It took me a long time to settle into motherhood. Even now with a four-year-old and a five-year-old it is not very often that I feel totally at ease in this role. Loving is easy, caregiving is hard. When I miss my pre kid life and feel guilty for doing so I wonder if other women feel like this at some point.
In our modern world of over-parenting, demanding part-time career options and persistent social media and technology intrusions, it is very easy to feel like life is too fast. We live by structure and routines and we try to beat the clock every day. At times I feel consumed by it.
I have learned that to have the best chance of enjoying each day I need to go slower. When I’m balanced, I don’t rush from task to task. I don’t think fast. I ditch the boring stuff and look for fun. I look out the window on the train rather than write to-do lists. I don’t bitch and moan, instead, I laugh and wonder. I’m nicer to others and I’m nice to be around. My thoughts are clear and kind. When my head starts racing and the lists start coming I know that it’s time to slow down and re-balance.
Here are my five top tips for slowing down and re-balancing:
- Sleep – Life is better after a good sleep. Set your bedtime and stick to it. Whatever isn’t done at the end of each day can wait, it can definitely wait.
- Play – Research tells us that adult play is just as important as childhood play so play just because you can. You don’t actually have to achieve anything except your own happiness. Play is different for everyone so do your thing.
- Move – We all need to move more, for your mind as much as your body. Aim for 20 minutes a day. It’s quick and achievable even on your busiest day. You can do it.
- Mini breaks – Ditch your to-do lists, take a break and get out of parenting mode. Leave the house, meet a friend for brunch, go to a movie by yourself, go shopping, or go for a hike. Lock in a weekend away. A change of scenery does wonders.
- Life hacks – Take as many shortcuts where you can. There are no prizes for taking the longest and hardest journey. Clean less. Buy rather than bake. Shop online. Life hackers are winners.
Living a balanced life is an individual thing. It’s fluid and that’s ok. There is no right or wrong way, just the best way for you.