I was pondering what to write about this week when I came across a book in my office “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women” by Kristine Carlson. I had been given this book a couple of years ago and had just flicked through it at the time because I was busy trying to be Wonder Woman!
Oh yes we are all wonderful, fabulous women but alas ‘shock, horror’ we aren’t Wonder Woman (which I’m actually kind of glad of as I’m not sure me in a Wonder Woman outfit would be a good look :)). As Kristine says in her book “We are expected to do it all – all the time……We are “super women” with much to celebrate – yet we are exhausted.”
Does this sound familiar? I can see you all nodding as you read this.
The reality is that we have succumbed to an unrealistic stereotype of what a modern woman is meant to be. We feel we need to be juggling career, family and life in general as well as producing “Masterchef” standard dinners all while looking like a super model.
In fact, we are our own worst enemies. We place unrealistic pressures and high expectations upon ourselves because we think that is the way it is. Well let’s all have a reality check and realize that we are all doing okay.
As long as you are doing your best that is all that can be asked of you. [bctt tweet=”Don’t miss out on life because you are too busy striving for perfection which doesn’t exist.”]
‘Okay Smarty’ You say ‘What is the answer?’
Here are some things you can try to make life a little less stressful.
1. Stop trying to be everything to everyone
I can hear my family saying “listen to yourself” as I am so guilty of this even now. However, as I am growing older and hopefully wiser I am trying to be selective and thinking twice before I agree to do something (especially if I know that in saying ‘Yes’ it will be adding unnecessary stress to my life). I’m not always successful but at least I’m improving. If you are a working mother it is so hard to be ‘on’ all the time. You need to look at what is important to you and your family first.
In my previous blog “Why We Need to Be Selfish Sometimes” I highlighted the point that sometimes you just have to say ‘No’.
2. Set boundaries
You need to recognize your limits. No, I’m not saying you should limit yourself however I am saying that there is only so much one person can do. If you want to enjoy a quality of life with family and friends then you need to set boundaries as to what you can and can’t do.
If you are working full time you can’t be a houseperson full time. You need to discuss with your partner how to divide the housekeeping duties so that you both can enjoy your leisure time together.
If you have children, give them small jobs to do when they are old enough. They need to realize that they need to contribute to the family as well and by doing their part the family can enjoy more quality time together. It also teaches them responsibility and pride in their work.
Hire a house cleaner if you can afford it.
Realise how much time you have and don’t over commit yourself. Try to get to the school concert or sports day but DON’T PROMISE if you can’t. The children will live and realise that they can’t always have what they want.
Prioritise what is important to you and your family and if you can fit anything else in that is a bonus not a given.
3. Get a System in Place
If you know you have a rush every morning try to organize things the night before whenever possible. Think about what you can do to slow down the morning rush so that you aren’t starting the day frazzled.
Try preparing meals ahead of time and freeze them so you can have an evening off preparing a meal when you have had a hectic day.
Create a Planner and enter everything you need to do. This should also include family time, ‘Me” time, Partner time, social time as well as school reminders etc. We have 168 hours in a week so take sleep time out and there is still time to do everything if you are organized. Seeing entries on a planner can help you organize yourself and also avoid over committing.
4. Accept You Aren’t Perfect
This is very hard however you are the only one really putting this pressure on yourself. Your partner and family love you for who you are. They don’t expect perfection because they know they aren’t perfect either. Learn to accept and ask for help. Don’t be so fussy if your partner isn’t folding the clothes the way you would like – at least they are helping.
Don’t worry if ‘little Johnny or Jill’ at school have a far better Easter Hat in the parade than what you made for your child. (Ask my daughter or son about my attempts!). [bctt tweet=”It is more important that your children know you love them and you give them QUALITY time.”]
Once you take the pressure of yourself and realize that although you aren’t Wonder Woman you are a special human being you will enjoy life more.
Now put away that ridiculous Wonder Woman costume and RELAX!