As women, we so often put ourselves at the bottom of the pile. Sorting kids out, managing domestics, finding time to support our partner, ageing parents and friends. Many of us also work and are riddled with guilt that we don’t give enough to our bosses, or our family! A vicious circle we repeat day in and day out. If this sounds all too familiar take a deep breath… Seriously take a deep breath in and relax, because you are most definitely NOT alone.
Sitting in a coffee shop recently, waiting for a friend, I listened to a couple of women on the table next to me talking about the demands of their jobs and the pressure of running a family. When my own friend arrived we seemed to end up having a similar conversation. Torn between the love of our families and wanting to take care of them, our love of growing our businesses and yet wanting and desperately needing some space and time for ourselves. We concluded that what we really needed at home was some good old appreciation. Or did we?
When I got home I began to really think about whether Paul and my boys appreciated all that I do? I suspected that they didn’t, but, did I really appreciate all that Paul does? No probably not. So, what was the answer? I decided that expecting appreciation from my children was a recipe for disaster. So, I asked myself: “Is it possible to take care of our families and do it with a willing and loving heart?”
A tall order I know, and yet, whenever I find myself feeling unappreciated there’s an accompanying feeling of resentment in me, and that often makes me feel worse than simply getting the task at hand done. So, what’s the solution?
I don’t profess to always get this right, but, when I breathe and ask myself. Why am I doing this? I’m often surprised to hear myself say something like “Well it has to be done”or,”If I don’t do it who will”. Again, I feel resentful, even angry at times. The truth is, I often don’t have to do that particular thing right then and there. No one is pressurising me… except me and my own stupid expectations!
As hard as it was at times, I made a commitment to stop doing things when I felt resentful, or unappreciated. The amazing thing was nine times out of ten, nothing happened. The World didn’t stop turning, my kids didn’t get sick from the easier meal I cooked, or the take away we bought instead. They all found other clothes to wear. My friend was fine about me cancelling because I was knackered that day. The dog didn’t die because I didn’t walk him 4 miles that day.
I would even go so far as to say my boys encouraged me to do it, or rather not do it, completely agreeing that I put too much pressure on myself. What a laugh!
The bottom line is slow down, let it be. You’ll be surprised how easy it is and how much more relaxed you feel. Go on, PLEASE, go and sit down and leave the job you don’t really want to do, or ask someone else to do it. Yes, they might resist you and have a moan, but guess why that is? Yep, because Mum has always done it and now it’s time to share the load.
Take care of yourself at every opportunity, by saying ‘no’ (mostly to yourself) and you’ll find you have much more love and time to share with those you love, as your resentment slips away.