Do you feel exhausted at the end of the day? Do you feel like you just can’t do any more?
Feeling like we are constantly rushing to get everything done, is really common amongst expat mums. We feel this pressure to do everything, to be everything, for everyone.
There comes a point when you just have to step back and put it in perspective. Ask yourself, who will benefit if I do this? What will be the impact if I don’t do this? Have I already done enough in this space?
If you can, right now, stop and think about it. Look at your diary from last week and consider – did you take on too much? Did you schedule time to exercise, or did that fall off the list? Did you schedule time to read a book you’ve been dying to get into, or did that fall off the list? Did you take time to meditate or take a moment reflect on what you are grateful for, or did that fall off the list too?
How can we be effective as expat mums, if we are so busy? If you think about it, the answer comes in sometimes just saying “no”. This may mean anything from saying “no” to our kids, saying “no” to our hubbies, and sometimes it’s a third party in our lives that we just have to say “no”.
It sounds simple, but there is often so much emotion and often guilt associated, that this simple word escapes us. Take small steps.
I had a mum approach me after school recently, and because I knew all the other parents, she suggested that I should arrange a playdate for the group of kids (including Miss J). Firstly, I was astounding at how bolshy this woman was, I had never seen her before let alone spoken to her. Secondly, it was during a time that I was really busy getting something done for me. I looked at her, “no, I am sorry but that is something I am not going to do.” She was literally open mouthed, staring at me “why not?” I replied, “Because I am too busy, however if you want to organise it, I am sure I could arrange for Miss J to be there.” Needless to say, the playdate has not happened, and nor has it been suggested again.
A year ago, I would have done it, I was so desperate for the approval of these mums. But I have learned a lot about myself during that year, and I’ve realised that I don’t have to do everything. And as hard as it was to say “no”, and clearly this woman hasn’t heard the word very often, I still feel it was the right answer for me at that time.
I ask you, if we are constantly overcommitting our time and energy, who suffers as the consequence at the end of the day? Sometimes it is ourselves. Sometimes it is quality time with our kids. Sometimes it is quality time with our hubby. And by quality time, I mean that we end up arguing or yelling because we are so tired and frustrated by not doing what we really want to be doing.
Do you find you often overcommit? How do you step back from that? Please do take the time to share your thoughts in the comments.
To download your video series “3 Steps to Deal with the Overwhelm and Stress of Being an Expat Mum” click here!