Juggling work, kids, a home and everything else is not easy and, too often, we try to do it all. As women we have become quite proud of the phrase that we can multi task but often this can be to our detriment.
You are not superwoman and trying to do too much will leave you exhausted, stressed and with no time to do the things that you enjoy or no time to spend quality time with your loved ones.
Striving for perfection is not easy. In fact, it can be very stressful. If you are trying to create the perfect home, be the perfect mother/wife/girlfriend/partner as well as being perfect in your work, it is just not going to happen.
When you try to juggle too much at once, something has to give. Rather than waiting until the thing that gives is you and you reach burnout, here are some tips to help ease some of the pressure.
Stay in the moment
When you are doing a particular task, focus your full attention on what it is that you are doing. Stay in the moment and do not let your mind be distracted. This can be difficult to achieve at first but keep practising staying mindful of that one task.
Doing this helps with anxiety, dealing with urgency and it decreases agitation.
Develop support networks
Sandy was a single mum with 2 kids and was always rushing around. She would rush from work, pick up the kids, take them to their activities, go home, cook, clean, put the kids to bed, wash, iron and fall exhausted in to her bed at the end of the evening.
She was always tired and never had time for herself. She set up a support network with a group of other mums and they took it in turns to pick the kids up from school and take them to their activities. This freed up time for Sandy to do some of the things she was not able to do, or even to just go home and have an hours rest before the kids came home.
What support networks can you establish in order to share the workload and make things easier for you?
Stop trying to do it all
Cathy, a busy working mum was constantly washing and ironing and she hated to see anything left in her ironing basket. But Cathy was ironing absolutely everything, including towels, pants and sheets.
Ironing only the things that were absolutely necessary eased some of the pressure on her. She often found that despite having ironed something, folded it and put it away, she still had to iron over it when it was need. As such, she also decided that she would only iron as and when something was needed.
What can you stop doing to free up time for you? Are you ironing absolutely everything? Sometimes we do things just because that is the way that our mothers used to do it but that does not mean that you have to.
A trip to the supermarket at the weekend can take between 2-3 hours. What else could you be doing with that time?
Doing an online shop will save you time walking around the supermarket as well as time spent in traffic getting to and from it. You may also find that you save money as well as you won’t be tempted by all the so called ‘bargains’ and special offers.
Get the kids to help out
Assign chores to the kids. Let them take some responsibility for the housework. Do a rota and pin it up somewhere visible so that they cannot ignore it. If you have a partner, what support do they give? If you are not getting enough support from them, let them know.
Teach the kids to cook and do housework from an early age. They will appreciate it when they get older and leave home. I taught my son to cook and clean when he was very young. I remember sometimes he would complain that his friends didn’t have to make their own beds.
This teaching served him well when he went away to university. And now, it is quite an attraction puller when girls see that he is such a good cook.
Do not be so hard on yourself. Does it really matter if your house is tidy instead of spotless if it means that you are not feeling so exhausted and stressed out? You are not superwoman and your kids would rather have mummy spend some time playing with them than having a perfect house.
Carol Stewart, The London Career Designer, is a Personal Development, Career & Business Coach and founder of Abounding Solutions. She works with women in their forties who are unhappy at work but are too scared to do anything about it. She helps them to develop the confidence to make a career move and find something that they love. This could be a complete career change or it could even be exiting the corporate environment and setting up their own business.
Carol herself made a significant career change in 2011 when at the age of 44 she left the organisation she had worked in for 28 years, went back to university and set up her own business.
She is also a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Member of the Association for Coaching.
Carol’s free ebook ‘5 Steps to Pursuing Your Passion at Mid-Life – A Guide to Designing a Career You Love’ can be downloaded at http://aboundingsolutions.com/