Three years ago I was operating in my relationship like most women do.
I was doing everything for everyone. Trying my best to keep my husband and children happy, thinking if they were happy then I could be happy too. But that never happened because the truth is no one is happy all of the time and my kids and husband’s needs are constant and never-ending.
Emotionally my life felt like a roller coaster. I was exhausted, depleted, overwhelmed, and full of resentment. It was a struggle taking responsibility for everyone emotionally and physically. I felt like I had to be the strong one and keep my sh*t together all the time. My biggest fear was that I was failing as a mum and a wife. I was doing everything for everyone, and I still felt like I was failing.
I kept waiting for someone else to give me permission to look after myself and do something for me—like I needed my husband’s permission to actually do something for me. (Recovering people pleaser over here!)
Women share with me that they often feel rushed, stretched, overwhelmed, and unable to find the time to take care of themselves, let alone connect with their partners on a deeper level. It’s a very challenging balance.
It’s crazy; we live in a world full of technology and convenience yet women still have less time for themselves than they have ever had. Technology has made life easier in some aspects, but it’s also made life more demanding, distracting, and women feel like they have to be more productive than ever. There simply is no perfect time to put ourselves first in a life that just keeps getting busier.
I remember standing at the sink washing up the dishes and cleaning up after cooking dinner for the whole family. I couldn’t relax until everything was done. Whilst washing the dishes I watched my husband and my kids running around playing on the grass out the back. They were having so much fun laughing and playing together. I felt happy watching them but then a wave of frustration and sadness washed over me. I felt like I was watching my life and family from the outside.
I wasn’t actually living and experiencing my life. I wasn’t present in my relationships. I was critical, bossy, and boring. Sure my ego liked that I was getting the to-do list done, but after that dopamine hit wore off my heart felt heavy and sad.
I was being everything to everyone and no one to myself.
Why did I have to watch on the sidelines? I wanted to be a part of it so badly. I wanted to have fun and enjoy my children whilst they were still young. I wanted to be the fun Mum. I wanted to be a calm, content wife and worthy woman.
But who would do it all—the washing, cleaning, cooking, buying what everyone needs? I had all these stories running through my head “If I don’t do it, no one else will,” “It’s just easier if I do everything,” and “If I’m not doing it all everything is going to fall apart.”
Was this really true or was it just bullsh*t limiting beliefs that my ego had absorbed from conditioning, society, and other women around me?
One day I decided to get still within myself and question this belief. I got really honest with myself and asked if this belief of waiting for everyone else to be happy for me to do something for myself was actually true and serving me.
The answer was loud and clear: No, it was not true, and it was definitely not serving me at all. When I looked closer it wasn’t even serving my husband or my kids. Yes, all this stuff that is important was getting done on the outside, but it was at a cost.
It was a cost I was not willing to pay anymore. The pain of missing out on enjoying my children, my husband, and my life was far more painful and harder to live with than a messy house.
From that moment on I stopped being everything to everyone else and no one to myself. I started choosing me, and I realised that it was my job all along to put myself first.
I stopped putting all the jobs on my shoulders, and my husband and I started to work in partnership taking equal responsibility in the home and with the kids. To my surprise, my husband was more than happy to make this shift and actually benefited so much from it too.
I listened to my body and started relaxing and resting whenever I needed to, not just when everything was done. My mantra became “Sun’s out, I’m out.” If the sun was out I stopped what I was doing, made a cup of tea, drank it hot, and enjoyed the moment. This simple but powerful moment filled me up more than I ever could have imagined.
I started making and creating time for myself and what mattered to me. I spent 10 minutes reading a book every night before bed. I got myself ready in the morning and made it a priority over everyone else.
As a result, I felt calm, content, and happy because I was meeting my needs and not just everyone else’s. I filled my own cup up so that I actually had love and energy to share with my kids and husband. The resentment melted away with ease.
The only person who can put me first is me. The only person who can put you first, amazing Mumma, is you. Stop waiting because you will be waiting forever. This is your permission to put yourself first. Your future self, husband, and kids will thank you for it. You deserve it and are so worthy of your own time, beautiful woman.