When I ask a mum how she is, the reply is a very long list of events, work commitments, chores and other all-consuming dealings that have robbed her of her time. The list ends in an exasperated sigh of, “I’m just so busy”. The last part is usually worn like a badge of honour. Look how much I am getting done!
We have, as a society, inextricably linked busy-ness with perceived success. What women risk when they enter the trap of busy-ness is burning out. It is so important to look after yourself. Whether you are a working mum or not. When a little person relies on you, you need to be in a good head-space to look after them.
So here are a few simple things you can do to ‘un-busy’ yourself.
Put yourself first –
Look after yourself to be the best mum you can be. A part of that self-care is not letting go of who you were before you had a baby. If you love to go hiking, make the time to go hiking. If you love going to the movies, doing yoga, whatever activities give you a sense of joy and fulfilment, make sure you prioritise it and make time to do them.
Identify the non-negotiable –
For me, my morning shower, hot cup of coffee and afternoon workout are things I can’t do without. Like you would an important meeting or a wax appointment, schedule the time in your day for those things you can’t do without and make them a part of your daily ritual. Set a reminder if you have to.
Set realistic goals –
Be it career goals, a goal to get the bathroom cleaned by the end of the week or completing a chapter in the book you’re reading, set a goal. By setting (and achieving) goals, you not only create a sense of accomplishment, you’re also more mindful of your time and how you’re spending it. At the beginning of every day, week or month, allow some time to set and review your goals.
Practice being mindful –
There are plenty of resources on mindfulness and a multitude of free guided meditation apps for those new to mindfulness. Mindfulness allows a greater perception of self-awareness, reduces stress and increases emotional intelligence.
Self-awareness is the key –
Be mindful, not only of your time but also the language you use. Next time someone asks you how you are, smile and think of all the wonderful things in your life of which you are grateful. Be kind to yourself and think of all that you have accomplished. After all, you brought life into this world. That’s a pretty huge feat. Well done you!