I’m going to admit something to you all – I can’t do everything and I’m not blooming Wonderwoman!….. And do you know what else, most of the time I am one exhausted mum.
As much as I want to do it all and do everything amazingly (oh yes perfectionist tendencies in abundance over here), I have to admit that I can’t. All my friends know that some weeks I am a Nigella inspired domestic goddess, with the kids lunchboxes overflowing with home baked, healthy treats and then the next week I will be running to bakers delight on the way to school to grab pizza scrolls as the cupboards are bare.
As a strong woman and a mum, I really used to struggle (and sometimes still do) with admitting that maybe I wasn’t coping with all the balls I had to juggle. As for my poor long suffering hubby, god help him if he didn’t offer to help when I was having a meltdown and dont even get me started on how nuts I would go if he couldn’t see what help I needed.
Wow I could write for hours about all the times I have had a meltdown or been so thankful when things have been cancelled so I can finally sit down and have a coffee rather than having to do one of the many things I have tried to fit into an already manic calendar. But rather than rambling on and on, I thought I would share 5 ways I lighten my load and maybe I will help some other exhausted mums out there.
If you can afford it – outsource something you hate doing!
I’m going to let you into a secret – I have a cleaner!!! This is something that until now, I have only told my closest friends as I am worried everyone will think I’m lazy. How crazy is that? I am so far from lazy its unreal but having a cleaner means that I will have an immaculately clean house once every fortnight and this means I have 3 hours to either work non stop or to catch up on food shopping etc. Sometimes I even do nothing except have a bit of me time – I love an excuse to slob on the sofa watching a movie when no-one is home.
My cleaning angel Jenny, is the best cleaner ever – seriously she does more in 3 hours than I could do in 3 days. I do realise that this is an absolute luxury but I would happily forgo any other treat or night out to have Jenny.
Admit You Can’t Do Things – Find An Expert
I honestly don’t know why we all (or maybe its just me) presume that we should be experts at everything in the world. Okay I am a pretty awesome bag designer( no harm in bigging myself up once in a while) but with my business I need to have skills in so many areas – marketing, web design, accounting etc. As with most things, I will embrace all these new challenges head on but will then find that sometimes I just don’t have the skills I need to finish a job.
For example – I maintain this website and as websites go, its working well but I had this issue where my product images weren’t lining up and gaps were appearing. I bet with my use of technical jargon, its hard to imagine I didn’t have the technical skills I needed to fix the problem lol. Last night, after weeks of research, playing around and banging my head on the computer desk I thought bugger this, I can’t do this anymore. 10 minutes later I’ve logged onto http://www.fiverr.com and paid $20 to this amazing woo commerce expert who in just a few hours manages to fix all my problems and do you know what, it wasn’t something I would ever been able to fix, unless overnight I became a Coding Expert. If you need a woo commerce or wordpress expert, I seriously cant recommend Ali enough – http://share.fiverr.com/xxz6fdp4263
Ask for Help
Look don’t be embarrassed, we all need help sometimes and would you not be the first person to offer to help someone else? It might be something as small as asking a friend to have your kids for a playdate or asking your partner to cook dinner. These small things make all the difference and you know you can always repay the favour.
When its the week before a Market, I will be working flat out so I might not be able to do the basketball run. That’s okay, I have a friend whose daughter plays at the same time so we will split the load, she will take Mo that week and I will take her daughter the week later.
Sometimes I even have to ask the girls and hubby to come and work in the studio, nothing too strenuous – maybe putting bag tags on ready for market or tracing templates onto buckram but do you know what, I am fine with this. This is a family business so once in a while, the whole family have to chip in because mum has asked for some help. Just as I will help them all with anything that they need help with.
Let things slide
This could be anything from having beans on toast for dinner because I don’t have time to cook a gourmet meal (chilli counts as gourmet right?) or the house being messy for a few days. Its hard for me, I don’t like a messy house and I don’t like giving the kids meals that aren’t the best but do you know what, the world wont end if I have to grab a MacDonalds so I can fit something else in. What will happen is that I wont run myself into the ground trying to do everything.
Don’t over commit
I am the worlds worst at over committing myself and my family. Its not a conscious thing that I choose to do, I am just notoriously bad at checking my numerous calender’s before I say yes to something.
I think I must be the worlds worst at trying to fit too many things into the calendar and this is ultimately going to result in me having to cancel things I have planned because I’m just too busy or just too tired.
I realise that is really annoying to have a friend who cancels plans on them (I am apologising profusely to all my friends right now) but I have learnt that its much better to be honest and just say I can’t do things. Otherwise I will go and my heart wont be in it. Or I will breathe a ridiculous sigh of relief when the other person cancels something. This is a sign that I have just committed to too much. More often than not, you will find that the other person will also have over committed and is also stressing out about how much they have on their plate.
So there you go – just a few of the ways that help me to cope with all that life demands from me. If you have any other hints, please please comment – if we can offer some advice to over exhausted parent, then its definitely worth it. Have a great but hopefully calm and restful weekend everyone xx