Postnatal A-Z: J for Juggling the demands of motherhood
Welcome back to my Postnatal A-Z where today I'll be talking about J for Juggling the demands of motherhood.
It seems fitting to be writing this during Covid-19 when many mums are juggling more balls than ever before. I've been trying to write this post for the past couple of hours while teaching my oldest daughter Maths, semi-reading a book to my youngest daughter, tidying the house and planning my next classes (in my head). I also just realised I haven't been to the toilet since 9am! Welcome to motherhood 🤪
I never believed in multi-tasking as I always preferred to focus on one thing and do that thing well, before moving on to the next. Since becoming a mum, I've had to ditch that kind of thinking and let go of perfectionism and control.
Instead I do 2, 3, 4 or more things simultaneously and hope that giving them 10-50% of my attention is still good enough. Not easy to do if you're someone who likes doing things well, or thrives on being in control. But I believe this is key if you're going to not only survive but thrive as a mum.
Whether you are a working mum or a stay-at-home mum, your life is going to be endlessly busy for days, months and years to come. So it makes sense to work out early on what the right balance is for you.
I tried working full-time and resented being away from my children. I tried not working at all and resented being around my children all the time. For me, doing work that fits around my children and that gives me mental stimulation as well as meaning is the right balance for me. It took me quite a bit of time, trial and error to work that one out 🙂
Figuring out what you need to be able to cope with the many competing demands of motherhood is a really worthwhile exercise. Do you need to eat better? Cut out the alcohol? Go to bed earlier? Book a babysitter one evening a week? Ask family or friends to look after your child(ren) one Sunday morning a month? Exercise more? Exercise less? Swap meals with a friend so that you cook less but still eat well? Pay a cleaner? Book a massage? Spend more time outdoors?
By meeting your needs and investing in yourself, you will be better able to juggle all those balls. 🙏