“We’re a nation of exhausted and over-stressed adults raising over-scheduled children.” Brenée Brown
I used to wear ‘I’m busy!’ like a badge of honour. If I was doing, then I was winning.
I soon learnt that busy led to burnout and when I was forced to stop and take time out – a nervous break down (or break through!) and 6 months off work, I finally realised the reasons why.
- I kept myself on the go because I was running from myself. I was in a lot of emotional pain that I didn’t want to sit with. Can you be patient and sit with all your feelings?
- I used busy to avoid seeing certain people or doing things I didn’t want to do.
- My self esteem was precariously dependent on all the things I could do and not who I was as a person.
Here’s the thing: we’re not too busy unless we choose to be.
It’s a choice.
If you’re perpetually busy, I’m curious as to what lies beneath. Busy is the ‘flight’ stress response. You can check out your Mum Stress Response here.
Let’s explore the 3 limiting beliefs that are keeping you stuck in busy mode:-
#1 It has to be you!
How do you feel when I tell you ‘It doesn’t have to be you?’ Does that fill you with relief or do you feel annoyed? Nobody will do it the way you do it and you want it done right?! I hear you.
You’re right, nobody will do it the way you do it, but they will do it differently and that’s OK.
Do you feel unloved if your child doesn’t need you? Or insecure in your relationship with your child: what if somebody else does it better than me and they don’t want me?
As a recovering rescuer with low self esteem and a strong desire to remain in control, I can fess up to that belief. When it comes to my business (that’s my child!), I have a little word with my ego: ‘Lis, I know you care, but it’s really not about you. It’s about making sure kids get what they need!’ I’ve learnt to graciously accept, sometimes people will take all my free stuff and hear my message and they’ll go elsewhere.
I can’t help everybody! You can’t be all things to your child.
Your child will be clingy and only want you
If you make yourself the person who does everything for them, it’s not fair on either of you! How close is too close?
Often we get in our own way unintentionally. We’re coming from a loving place, but sometimes, it has the opposite effect. Healthy parenting will grow your child’s independence so they can learn to feel confident and deal with life when you’re not there.
In my eBook, ’30 Days to Rediscover the Magic of Parenting’, I talk about connection for 10 minutes a day. We call this special time. Nail that and understand how to interpret behaviour instead of trying to control it, and you’re halfway there!!!
You have to relinquish the control + rely on your connection.
I know it’s hard to let go and let other people in. I find it really hard to ask for help. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent or that you’re failing your child in any way. In fact, the more positive influences your child has, the more they are likely to get their needs met.
You’re allowed to have a day off!
Or more than one day. Without guilt, you can turn your parenting button off. You’re allowed to be YOU. You don’t have to parent harder or for longer, you just have to parent smarter.
Take a step step back from the habits you’ve created and all the things you do on autopilot, and have a re-think. Getting the job done is what counts – it might not be you, it might not go according to plan and it certainly won’t be perfect, which brings me on to the second belief!
#2 It’s got to be perfect
Your child wants you to be happy. You will never ever be happy or satisfied if you chase perfection. You and your child will be highly anxious, critical and constantly comparing yourself to others. You will feel unsafe getting it wrong and you’ll hold yourself back.
Life isn’t like social media. Life is messy. Family life is full of developmental milestones, different personalities, clashing priorities, ups and downs, emotional rollercoasters, uncertainty, and mess…..lots of mess.
I wrote a blog post about How to Protect Your Child From Perfectionism because if it’s in you – if you have to have it right all the time, or you have to be right, your child will feel like they can’t match up. And you’re probably doing that because you’re highly critical of yourself and you don’t feel ‘good enough’ anyway.
PLEASE quit trying to be perfect and just be yourselves. As imperfectly perfect human beings, learn to lean into the uncomfortableness of uncontrollable mess. Gasp! It triggers my OCD typing that!!!
#3 I have to give my child everything I didn’t have + more!
Your child is not you. They come with their own personality and own set of needs. Your parenting style needs to work for your child, not be a repetition of all the good parenting you received plus extras.
When it comes to giving, I’m also thinking about other relationships in your life:
- Are you overgiving to the detriment of your own needs?
- Are you living your life according to what others need from you, or have you set your own agenda?
- Is your life a good mix of what you can do for others and what you enjoy doing?
- Are you running around like a headless chicken feeling like you’re taking on too much?
Something’s gotta give. Usually it’s you. Angry, tired + resentful.
You need to fill your cup. Part of being a parent is practising good self care and putting yourself first. Your kids are relying on you to be fit and healthy. So if you think that doing everything your kids want and putting them above everything, if you’re living your life through them or for them:
It does NOT make you a ‘good’ parent
It puts pressure on your relationship with your child. There’s also an underlying message that it’s Mummy’s job to make everybody happy. What a sh1tty thankless job!
How about everybody takes responsibility for their own feelings? Stay in your own lane. Children raised with this codependent undercurrent, feel like love comes with conditions. Not true, but it does come with boundaries.
This compulsive overgiving may feel like you’re in control, but it also makes your child feel indebted to you and eternally grateful for everything you do. Realistically, they won’t always be – they are children after all, and the more you do, the more they will let you do. It’s not personal.
Boundaries give you back your power + help you feel in control again
You can’t spoil a child by giving them too much love, but you can spoil them if you don’t set boundaries with them. Read more about what happens to a child who has too much power because they don’t know where the line is.
We live in a busy fast-paced world where we’re all struggling to find balance. As it turns out, there are enough hours in the day. We have 168 hours a week. It’s down to us to stop mindlessly doing and start prioritising what matters. Valuing our time and making quality time for the people we love. It doesn’t have to be perfect and some fun and laughter will help us on our way.
What would happen if you chose to do it differently?
What if you prioritised the important stuff for 30 days?
In my practical eBook, ’30 Days to Rediscover the Magic of Parenting’, I coach you to prioritise the important stuff for little pockets of time consistently. It’s well worth it as you can see from the results here. The Mums who gave it a go were pleasantly surprised.