As mums, we usually end up being the CEOs of our households and families. We keep track of everyone’s diary, know who needs to be where when and with what.
We keep things ticking, flowing, moving.
And we do it well but it’s exhausting.
So bloody knackering, exhausting and draining.
Managerial positions are. You are overlooking everything but are also actioning the detailed work – hang on, that doesn’t happen in business so why do we let it happen to us?
Sure we take it all on but here’s one thing that might shock you; YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL ALONE!
Whoa, what did I just say? Yes, honestly, you don’t have to do it ALL on your own.
I remember throwing my own tantrum when the kids were young, unable to carry on and cope with it all so I made a list of all the jobs in general, sat everyone down and said, “There are 4 people in this house so why am I the only one running it?”
We ended up sharing the load; we all had a night to cook dinner (and yes, an 8 year old can manage to put a simple pasta dish!), the cleaning was shared (everyone had a responsibility to keep things clean – quick wipe of weetabix when spilled saves hours!) and so it was for a while.
Of course that has all changed now but I got a glimpse of how things could be and while the load was shared, it really helped me.
Kids want to do things and teaching them chores and how the household runs is a valuable lesson for them when they reach adulthood.
Kids can learn to cook from an early age – of course they need to first learn about safety and how to be careful in the kitchen and there needs to be supervision. But that feeling of accomplishment when they feed the family is priceless.
Kids can clean and be responsible for things – putting things away, wiping spilled things there and then, putting their laundry away, maybe even doing their own laundry! (A valuable skill I was lacking and learned the hard way. Well, my boyfriend at the time did having to go to work with pink shirts that were once white ;))
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that as mums, we sometimes do too much for our kids. How are they meant to learn?
There are other ways too; you can hire a cleaner or someone to do the ironing, or cooking. If you’ve got a good group of friends, maybe you can swap chores and help each other out? Even if it’s a play date rota so you’ve got time to zap all that needs doing.
Then there’s teaching our kids about responsibility; if they have clubs etc, why not do a chart to put up by the door so they can check their own things?
A weekly planner saying who is doing what on what night etc.
Again, maybe I was a harsh mum but I used to say to my kids, “These are not my activities, it is your responsibility to have everything ready”. Of course, I used to be in the back ground and prompt them, teaching them to think forward – the rugby kit will need washing today so it will be ready for tomorrow type of thing.
Other ways clients have shown me to lighten the load is to make a list of everything that needs doing and putting in categories; daily, weekly, monthly, yearly etc and sharing it with family. Then everyone knew what was going on, were able to be supportive and together, things would get done with love and support.
Some put things in a diary so the thoughts are out of their heads and on paper for everyone to see, to help or to support. This also helps seeing areas of rest and non activity which is so important too, especially if you feel anxious about the load.
It isn’t as difficult as it sounds or feels and as always, if you need help with this, you know where I am for support 🙂