With so much information, techniques and know-how swirling round the net on how to be the best at all the things, the temptation to do it all is real.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to do it all, and provide you with 4 reasons why in fact, you shouldn’t.
The do it all culture
Once upon a time, men and women were very much divided. Each had there own set of tasks to do throughout the day – hunting for men, making the nest the women.
(I’m talking way back here, but stick with me.)
Nowadays, women are making substantial leaps into the modern world of work – yet they still find themselves juggling EVERYTHING>
Research shows in fact, that working women still do 40% more of the housework than men, even when both are working full time. This goes up when women are on maternity leave!
There could be a number of reasons why women are still the centerpiece of the home, but a lot of it comes down to ingrained belief systems that we haven’t yet managed to break through.
The guilt of ‘giving in’
These beliefs often mean that even when we don’t want to do something with all our heart, we’ll still find ourselves guilty for not having stepped up and played our part.
Which makes asking for help, well – kinda difficult.
We might also feel the urge to chip in and teach the person to do it right or do it how we’d like it to be done, which can be counterproductive.
Really what we need to do is gently let go of the gas pedal in order for others to step up and help us.
We need to let go of the guilt of not living up to Supermom Instagram standards and accept that to live a fruitful and meaningful life with our kids, something’s gotta give.
Let’s get started on the reasons you shouldn’t ‘do it all’.
1) Prevention is better than the cure
That sounded like a vague heading there eh?
What I’m referring to is preventing burnout. Burnout happens when we try to do it all, wear all the hats – at the same time.
There’s nothing wrong with having a busy schedule, but don’t let it drive you to tears!
When it comes to health in general, I’ve always had a rather holistic approach, meaning that I look at the entirety of a problem rather than focus solely on the outcome.
In other words, for us to snap out of survival mode and into a life of joy and pleasure, we need to keep constant track of our mental health – before it gets too late.
We need to recognize our triggers in order to know when to take a step back.
You can do this by journaling regularly (it doesn’t have to be the 10 page essay type!) and checking in on how you’re feeling. If you can’t figure out how you’re feeling, try and dig a little deeper.
Start with the small things, here are some quick prompts:
- Am I happy with how I’m feeding my body at the moment?
- Do I feel achey in any part?
- What worry keeps re-occuring and why?
- What are the times of day I feel most at peace?
- Have I filled my cup today?
Journaling is one of the best ways to get in touch with yourself, as well as free the thoughts from your head by getting them on paper.
It’s so effective in fact, that’s it’s used across many psychological and mental health therapies.
2) It takes a village…
How many bleeding times have you heard that, yet looked around thinking ‘where is my village then?’
I know, mothering in this day and age is far from what it was. No longer do we live in close knit communities where we could raise our kids together.
Now we’re responsible for our child’s health, education, social life, and more whilst usually maintaining a relationship and friends of our own. Not to mention work of course!
It’s completely unnatural, if you think about it.
So how can you find your village?
If you’re like me and you don’t have the grandparents nearby, you need to meet other moms. This means you can exchange ideas, play dates and company when the going gets tough
There’s an amazing app called Peanut which was made with this idea in mind.
Granted, at the moment you may not be able to physically meet up (unless following isolation restrictions) but you can at least begin to plant the seed to meaningful friendships.
These friendships will give you support and you’ll be able to help each other out once you’ve accepted that you can’t do it all.
Look for other support groups in your area too – mother and baby classes are a classic example, and while it may make you cringe at the thought, you’d be surprised what good can come out of simply getting out of the house and meeting new people.
3) Asking for help does not imply weakness
Read that over and let’s let that sink in for a minute.
You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. You are not any less of a mother because you made cheese and toast for dinner, or gave into something just to have a bit of PEACE!
Ask any business owner and they will all tell you that they delegate tasks. Moms are bosses too so we should treat ourselves in the same way!
Learning to know what to let go of helps you make space for what you’re really good at.
To be able to be at a point where we KNOW what to allow into our lives, we need to un-learn things that we’ve been taught or seen for years.
Back to my point – if you have your partner around, parents, friends then let them know that you need the help. Once you step out of the comfort of staying where you are and silently suffering, doors will begin to open.
First we have to put our mind to it.
4) You set the example
What are some values you want to pass onto your kids?
I’ll bet amongst them are:
- Respect one another and you
- Be kind to others
- Learn when to stop
- Stand up for themselves
I’m also willing to bet that you want them to learn to trust themselves, their feelings and know when to set healthy boundaries.
The more you show up for yourself, the more they’ll learn to do the same.
You’re also teaching them the valuable lesson that mama cannot be there 24/7. Will it take them a while to understand? Of course, they’re growing, we’re growing together!
But it’s about consistency, and coherency.
For example, if you keep telling them that mama needs space yet give in when you feel that you need it the most, then they’ll receive mixed signals.
Just as with eating fruit and veggies, kids learn from watching and doing, rather than explaining over and over.
Show them that they too can have time on their own, teach them that this time is precious – and they’ll be more likely to respect yours too.