In our busy world of ever-evolving new technologies, why are we often expected to know how to do it all? Be up to date at work, and on top of everything at home with our family?
We need to know how to communicate within the latest social media outlets;
twitter, Facebook, iPhone, iPad, i-everything, new computer-watches, e-books, kindles, online widgets to make our lives “easier”.
- Clean the house so it is sparkling for us and our guests?
- Teach our children manners so they grow up as polite, respectable citizens, don’t embarrass themselves, or us?
- Balance our budget so we can shop with limited funds and yet buy up all our wants and needs?
- Fill our social calendar with activities for us and our children.
- Spend our free time (what’s that?) at school events, helping at the canteen, book events, in the classroom helping with kids’ reading, and more?
- Feeding our pets, and exercising them daily?
- Visiting our parents and grandparents, wanting to support their needs and wants.
- Helping charities with requests for physical and financial support?
- Being able to help with our child’s homework?
- Did you also notice how the school curriculum has vastly changed from when you, and I went to school? That our children are being taught things now that were not even discovered when I went to school? (And I am not that old?)
- Being smartly-dressed, and groomed for all the meetings and events that we attend.
- Being an expert on health, wellness, and how to treat that burn, scratch, itch, tick bite that your child came home with today.
- Being a late-night nurse to your sick family member.
- Dropping everything to collect a member of your family or friend standing in the rain, while making dinner, and doing spelling with your child, while the cat eats your partially ready dinner left on the side table?
- Cancelling that one night at the movies as your child is unwell, and it is not advisable to leave your child with the new sitter… or deciding that your new babysitter can manage after they insist that they can manage, only for them to call you an hour later with a desperate tone in their voice, saying, “please come home now!”
- Discovering the tissue that got away, and into the washing machine… now wet, clinging and crumbling all over the wash that you just managed to squeeze in starting, before cooking the dinner.
- “Mum, where’s my….” Being the only one in the house that knows where “that shirt” or the other sock is.
- Explain the complexities of … the origins of the universe/religion/sex/birth to your child.
- Your friends asking why they haven’t seen you for some time? What have you been doing???
Is it realistic to even contemplate doing it all?
Perhaps we need to be taught at school, before we leave its gates, venturing into the wide blue yonder, that yes, we can be anything we want to be, and be successful, but we need to care for ourselves in order for us to be able to achieve all that we want to achieve in the long term.
That includes looking after our own health and wellbeing.
We are often told to get balance
Taking time out of our schedule to refresh and revive, to enable us to continue working in our jobs, and at home.
Getting it all done is a huge ask on our lives as parents.
Society does expect more from us now that in the last century. But as research often highlights to us in the news, we are also staining from the stress.
So how can we accomplish all we want to do?
- Maintain a diary. Either online, iPhone, or paper.
Keeping all the stuff you need to do in your head just gives you more reason to forget.
- Everything seems urgent: Do the most pressing and urgent item first.
- Food in the pantry/fridge will make your family happy. Keep some tins for emergencies. Do a home-shop if you can manage it. Certainly beats the parking stress, and queues in the supermarket.
- Get help:
When everything comes at once, ask a friend or family member to help out when the going gets really tough. Better that way, than crumbling under the commitments during a crisis should it occur?
Ask a professional for help when you feel you need expert advice. That is why they are there. To help you.
- Your family is a group after all. So ask all the members to help where they can.
Such as asking them to complete tasks around the house that is age-appropriate.
They are often quick to ask you for your time, so explain to them that it is a give and take arrangement. After all, when they move out one day, they will be the one to do it all for themselves, so it is a good time to teach them, and empower them now.
- Turn the ringer off or leave in another room, all those time-saving technologies, starting with the family members’ iPhones during meals. Have a chat instead.
You will be amazed at how refreshed you can feel from the absence of a ring tone.
Can you do it all?
- Consider what you can achieve with your energy, interests, and available time.
- If you are capable of taking on a variety of activities and they interest you as well, then there are so many outlets for you: School, business Boards, charities, family members who could use your time and expertise and so on.
- If you take on too much and feel resentful of those asking of your time, then perhaps this is a sign that you need to scale down your commitments. Perhaps you need to tell them that you are unavailable for that project? You are the best person to know how you feel.
- Taking note of the time and energy you use on other activities is important for you, your family and work.
- When you have balance, you can usually do what you need to, and want to do, with your life as well.
- Feeling refreshed not only benefits you, but flows on to your whole family, friends, and work.
Reflect, reorganise, and revive.
Your life might take off in a way that makes you feel on top of the world.
So, take time for you, and enjoy the ride.