It’s gone a bit cold.
It really does seem such a long time since we chilled out in the sunshine.
..and the World keeps turning, bottles made up, nappies changed, bizarre costumes constructed for school, the Tesco shop, the toilet cleaned, countless dinners cooked/refused/coaxed into ungrateful tummies… the boring day-to-day stuff that just won’t go away.
I remember years ago, my sister-in-law (2 boys, young at the time) said, “wouldn’t it seem fair if the government gave us women two weeks paid holiday a year? They could draft in a nanny – get all the outstanding jobs caught up with, while we went to a paid-for spa?”
I did get rather dreamy, thinking of that for a while…
But back to Earth.
The thing is, we all make choices (spoken by a woman who should have gone to bed two hours ago, and made packed lunches but has done neither).
Some things are unavoidable – we need to get milk in the fridge. They do need to get to school, the ponky nappy won’t change itself.
But some are things we do because we think we should, and some are things we don’t because we think we don’t deserve to.
Those are the things I am thinking about tonight.
We are just little girls, who five minutes ago were playing with skipping ropes, having crushes on pop stars and having first kisses – and now we suddenly find ourselves all grown up with babies and jobs and things we have to do.
And it is relentless. It is the hardest work, and sometimes it feels like there is no end to it.
So let’s take a snapshot – we are where we are.
Now where can we go from here?
1) What do we do, that we don’t need to do?
I think it is possible that we are kind of swept along in this ‘yummy/super mum’ lie that really isn’t real.
It might be just me, but actually the house isn’t always tidy, my hair looks like Boris Johnson’s on the school run and we are still late, and occasionally dinner is pizza and chips, with a salad of baked beans.
Running, running, running – to stand still, it seems.
If you have a pencil and paper to hand, it is worthwhile to do this exercise (it doesn’t have to be in best, it is only for you.)
List out from the moment you get up what you do in a typical day – or more usefully, a week.
I think this list will surprise you.
Next allocate a figure in pounds, for how much you think this would have costed if you had to employ someone to do it (don’t worry if that sounds silly, just go with it. E.g. get the children out of bed and ready for school….a nanny charges £8 an hour – it takes about an hour = £8.
Drive children to school…a taxi would cost £10 = £10 and so on).
Add up your daily / weekly total. £______
Look back through that list.
Underline those things that you do – that you judge as NOT ESSENTIAL.
So maybe a trip to the park brings the whole family happiness, so therefore essential, but maybe 2 hours at Tesco is not – you could do that online and automate it.
See if you can thin your week out, lose some of the non essentials, share lifts, REMEMBER YOUR VALUE.
You have placed a real monetary figure on it.
This is real work you do.
It is OK not to work 100 hours a week and watch a few more films…
YOU make everything work.
With your head held high, give yourself a pat on the back and ‘bank’ your brilliance as you move on to the 2nd question.
2) What do you not do, because you think you don’t deserve to?
What’s that thing? That thing you love? Or are there a few?
Listening to the top 40 (no, you are not too old, don’t be ridiculous), Going to a spa once a month (yes THAT often if money allows), holding an American Supper with your friends, Learning to Salsa or sing, a new language, a walk by the river, a long swim, visiting old friends, clubbing (yes, really), new hairdo, bike ride, cookery course, pottery, going to the cinema, meditation, church (there are all kinds), an outrageous night with the girls, theatre, a party, writing that book.
You might have a BIG thing. Your secret thing that you don’t quite have the confidence to get going on.
If you have a BIG thing…it’s even more important.
What would the 10 years from now YOU say to today’s you?
They say that no-one’s last wish was that they had done more cleaning…
Why don’t you think you deserve some fun?
You do, you know.
Look at all the things you do.
Yes, you are busy – but why not be busy and happier?
We always find things to fill our time with.
Get your calendar and in pencil (you can rub it out later), scatter about some YOU things – money/sitters no object.
How does your week look now set out in front of you?
NOW – get your rubber ready, and rub out the things that are truly impossible.
But maybe, just maybe – you can leave some in there.
And just make them happen.
Of course it’s easier not to – but a more relaxed, fulfilled happier you, with a few tweaks and changes, will long term mean a happier you.
And a happier you, is a happier everyone.
You are still you, despite this new ‘Mummy’ and possible ‘other half’ label.
And that was the person you were supposed to be.
You will have more to talk about that doesn’t involve poo or health visitors.
Have a brilliant week and please let me know how you get on.
Speak to you soon!
Tanya Grant @ The Wiggle Waggle Team x
p.s. If there is something you are scared of doing – trust me DO IT!
And to get yourself into the right frame of mind, make a playlist of your favourite most uplifting songs ever
(get Spotify if you haven’t – it’s brilliant and free) and listen to them.
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