My life is hectic
I have 3 children of my own and 2 step children all ranging from 7 to 13. The youngest, my boy, is hard work, he has a devil may care attitude to life, can throw almighty temper tantrums, doesn’t sleep much and at times seems hell-bent on driving every member of our household to insanity! Besides him the rest of them display the usual bickering, whining and incessant questions all whilst leaving a trail of belongings around the house in the style of Hansel and Gretel, lest they forget where they have been or need to find the way back from the living room to the kitchen!
As well as the usual mum duties I run my own business in freelance hair and beauty as well as home educate my 2 girls….. Mostly I teeter close to breaking point feeling frazzled, burnt out and overwhelmed (see my post on overwhelm) finding it easy to slip into feeling victimised, wondering how my life got to this point of barely making it through each day and feeling like a burnt out shell of my former self, I berate myself for not being where I thought I would be by this age, I get annoyed that I’m 8 years into a relationship but still not married, that I’m in debt, that I don’t earn enough or haven’t achieved enough etc. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the good life and good health that myself and my family have, but like many mums it can still all feel a bit much at times and I find it easy to then slip into old familiar patterns of wallowing in despair and self-pity.
Recently though, whilst reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” (and yes I do recommend you read it too) there was a section on taking responsibility for everything that happens in life, things may not be your fault, but they become your responsibility when they enter your life and so you have the choice of how to deal with them. So, I can stress out about the amount of work and emotional toil 5 kids create or I can accept my situation, I chose to have my children and I chose to be with my partner, whom I love immensely, and he comes with an extra 2 kids. I also chose to run my business and to home educate so I need to choose how to react to all these things. Even things I didn’t choose, such as my sons difficult behaviour I can still decide to accept it and decide how I deal with it.
When you choose to take responsibility for everything in your life it isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds, I’m not talking about all the housework, shopping, cooking etc I mean your life situations, whether you created it or not it is now your responsibility and you can make the choice on how you deal with things, how you react and this is very empowering. Making the decision not to feel victimised, to get rid of the “why me?” attitude and to adopt one of determination and perseverance will allow you to see things in a different light which will in turn let you see options or opportunities that you might have once missed.
Be in the present
Way back in August 2002 I had a nasty RTA, coming off the back of a motorbike and under a lorry, just 4 days before my 19th birthday, I shattered my pelvis and was left in intensive care fighting for my life. Whilst still recovering but some months later I fell pregnant accidentally but miscarried, this loss led to an obsession with having a baby which I did, at 21, so I didn’t get much time to just be an adult and enjoy the freedom that comes with not having kids and of course I didn’t fully appreciate that freedom as I had never known anything else and had spent the last 2 years of it recovering and wanting a baby! So now, 3 + 2 kids later with a blended family and a pretty hectic stressful family life it’s easy to spend my days wishing I’d done things differently, gone travelling, gone to Uni, saved and bought a house and focussed on a career or I’m so frazzled from the incessant bickering and whinging that I spend the time looking forward to all the things I’ll do when the kids are older that I can’t do now.
The biggest problem with this behaviour is that I forget to just be in the moment that is happening now and if I carry on living in the past or the future one day I’ll be looking back wondering where the hell my life went and wishing I was more present when the kids were kids, because it’s being present that slows our perception of time passing. So I made a decision, to stop focussing on things I couldn’t change or things that were yet to come and to just engage with what was happening right now, what can I do now with my kids, what activities can I enjoy with them whilst they are kids. I chose to accept my big crazy family that others may long for but be unable to have as well as the fun and laughter that happens in it. I chose to work hard and be proud of the business I had built from nothing that gives me freedoms others long to have. I chose to just accept my situation and to learn and grow from solving the problems that arise because every life situation comes with its own problems or opportunities from which we can learn and grow as a person, life is never without problems and I still have plenty of days where I’m stressed out with various things, my kids still bicker and whinge, I still get overwhelmed with the to do list and the general whirlwind of life but that is life and the sooner we accept that it comes with it’s ups and downs the more content we will be.
In summary, it’s easy to think everybody else’s grass is greener, especially when scrolling Facebook ( the less time spent on there the better), but now I understand that my grass can be as green as I want it if I just take responsibility for it and tend to it with time, love and appreciation.
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A Life Less Frazzled