Sometimes you just need to know when to tap out. And this year, I have made it a point to tap out. Last year I tried, and failed, to do too much. I’m not very good at admitting that I can’t “do it all”. It’s what we are told these days as mums that we should be able to do. Admitting that we can’t do it all, feels like failure. It feels like people are watching and laughing (although that’s one thing I usually don’t care about). And most of all it feels like you’re not good enough as a mum.
There’s so many pressures we put on ourselves these days. Perfect parenting, perfect food, perfect body, perfect career, perfect wife, perfect friend…seriously the list goes on. And it’s not until you sit back and think about the trade-offs of each of those, that you actually realise that it actually isn’t possible. Last year I tried to do it all. And did a crappy job of it. There’s a saying that’s been going around my head a lot lately and that is “something’s got to give”. And it’s true. Something really has to give when you try to do it all. If you put your all into your career it means less time with your kids and husband/partner. If you put all of your time into your kids then your sanity suffers (well mine does). When you try to do something that fulfils your passions, you have less time to spend with your friends. There is always a consequence of putting time and effort into an aspect of your life.
I know everyone says it’s all about balance, which it is, I get that. But balance is really hard when you are someone like me, who likes to nail whatever they decide to do. I start something and then want to give it my all. Almost like an addiction. And other parts of my life suffer. After trying to put my effort into too many things last year (and being left absolutely burnt out by the end of the year), I did some thinking and came up with the decision to tap out. To admit to myself once and for all that I can’t do everything.
I spent some time with a very close person to me who just happens to be a new mum. She was acting exactly like every other new mum in the world, doing an amazing job yet doubting herself and her abilities. And that is what breaks my heart the most about this, that we all feel like we are doing a shitty job when we are doing bloody amazing just being us. I wish more mums talked about not being able to do it all. I think the mental health of every other mum in the world would benefit. The less we feel like we should be “nailing it”, the more it gives us “permission” to focus on what really matters to us.
So here is me, admitting to the world (albeit very small world of readers) that I CANNOT do it all. I’m tapping out from this notion that we have to be amazing at everything. I have cut back. I am focusing on what matters most to me, and am not feeling guilty or shitty about the fact that I’m saying no to some things and some people. And do you know what, when I really think about it, I am 100% happy with not being able to do it all. It’s quite refreshing actually knowing that I can admit that I’m not good at some things.
So to any mums out there feeling like they have to be societies view of the “perfect mum”, I say fuck that!
You are enough.
You are amazing.
And you don’t have to do it all.