantee that there are definitely great things to be taken from their words and actions. The thing is, there also exists a demographic of women who are totally missed in the audience – real or online. These are the women with kids, the ones juggling all the balls – work, partners, families.
It’s easy to feel at a loss, like everything is becoming too much and like all these amazing people on social media have it “together”. While they are all incredible in their own right, it’s important to remember that some of these inspirational women don’t have kids, so they don’t always understand the pressures of motherhood and the ball-juggling that comes with it. I follow Lorna Jane Clarkson on social media; I’ve read her books and wear her clothes, I love her active life and think she is amazing. She’s growing her empire successfully, however, without children (which might not be her choice).
So what’s the answer to juggling all the balls? I wish I could tell you, but I just don’t know. Do any of us? All I know is, balance is key.
Time for you is essential. This might be as little as an hour of reading your favourite mag while your angels are sleeping. We’ve all heard of mother’s guilt, and we’ve all experienced it. But it’s time to put down the broom and put your feet up! I had a babysitter every Monday night, to attend yoga classes, as my husband travelled a lot and wasn’t always on hand to look after the kids.
Your marriage and partnership is important; this can’t be put on hold. When your kids are all grown up and leading their own lives, it can be difficult to pick up where you “left off” in the relationship. The now is just as crucial as the future. Investing in a babysitter, even if it’s not every week, can be an essential part of the family budget.
I left a role in event management, which was demanding on my time and the kids were always the last in after-school care. I realised I could start my own business and work around the hours of the kids; it gave me more flexibility to engage in their extracurricular activities because I could work early mornings, or in the evenings after dinner. It wasn’t always the case, because it was important to me to spend nights with my hubby when I could, but the nights when he was away meant I could catch up on work. I made sure I didn’t take on too much because it wasn’t always practical for my husband to be available and helping out with the house or kids. I started small. Now the kids are independent, it’s my time to throw more into Girls Getaways and realise the dream to a new level!
Think about small goals for your own idea or business, with bigger goals in the future for when the kids are out on their own. Your kids’ goals are important, but so are yours. Your dreams and passion is what you’re left with when they all fly the coop.
Just remember, nothing can be rushed. Work your goals around your family commitments, take time to nourish yourself and nurture your relationship, and take each day that life throws at you.