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Hey lovely mums,
You know that feeling, the same things come up every single day which need ‘doing’.
The basic, everyday mundane stuff, cleaning, tidying washing, keeping people alive through feeding them, making sure everyone is hygenic yadayadayada
The routine stuff where people have to get to places on time, work, school, pre-school, nursery, all require clock watching and happen on a pretty much daily basis
And the not so regular stuff, the stuff which needs to be remembered, forms, money, food for the day, homework, projects, models, smartie tubes for fundraising, all that jazz.
There is a lot to think about and remember every single day.
But why, lovely mums, do we believe that the majority of this is our responsibility?
If something is lost, we find it.
If something is forgotten we rearrange our day to get it to said person who has forgotten.
We play the eternal game of picking up the stray socks stuck down the back of the sofa, the crisp packets which you asked to be put in the bin, the game which the children ‘just had to play’ before school but did not tidy up.
And all the time you are expending YOUR energy, energy you need to function throughout the day.
Is it any wonder that we get totally frazzled before our ACTUAL day has even started?
I know why we do all this stuff, because I catch myself doing it too.
Because we want our home to look reasonably presentable
We don’t like the feeling that our children might be without something they need during their school day, and be the ONLY ONE without it.
We have a desire to ensure that our children are cared for, nurtured and looked after, to the absolute BEST of our ability.
There are times when we have just about had it, when that final sock on the floor breaks the final straw on that final camels back.
Why should it be down to us?
The simple answer is, it shouldn’t.
And in some households it isn’t.
But I hazard a guess in a lot of homes, across the world, it is mum doing the planning, the organising and the sorting.
You may disagree and that’s cool
But if you are feeling the weight of doing EVERYTHING on your shoulders then here are some tried and tested strategies to help you lighten the load.
First of all STOP the quest for perfectionism.
Priorities are vital, we simply CANNOT get everything done, all the time without it taking it’s toll on us, physically and emotionally.
Frustration is often the sign that we are trying to do too much, we have let everything fall on our shoulders.
And this can lead to resentment which is not a nice emotion and is likely to lead to arguments, disagreements and bad feeling.
So in our house, the most important thing for me is that my children are fed, hydrated and clean. If the dirty washing stays on their floor for a few days, it is not the end of the world, and they know it is their job to pick it up.
Use the skills and abilities of others in the household
Us mums are so used to doing things, it almost becomes automatic for us, we just do it without thinking. The issue is, because it automatic for us, we believe that it is likely to be automatic for everyone else in the house.
We sometimes assume that other family members see what we see but they don’t, because it isn’t their function in the home, their everyday task and there is absolutely no motivation to do it.
When I was a child I don’t remember thinking that I needed to do stuff unless I was asked or reminded to by my mum.
And I don’t mean the nagging, have your remembered kinda stuff.
Just the things that help the home to function, to ‘tick over’ on a daily basis.
So, in a moment when things are not frantic, you are not rushing to get out of the door, sit down with your whole family and set some expectations of what every family member should do.
Remember you are a family and even the littlest children can put their own toys away.
If you are thinking that nobody else can do it to the same standard as you then please STOP IT.
You are actually not helping yourself or the rest of your family by doing everything for them.
How will they learn to take care of themselves if you are always doing everything?
I know it is your default and it is so much easier and quicker for us, but we all have to start somewhere.
And believe it or not, even husbands can be ‘trained’!
They really really don’t see the priorities like you do, and a bit of calm communication with everyone else can work wonders for your household and really helps you feel back in control rather than out of control and certainly much less frazzled.
We started off with our boys unloading the dishwasher. Once I got over the fear of them breaking things it works really well. They are not rewarded for it, they accept that it is part of their jobs which help with the household.
My youngest loves loading and setting the washing machine up. Buttons and dials, he thinks it’s awesome!
My boys have just started putting their own washing away. Yes they do hang things weirdly on hangers, but at least they are doing it and it relieves me from part of my Sunday evening job.
And I am starting to feel like it is not always me who does everything and I am also helping my boys to see the benefit of actually contributing to family life, it works on all levels.
So, what is one thing you could do to reduce the reliance on it all being down to you?
Remember one small change makes a massive difference to you and to your family.
Love Clare x