On the struggle with striking a balance

A few weeks ago, I was putting my kids to bed and Nimai (my 5 year old boy) made a comment that left me brokenhearted: ‘But mum, you are always grumpy and tired’. He said it as a matter of fact in the middle of our conversation. Wow! It was such an eye opener. Yes, I have been feeling quite tired lately… but grumpy?! When did that happen? I used to be such a fun mum!

Before my kids were born over 5 years ago, I used to be an independent woman. I used to chase challenge after challenge and loved my freedom. I travelled and I explored; I studied and learned new things; and partied and socialised; I danced and I played sports; I was on top of the world and I loved it all!

One day I felt this pain in my chest and I knew I just wanted to drop everything and become a mum. The pain was almost unbearable. And you know, this pain had nothing to do with age or anything rational. This is pure instinct, irrational raw instinct.

A few years later I gave birth to my boy and 2 years later, Tulsi was born. I was in heaven. I gave everything to them and for them. All of my time, my energy, all of me was theirs. They were my life and, as most mums consciously and gladly do, I totally lost my identity. I didn’t care about anything else. I was no longer ‘Jen’, I was ‘mum’. And I was a fun mum! And (apart from the sleeplessness) I loved it all!

When Nimai turned 5 and Tulsi turned 3 about 6 months ago, there was an explosion inside me and I started doing things I had stopped doing for years: I started reading again, I started writing my blog, I started meditating, I started doing yoga and going to the gym again, I started getting fit and looking after myself. I started a new mini-business and more. All this on top of work, housework and family life (lucky I don’t have a big social life). And I was shattered and loved it all!

But I passed from being a fun mum to being a grumpy and tired mum. And yes, Nimai’s perception was right. This time, I must admit, I didn’t love this at all.

But can I do all the things that I want to do and still be a fun mum? How do I fit it all in?

Stephen Covey’s quote comes to mind: ‘The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.’ What an eloquent way to say not to take big things for granted!

As I explained in my previous post about time, we do have time for all the things that are important to us. It’s all a matter of prioritising what’s important and scheduling them. As Robin Sharma says: ‘The things that get scheduled are the things that get done’. So this is my strategy:

  • I make sure I have my top 5 values clear and I remind myself what they are every day
  • I remind myself daily what my mission and life purpose is
  • I make a list of my priorities that are aligned with my top values and life mission
  • I link other activities with my top values and mission to keep myself motivated
  • I give each item on the list a time in my day and my week
  • I block off family time and keep it sacred
  • I try to keep my productive time and my family time distraction-free
  • I allocate some me time whenever possible

I learned that it takes 66 days to break a new habit in our life and that change is hard at first but it’s totally worth it. We can achieve anything we want in our life if we have the right motivation and a bit of will power. I’m going to achieve my life purpose and I’m going to be a fun mum again. What about you?

Thanks for reading,

Jen x

NEXT WEEK: The importance of having a Vision Board and how to make one

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