Have you ever asked yourself that question – ‘is THIS it’? Is this all there is now? Secretly felt alarmed that your perfectly normal life is not fulfilling, doesn’t measure up in some way, is unexciting, and exhausting?
Wondered if this is it for you from now on?
And then felt ashamed for having those thoughts because really, you should be grateful for being a mum?
I have. It’s part of what led me here. The secret thought that niggled at me, that I wanted a life beyond racing around after kids, cleaning up after them and churning through the mundane stuff, day-in and day-out and feeling exhausted for my trouble.
I felt that guilt of wanting more than being a mum to my two perfectly amazing kids. Felt terribly guilty and ashamed that I would dare to want it all, to want the life of my dreams: the great love of my life, the kids, a career and business of my own, me time, health, happiness. How DARE I want all that! But I did. I still do.
What if ‘this’ isn’t enough?
We’re told all the time how wonderful motherhood is and I’m not saying it’s not – having kids is miraculous, amazing and a beautiful thing, absolutely. But it’s not a one-way ticket to happiness.
MOTHERHOOD is wonderful, but BEING a mother is also a tremendous pain in the arse sometimes.
It’s hard work: emotionally, physically and financially. It’s freakin’ time-consuming and you’re constantly left doubting your ability and feeling like you’re stuffing it up somehow. Yes, there are rewards, and lots and lots of love. But it’s no walk in the park. It’s not all Hallmark moments and Huggies ads.
When you’re a woman who doesn’t want to choose between being a mum and having your own life, you’re made to feel that admitting to being less than enthusiastic about all the crap that comes with the mothering gig is akin to being the world’s biggest whinging, ungrateful bitch. There is an assumption that you should never feel dissatisfied, overwhelmed or bored because you have been gifted the biggest blessing in the world and some people don’t have that.
You feel guilty for admitting that being a mother just isn’t enough for you.
Please don’t. There are many, many different ways to be a good mother – and the best mother is a happy one.
You are not cheating at this mother-ing caper if you choose to not be a 24/7 slave to it.
Having my own little slice of life – in amongst the kid stuff and house stuff – keeps me feeling fulfilled, balanced and energized, and it makes me a better mum.
Having a business, taking time out with my girlfriends, doing things for me – they keep me sane, healthy and happy. And then I can give those gifts to my children.
Your happiness is a gift to your kids.
And to yourself. So be generous.