Drained Mummy? Want to Rediscover the Joy in Your Life but Too Tired to Work Out How?

You’re frazzled…

…tired, sometimes feel a tad ‘out of control’ mood-wise, you feel like your life is stuck on pause, and quite frankly you’re totally drained from giving, giving, giving…. all day, every day.
 
You’re secretly waiting for someone to say ‘hey I’ve organised childcare for you for an entire 24 hours – you just go off and have a massage love.’ You’re still waiting 5 years later….
 
Everyone says ‘make time for you!’ ‘Put yourself first’ but sometimes it’s impossible to see HOW the heck you can do this when you don’t actually have anyone to look after the kids for an hour or so. Nobody is offering.  Nobody is coming to rescue you.
 
This was me.

The Illusive Hour.

Then it comes to you one day, completely unexpectedly…..You have an hour to yourself!! OMG!!! What shall I do first?!!! Wash my bedding, make a brew, where’s that issue of Grazia I never read, a workout?, bake that new recipe I saw on Insta, book a family holiday, start my own business, solve world hunger, have a bath??? Oh wait, now they’re back. CRAP!!!
 
It’s just the worst feeling to be so overwhelmed with things you would like to do / need to do / should do that you simply don’t know where to start when you actually get the opportunity.
 
This is called BURNOUT.   It happens when you’re too overloaded and you become completely unproductive and feel frustrated and unfulfilled.
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Mummy Life

A Mum’s life often revolves around daily responsibilites and routines.

We are designed to be able to make it through life putting one foot in front of the other.  To complete our daily and weekly routines and habits.

However if this is the entirety of our lives, we can easily become depressed.

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Do You Even Know What You Want?

You may be in that phase where you feel like you moan a lot or are complaining that your life isn’t what you want it to be.  However if I turned around today and said ‘what do you want?’ would you have the answer?

Most people literally have no idea how to answer this question.  You might say ‘win the lottery’ or ‘lose a stone’ but I guarantee that weighing less or being able to buy more things would not make you happy.

What makes people happy is DOING MORE THINGS that fill you with joy.  Whether it’s relaxing, helping others, learning, growing, challenging yourself, seeing your children flourish, and yes, the odd shopping spree helps as well!

 

What to do About it.  Today.

STOP waiting for someone to fix you, save you or complete you. In the words of Oprah, Jerry McGuire was just a movie…
 
STOP waiting, wishing, praying and hoping for these spontaneous hours to appear. You are simply waiting until……Life is too short for waiting until….!
 
ENSURE you can get some time on your own for some head space. I’m not talking a glass of wine with a mate, or going shopping, or getting your nails done. These are all leisure and social activities – these can come later! You need 24 hours to be with YOURSELF and remember who you are and you need it NOW.  In fact you probably needed it 12 months ago…?
 
I’m talking making some REAL TIME to sit and think about what you want your life to look like. I’m talking about taking some real, dedicated time to get honest with yourself and work out who you want to be. Because I guarantee you don’t want to be ‘this woman’ a year from now. I know because I was there myself. 
 
If you want to be happy stop looking at everyone else, and get still with yourself. It takes reflection, soul searching, questioning, looking inwards. Get comfortable with who you are – and if you don’t like who you are – decide how you want to reinvent yourself. How exciting would that be?
Plan the ultimate mummy makeover – and I’m not talking lippie and a pair of heels.  I’m constantly working on my Mummy Makeover – it’s always on the go and ever-changing.
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If You Could Wave a Magic Wand

  • How would you look?
  • How would you act and behave?
  • What emotions would you experience each day?
  • What would you spend your time doing in the week / weekend?
  • Who with?
  • Where would you go?
  • What have you done in the past / where have you been / who were you with when you felt really joyful, proud, happy, content, relaxed, or ‘in the zone’.  The feeling is that you lose all track of time because you’re just so involved with what you are doing.  It shouldn’t involve copious amounts of gin!
  • Whats on your bucket list?
  • What HAS TO HAPPEN to make sure you start living a fulfilling life again?

Still Struggling? Start With Meaning

When you are drained and exhausted, it can be really hard to get out of overwhelm and sort your head out.

You can’t get happier, if you don’t truly understand the things that actually make you happy.  Happiness usually comes from activities that give meaning to our life.

Things that give meaning to our life usually come down to the fact that they have a purpose.  They give our lives purpose.  However if you ask someone what their life’s purpose is, you will most likely receive a blank stare.

When you are drained and tired, the only way to start to insert more energy, passion and happiness back in to your life is by proactively inserting more meaningful opportunities in to your week.  Literally scheduling them in.

  1. First make a list of all the things that would create more meaning in your life.  It could be abstract things like ‘relationships’ ‘financial freedom’ or ‘being creative’.  Or it could be actual activities that make you feel more present and grounded like ‘walking in nature’ ‘gardening’ ‘dancing’ or ‘being present with my children
  2. If you are struggling to know what these are, try asking yourself to name 5 times in your life when you were doing an activity and you felt totally yourself and it felt SOOOO good.
    For me, it’s moving my body (exercise), public speaking, writing, being in nature on a sunny day, looking at a beautiful view of the ocean, trying new food in a restaurant, and deeply connecting with my children, my husband, my family and friends in the moment.  It’s fundamental to my soul I have time alone to be with my thoughts and recharge – I am a monster without regular solitude. It heals me.
  3. Next schedule up a week that includes your duties and chores, but also adds in some of your meaningful opportunities.  It doesn’t have to be all of them.  It could just be ‘a walk in nature’ one evening.

Be Real

So for example, I know I have to drop off and pick up the girls every weekday.  I have work every day.  No magic wand is solving this.

However I also have friends who I want to spend time with, exercise I want to do, and I love writing as my creative outlet. I feel full of love when I sit down and spend quality time with each child.  I love to sit and eat with my children and my husband.  I feel excited when we plan activities for the weekend, make a date night, or I make plans with my friends to chat over a coffee one morning.  I started to make time for all these things in my week.  EVERY week.  It changed my life.  Sounds simple when you say it out loud, but I just couldn’t see the wood for the trees when I was drained with a foggy brain.

Now at some stage, my schedule or ‘to do’ list starts calling me.  It makes me feel under pressure to put my ‘to do’s’ first over all the things that make me feel wonderful and give passion, energy and meaning to my life.

Some times the ‘to dos’ are urgent, and we have to make sacrifices of course, like a sick child or a relative who’s having a hard time.

However commit to adding meaningful opportunities to your week 80% of the time, and I guarantee you will start to feel happier.  You’ll know when you let it slip because you will start to feel crappy again – tired, resentful, a bit angry, lost, overwhelmed, anxious, depressed.

 

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Stop the Mum Guilt (I know it’s hard!)

At first it feels selfish.  Completely indulgent.  You find yourself justifying why you should do this and trying to explain yourself to others.  Trying to convince them that you are not being self-indulgent, selfish or care-free.  You don’t have to justify shit! (I still battle with this myself regularly by the way!)

This is YOUR life, and at the end of the day, when everyone climbs in to bed at night, the only people we have to answer to, or the only people’s actions we really need to be concerned with are OUR OWN.

To be a whole person IS to live a meaningful life.  You can not be filled up through other people alone.  You can not be filled up by wine (hopefully!)   You can not be filled up by DOING STUFF for other people all day long.  They may like you for it, but it won’t fill you up in the long term.  It will drain you.  It will suck the life from you.  At some point you will be thinking ‘hey, what about me?’

Especially when one day you wake up and realise you don’t even know what makes you happy because you never took the time to really think about it.  Life is WAY too short.

Lead by Example

If I asked you one thing you wished for your kids, what would it be?

I bet you said ‘for them to be happy!’ And believe me when I say, they wish this for you too.

So be the best example for your kids by being your whole authentic self.  I’m not talking about night’s out or things that look good on your insta feed.

A meaningful opportunity grounds you.  It makes you feel grateful for your life.  It makes you more aware of your abilities and strengths and when you build on these meaningful opportunities over time, it gives you self-worth.

Over time though these meaningful opportunities start to become second nature again.  The guilt leaves me because I’m feeling too damn good to stop and feel bad about anything.  Everything in my life has improved – my mood, my body, my health, my energy, my creativity, my organisation, my relationships.

I’m attracting opportunities that feel exciting again and it all started by just inserting more meaning in to my week.

So book a night away! That’s right I went there… You’re allowed you know. F*** Mum Guilt. This is way more important. How will you teach your kids to lead a fulfilling life if you can’t show them first hand.

You need to answer this question…what are the things that make me genuinely happy? The things that make me feel ‘in the zone’, proud, elated, joyful and content? How do I get more of THAT in my life.
 
Now go – go on and sort 24 hours out of your house, and take a really big notepad….you’re going to need it for all these amazing plans you’re going to make. I know it’s scary, but growth lies on the other side of fear.
DO IT.
Read more about My Story here and how I continue to work on my own Confident Mum Project….

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