In two-parent families I guess the ideal would be that each parent is allocated some of the tasks and in doing this, the to-do list is divided and conquered. But what if it’s just you? Believe me, I know the panicky feeling that accompanies these musings. Even with older children of 17 and 21 (both still living at home), I still get that feeling some days.
Here are some things to consider that might just help with the stress.
Ask for help
One of the resounding themes of my book, The Single Mum’s Survival Guide, is to ask for help. Let people do what they’re good at, though – a willing and engaged helper is much more use!
Cut out the non-essentials
What (and who) are the must-haves in your life? How about the rest? Can you drop any of it? We are talking about emergency measures here, so be
brave and prune decisively. Learn not to say “yes” to every invitation – “Let me get back to you”, “I’ll see if I’m free” and even a pure and simple “no” are all viable answers. I was spending a good deal of time and incurring a good deal of stress volunteering on a committee at a speakers’ club and going to three meetings a month. A friend took me in hand when she saw how tired I’d become and together we realised that life would continue if I just stepped away for a while.
Let go of your perfectionism
Learn to do what you can without feeling the need to meet your own (or someone else’s) perfectionism. Your life, home, laundry pile, <fill in the blank>, are a work in progress and you may have to consider lowering your standards for the time being. There will be days when you can catch up.
Remember what’s important
– or perhaps that should be: who’s important. The people you love the most (which of course will include your child) should dictate your priorities. A loving mother and home environment will make up for an awful lot of imperfections as your child grows up.