Five things that being a mum has taught me for life
Being a mum is not an easy job. There are times when I’ve questioned my decisions. When I’ve been annoyed at how I’ve behaved and responded to my children. When I’ve just not known what I should be doing.
However, being a mum is the best job in the world. I’ve laughed so hard that my insides have hurt. I’ve been given so many cuddles that I literally thought I’d burst. I’ve had the privilege of seeing the world differently and all because I listened.
Being a mum has given me one of the greatest opportunities to learn. Learn things about myself. Understand better what I think, say and do. Reflect on how I show up in life.
Here are my top 5
Being a busy mum and working hard isn’t the answer
Being busy, doing everything and working really really hard means nothing if you’re not present and living life. It’s easy to fill time. But that’s no fun.
My parents taught me that if you work hard then all will be okay. Hard work always pays off. They had a seaside restaurant which meant working long hours and obviously working hard.
So that’s been my work ethic. But, I’ve learnt that it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s about focusing on what is important. Trying to do everything has literally exhausted me. It’s made me question what I’m doing. At times, I’ve felt my only option was to withdraw.
That’s until I’ve looked into my children’s eyes and realised I’m missing out on life. They’re growing up far too quickly and if I’m not careful I’ll miss it.
So I choose to have peace in my life and focus on what is important and whenever I fall into being busy I stop, reflect and choose my next best move.
You’re doing your best and that is more than good enough
It’s natural to compare ourselves with others. So we can gauge whether we’re doing a good job or not. The truth is, the most we can expect of ourselves is to do our best and that is enough.
I know I’m competitive. I want to do the best I can. I want to be the best and when it comes to being a mum, I definitely want to be the best. There’s nothing like setting the bar high!
The truth is, doing the mummy juggle is hard as it is, without me piling on more pressure. I’m only human. I make mistakes. And that’s okay. I’ve forgotten to pack my children’s PE kit. I’ve got things wrong. But, my children are alive and smiling. That’s what matters.
Your biggest challenge is you
It’s true, we can be our own worst enemy. The only person that ever really stands in your way is yourself. But, you always have a choice even if you don’t think so.
I’ve learnt and relearnt that I need to turn the volume down on my inner critic. The voice that is neither good nor bad. The voice that is just trying to keep me safe.
When I have listened to the voice, I’ve dwelled for too long in the negative. I’ve wasted time feeling sorry for myself, instead of understanding what’s going on and what my next best move is.
My inner voice will always be with me, especially as I attempt new things, however I am free to choose how I respond.
Self care is not a luxury
There is always time for self care because if you’re running on empty you are no good to anyone.
I want to be a great role model for my kids. Which, for me, means leading by example. If I’m not looking after myself then what am I saying to them?
When my daughter was just a baby, self care for me didn’t exist. At the end of the day, I would collapse on the sofa exhausted by the day. I felt like I was constantly running on empty. But I had no idea how to change things. And to be honest nothing really changed until my son came along!
I started to crave some of my old life back, before kids. That was the trigger to putting myself first and looking after myself so I could be the best for them.
Create healthy boundaries
You don’t have to be everything to everyone. You don’t have to do everything. Focus on what is important and create healthy boundaries to protect it.
I’m a bit of a people pleaser. I want everyone to be okay and if I can help make that happen then I’ll do it. But it’s not sustainable. And it also means that you’re sacrificing yourself for others. You’re demoting yourself for others. That’s really not okay. The most important person in your life will always be you.
I was working long hours, I was getting involved with everything and I was trying to do everything. The only way life was going to be different was to do things differently. Which was to create healthy boundaries. Deciding what was okay and what was not.
The truth is, life is one long learning journey. We try stuff out. We experience things. We take what works, we change things and hopefully we throw the rest away. Life is not meant to be perfect. Life is full of challenges. Life is full of ups and downs and twists and turns.
Life is meant to be interesting. Life is for living. Life is about fully embracing whatever comes your way and making the best of it with what you know.
What have you learnt?
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