The Mum Juggle with Katie Lowndes, Wellness Coach
The mum juggle is real and I feel your pain.
Let’s be honest here, we juggle in life pre kids. Work, friends, family commitments. Not to mention our own self-made pressures and expectations that we put on ourselves about having to BE, DO or HAVE.
Then you might add in a fur baby. This means daily walks, feeding, play time, visits to the vets. Pet care for when you go on holiday and of course a responsibility that you have to go home at a certain time and also mind read as well….. they are a dog after all…or maybe it’s a cat. Either way, it’s a big commitment.
Fast forward to now and you have a child, or two, or three or more. A mini human isn’t a walk around the block with a couple of meals and treats. This is 24/7 love, care and lists. Lists of things to do with food, or school or childcare and the constant new clothes as they grow so fast. The worry about their relationships with friends at school, worries about bullying, are they learning enough, why aren’t they sleeping, how much time on the ipad is healthy…… Suddenly things you used to stress about are a thing of the past and a speck of dust amongst the new mum juggle in life.
The juggle is now having to prioritise what’s most important.
I am here to tell you that it is you. It’s a cliché, but you can’t fill from an empty cup. So, what are some of the things you can do to make sure your cup is full?
- OUTSOURCE: Think about what is stressing you out. Write a list. Think about what you can outsource, change or simply not do.
- BELIEFS: This leads to point two. Are there ‘things’ that you are doing because you ‘think that’s what a mum should do’. It sounds simple but behaviours that you grew up with and beliefs that you may not even recognise you have sometimes can be a disservice. For example, you might hate cooking but for some reason keep committing to making the cakes for a school bake sale. Another example may be that you hate the cleaning, but your mum used to say ‘ooooh I would never get a cleaner as they don’t do as good a job as me and that’s my role’. Subconsciously that might have seeped into your mind, so you feel bad outsourcing it.
- BOUNDARIES: Set boundaries around your time and if you don’t want to attend a social engagement, and your gut is crying NO, then politely decline. You don’t need to explain yourself. It’s your life and often we think others will be upset or we worry of what they might think but generally people are more concerned about their own life.
- TALK: You can be honest about things, you can ask for help, you are allowed to find certain things about motherhood difficult just as you probably have had difficulties at work or with relationships. I always remember my brother saying that he ‘felt there was this unsaid rule where you aren’t supposed to tell anyone how hard it is’ when he was going through a difficult time with his first.
- PRESSURE: There is also a pressure around being mum, getting back to work, and showing everyone that you can have a social life and be a mum too. If you can and want to do all three then great but if you don’t then that’s fine too. Do what works for you.
- UNDERSTANDING CHANGE: The fact is that having a child is probably the biggest change you will go through in life. When we go through change, we often heighten our natural lead behaviour type. So, depending on what yours is means you could be become more dominant and direct, indecisive, and emotionally up and down, sensitive and anxious around change, analytical and cautious. Recognising and being kind to ourselves is the number one thing we can do. It is often us that pile on the most pressure, in our minds we beat ourselves up and judge. Is your monkey mind giving you grief? I recommend giving the nasty monkey a name and telling it to shut up. Write down any thoughts on your mind so they don’t keeping running around making you feel bad.
- ME TIME: Can you plan some time into your weekly schedule that is just for you. Whether it’s having a massage, reading a book in the bath. Meeting a great friend for lunch or maybe it’s nothing at all. It’s a time for you to do whatever you need to do to fill your cup. A way to make sure you do this is plan out a rough daily and weekly plan so that you feel organised and have set boundaries around your week. Obviously, things come up but if you have a rough plan around what your days and weeks look like then that’s half the battle. Your overall WELLNESS and feelings of fulfilment are a combination of a lot of different factors in your life which span from your Spiritual connection (understanding your values and feeling connected to them), to Financial and your Knowledge (feeling like you are mentally stimulated and then you feel like you are growing). Suddenly things change and it can be hard to balance everything with your bundle of joy however being aware and connected to this can help you keep on track so that you avoid getting lost which is something I often hear.
Change is hard, being sleep deprived is hard, having our hormones change is hard, having a human depending on you 24/7 that you can’t just lock in the house and leave (like a dog) can at times be hard.
Let’s not forget that motherhood can also be rewarding, happy, fun and loving.
So have a think about how you can be kinder to you and take away any daily stresses so that you can have more of the happy, fun loving and rewarding bits. I promise you will feel so much lighter for it!
This blog was written for Rudie Nudie by Katie Lowndes. With over 20 years in the Wellness industry Katie now focuses on coaching people holistically so they can feel fulfilled, healthy and happy in life. Katie works with the wellness wheel, (a model that shows the dimensions in life that contribute to your overall wellness) taking a 360 approach working on the mind, body and soul.
You can find out more about Katie here.