is this all there is

Is this it? Is this all there is now?

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.


Comments 6

  1. YES!!! This article definitely hit the nail on the head. I feel the same way at times. It is hard. Doing it all, being all to everyone. Balance is definitely the key. Thanks for this gorgeous article Rachael, so relatable. x

    1. Post

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts Louisa, I appreciate them very much 🙂 . Balance is the key for sure and it means something different to everyone. It’s a matter of deciding what works best for you as an individual I think.
      Thanks so much for reading, and commenting. x

  2. OMG Yes!! I quite often think is this it for me? is this all I get to be? Is it what I really wanted all those years of being single and worrying i wouldn’t meet “the one” and have a family. Crying into my beer/wine to friends…lol

    Hmm my wish came true and some days it’s to be alarm clock, taxi, chef, personal assistant, tutor, housemaid….run ragged by 2 kids and a husband that don’t often say “thankyou” for the things that I “do” do…but are quick to point out what I “didn’t” do! Where’s the milk, bread, washing etc.

    I really miss my old life “before kids” or BC as I like to call it….even though I wouldn’t change it now…but some days I definately think what happened to ME?? I used to be so much fun!

    As they are getting older I am finding that I can find a little more time for me and the things I like to do and that makes me a happier Mumma Bear.

    1. Post

      Haha – there’s often missing milk and bread here too Michelle 🙂
      It is hard to fit everything in, but a happy mum is a great mum – so choosing to make your own self care and happiness a priority – putting yourself equal first – is a good thing for everyone. It definitely feels easier to achieve as the kids get older, I agree.
      Thanks for sharing, R

  3. This post absolutely nails the feelings I’ve been experiencing so often for the past few years!!! I’ve felt guilty for wanting more, and I’ve asked “Is this it?” more and more as the days pass by … I think having these thoughts and feelings is a call to action, and I’ve begun making some changes. The thing that has held me back for a while is the idea that I need to be the one primarily caring for my kids until they’re old enough or “ready” for childcare … what about me in the meantime?! Thanks for writing this great piece Rachael, it’s always reassuring to know that you’re not alone in your experience of motherhood!

    1. Post

      What a great compliment you’ve just paid me Rachael!
      I agree with you – these thoughts are a call to action, whatever that is for you. It can be hard to negotiate your feelings around time for you and time as the carer of your kids. One step at a time – see what works for you. Nothing is set in stone, you can always change your mind.
      Thanks for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here 🙂

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