When I was first learning to ride the mumbike (a new type of e-bike designed to run with love and without fuel or sleep) without training wheels (there is no such thing with the mumbike and Plunket certainly doesn’t count), I would feel frustrated, then guilty for feeling frustrated, then resentment, then guilt again for feeling resentment (#mumguilt), all because of some stupid chores. It wasn’t because I didn’t try not to care but rather because my expectations cemented in my years before mum life were still well and truly stuck at the forefront of my babybrain and I felt like a failure if I didn’t finish what I started.
This mind frame was neither healthy nor realistic.
My current thinking, which seems to be serving me well so far, is that something is better than nothing:
- If I can only get one set of my at-home workout done, something is better than nothing.
- If I washed but couldn’t hang the washing out, something is better than nothing.
- If we didn’t have all of my vegetables for dinner because I forgot about the roasties which burnt while I was getting Lottie ready for bed, something is better than nothing.
Added to this is a much more realistic goal level. For example, each morning, I will set myself lesser tasks.
Instead of writing an entire list of everything that I want to achieve in the day, I limit the list to only those things I realistically can achieve.
That way I am more likely to succeed and anything else that I complete that isn’t on my list is a bonus.
Being a mum can be hard work. It requires all of you almost all of the time. You can easily spread yourself too thin and be no good to anyone, not least yourself. If I focus on what I have done rather than what I haven’t done, I am halfway towards being a better mum and something is better than nothing right?
Originally published here.
Emma is a former lawyer, now stay-at-home mother of two and author from New Zealand. “Dear Motherhood” is her first book, which stemmed from the sharing of her candid experiences through motherhood via her social media channels, Instagram @wordsof_emmaheaphy and Facebook @wordsofemmaheaphy. Her raw relatability has captured the attention of mothers around the world, and her book is a testament to that. Emma continues to write through her motherhood journey, one poem at a time