So this must sound insane, why would anyone be embarrassed of coping? Isn’t that the goal? But you know, mommy guilt added to business guilt and wife guilt and general women guilt and you find yourself always feeling like you’re not doing enough.
So when you cope, when you manage to organise a day with free time thrown in, you feel shame more than pride. Well I do anyway.
But can you blame me? Tiredness and busyness has become social currency of sorts. “Oh my word, I’m so tired”. “Really? because I’m even more tired”. “Well actually my tiredness became exhaustion, like two days ago”.
When working for yourself the hustle is real, the more you work, the more busy you are, the more successful you are… Easy as that, so if you seem to be coping you must be failing.
Sometimes I’m embarrassed because I also get tired and sometimes my work load is too much. Me with my two days a week in an office, with only one child and a husband who cooks and cleans up after himself. What do I have to be tired about? So I hardly ever complain (only to my inner circle, sorry guys you signed up for this). Despite technically having four jobs, a child with sensory issues and a family dealing with so many health issues the staff at the hospital greet me by name, I never feel like I’m allowed to complain.
What’s even worse is that most days I cope pretty well… I meet my deadlines, I plan my events, I do my DIY projects and still have time to watch a movie on Netflix in the middle of the day. I have time to go craft shopping with my mom, have coffee with friends and do random videos of myself singing on Instagram. I can spend the afternoon playing with my son and occasionally take naps.
To make this happen I pull a lot of all nighters (I work best at night) and I make use of all my down-time. This means articles written in doctors waiting rooms, emails replied to on the train. I type blog posts as I wait for my lift and all the DIYs and Crafts you see on my blog are things I’d make anyway… Like I need a gift for a friend, so I’ll make it and then use the opportunity to show you guys how to do it yourself. Even the recipes I share are things I need to make anyway.
I also have to be very organised, from organising my life on a Sunday eve to getting to the office early and leaving late, I make sure I end off everyday with a ticked off to-do-list.
My week looks like this…
Tuesday and Wednesday…
I wake up early, get Aidan ready for school and go to my office job. I try to arrive before anyone else so I have time to do any personal admin “on my time” I stay late to get a headstart on the next day and ensure I don’t have work hanging over me when I’m with my boys.
Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays…
These are my more flexible days, I wake up and reply to any emails I need to, then I do the boys’ school run with my mom and have her drop me with Aidy so I can start my day pretending to run. I then get home, tidy up, have breakfast and tackle my to-do – list. I do all the most important things before Aidy gets home from school and finish off when he is having his afternoon screen time. We then do an activity of some sort and I get back to “the office” while he plays.
Weekends and flexi days…
I also have events, meetings and interviews scheduled, but I plan my week on a Monday so I’m usually pretty prepared.
But even so, even while I know I deserve whatever down time I scrape together – because I work pretty hard and had to take a pay cut to make it work – I still feel so guilty. Because everyone else is so busy, so exhausted and here I am at 10am working from the comfort of my duvet.
But a friend reminded me of something important the other day. “We owe no one an explanation and it’s insane to judge your life’s movie by someone else’s highlight reel” …
She also pointed out that a lot of our busyness is self inflicted, most of us middle class mommies are filling our time with things we want to do… no one is forcing you to take up another charity event (Eleanor) or be at everyone’s beck and call quite so much. Often it’s procrastination that has our backs up against a wall of deadlines. We are our own personal assistants and their is nothing wrong with scheduling some “me time”.
So I’m learning to be proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished instead of feeling guilty all the time…I’ve had to make sacrifices and make tough decisions… I could do with holidays and a bigger bank balance, but for now I’ve opted to spend time building my business and investing time into my little boy (please note: I’m not saying other parents don’t) which means reducing my anxiety levels, who knows what I’ll be doing in a year or so, for now I’m learning to not find so much shame in my game.
Do you ever find yourself comparing your story with others?