Most people I know are too busy. Busy doing the day to day busy-things that make up a busy life.
One of my clients was a perfect example. Three kids under 6, a hardworking husband building the business that supported the family, a rambling old house to maintain and a dream to teach therapeutic art. You can imagine… Caitlin was flat out from the second her 1 year old started yelling at 5am to the second she collapsed into bed at night.
What an amazing woman. Mother, wife and keeper of the family home, family health and wellbeing. But when we sat down to talk about what she needed to maintain a more organised home I learnt that she was wrestling with an old fashioned belief.
She was raised to believe that her job was to do everything herself. Because her mum had. Her gran had. Her mum-in-law had done everything too because there was no money and that was woman’s work. She said that she kind-of-sort-of believed that having help was an indulgence because she was home all day.
Note – At this point I was getting a bit stroppy. Every woman deserves to live a life that they love. There is no rule that says a stay-at-home-person, man or woman, has to do all the domestic chores if they loathe them.
And she was frustrated. Not just because she couldn’t find the time to work on her dream career but because she felt like the time she had with her babies was screaming past at a terrifying rate. She wanted to spend as much time as possible growing and nurturing her beautiful babies before that time disappeared.
Her dreams were being thwarted by maintenance tasks. Hours of housework. She was not living the life she wanted to live but she was bloody busy! Virtuously busy. Everyone around her admired how hard she worked. Except, she didn’t. (This is the wrestling part).
So are you busy living the life that you REALLY want to live?
Do you race home from work, dash into the supermarket, cook dinner, load and unload the dishwasher, empty the washer into the dryer, walk the dog and then maybe collapse onto the couch at the end of the day with barely enough energy to drag yourself into bed?
Are you investing some of your time and energy in living a life that you love? A life that is leading to your dream future? Or are you spending your time exhausting yourself maintaining things?
We know we need to invest in our homes, our retirement and our health but what about investing in your well-being and your future?
Our lives are full of all the things we Should Do, Need To Do and very occasionally Want To Do.
Like cleaning All The Things, all the time, endlessly.
Visiting people we don’t like.
Working instead of taking time for R & R (a military term, even they know their people work best with a break every now and then!).
Working with crappy equipment in the home, in substandard kitchens.
Racing around the supermarket at the end of a long day, kids in tow.
As I get older I’ve realised how precious our time and energy is. It’s not endless. It’s used up by boring Adulting a lot of the time. Our time is wasted in endless, frustrating phone calls to departments that never answer, wandering from mall to mall to find the best deal and standing in queues waiting for a service that is reluctantly bestowed upon us by an uncaring, eye rolling “team member” with a smart phone addiction. Yes, I’m getting grumpy!
Now I understand why. Why the people I used to watch with wonderment challenged unsatisfactory and neglectful service in a very non-Kiwi way… conflict! Horrors!
Anyway… wouldn’t you rather spend your time playing with your kids while they’re small? Chatting with your folks or grandparents while you still have them here in this world with you? Instead of saying, I’m TOO BUSY.
Wouldn’t you rather be creating, learning, making, dancing, singing, writing, talking and growing in the time you have spare?
Or do you think that’s self indulgent?
- Do you think hiring a cleaner is an indulgence?
- An au pair?
- Sending laundry to a service?
- Paying for supermarket deliveries?
- Hiring the services of a Virtual Assistant?
- Paying to have your car cleaned inside and out?
- An accountant?
- Having TWO vacuum cleaners? One upstairs AND downstairs?
- Making firm choices about how you spend your precious time and who you spend it with?
That’s a really short list! There are so many services and smart choices we can make that challenge the opinions of how women should be of pretty much every human being on the planet.
Do we care? Hell no! If you absolutely LOVE cleaning, wandering the aisles of the supermarket with a grabby 2 year old or enjoy doing your taxes yourself that’s fantastic.
If you’d rather repeatedly stub your toe on the leg of your sofa (ow ow ow!) than clean your car and would love the help of a local teenager to wrangle the kids while you get dinner started a couple days a week…
Why not budget for that? Why not budget for a cleaner once a month? A VA to help you with your newsletter. Get a book keeper once a year to sort out the paper work that makes you and your partner stop talking to each other for a week.
Stop being mean to yourself. It’s not an indulgence to value your time. I’m not talking about buying yourself a pink Maserati here (though if that’s your dream, make it happen babe!)
I’m talking about treasuring your time, your life, your self. Respecting your value in this world.
You are just as important, as valuable, as wonderful as the people you love and take care of.
Show them what it means for a woman to take care of herself.