Not long ago, I told a friend that saying I’m tired is like saying the Titanic experienced a minor snag. True enough, exhaustion has been part of my life as a mom, spiking during periods like new babies, moving house, holidays, and other types of overwhelm.
I’ve been told it’s normal. Normal to want some quiet time. Normal to dream of moving to New Zealand.
Maybe you’ve just had your first baby. Maybe you have children with special needs. Maybe, like me, you are trying to juggle the needs of several different-age kids and your freelance writing business.
Either way, I’m going to share five questions I’ve asked myself to help myself let go of unrealistic expectations (pffft) and put mental health first.
One, do you work too hard? No, wait. That’s not a question. Start over.
Do you iron? Ironing is seriously overrated. A few wrinkles on a shirt haven’t killed anyone yet. Besides, wrinkles straighten up, more or less, while you wear the item.
Do you do too much laundry? Around here, clothes get tossed into the hamper when they are dirty. I separate darks and lights, but otherwise, everything gets shoved in the wash together, including underwear, bedding, and towels.
Do you cook too complicated? It’s best to choose dishes that request not just little prep, but little cleanup as well. Soup is a perennial favorite.
Do you delegate? Do you let people do what they can for themselves? If a toddler can pick up her toys, great. If a tween can clean her room, fantastic. So what if it’s not perfect? It fosters healthy independence and helps lighten your load.
Do you take the time to recharge? Do you remember when you last watched a movie? Read a book just because? Called a friend? When I realized that my answer to these was “I’m not sure”, I acknowledged I was on the verge of burnout. I began making an effort to eat and sleep better and to do more things that refresh and rejuvenate me.