Here I sit doing PTA and Whinypaluza work. If I’m honest with you, my brain is spinning. I’m taking deep breaths and centering myself. I will make lists. It will all get done step by step, and day by day. Sometimes I like to look back at old lists and give myself a pat on the back that all of it got done. Go try it! It feels good to see so many things crossed off an old list!
Life is not all about work. As I did laundry and went grocery shopping on Sunday, I realized that I can be way too responsible. There has to be a balance of work and play. We can all work all day if we think about it. Jobs, kids, and homes will make us work from 6 am to 11 pm if we let it. I need to make time for fun and be okay with that. I will get a lot done today and I will take a time out to have a puppy play date. I will get a lot done, and I will take a time out to enjoy my hot tub. I am mentally better when I take time for fun. I deserve to have some fun!
Every week you hear me say that the topics swirl in my head. What do I need to write about for me? What do I need to write about for you? What has been suggested to me? The words that wouldn’t leave me today are for all of us to, “Unsuperwoman Ourselves.” If you haven’t heard me, use this term before, this is my latest phrase. I tell it to myself and others. I think if women can do one thing, they can give themselves a pass and not be Super Woman.
How can we Unsuperwoman ourselves?
- One of my latest realizations is that I can’t remember everything. I don’t need to expect myself to remember everything. I do try, and I do make lists. I still forget things. I’m thinking about PTA as I write this. The summer into fall has me rocking and rolling with PTA. There are a lot of things going on, and a lot of things to remember. The fabulous treasurer and I have been texting pretty much every day. She is a great set of eyes to have on everything because she remembers things that I have forgotten about. I also have a whole board of people to rely on. This is not all on me and we have to remind ourselves of that. As I’m typing, I’m remembering that my daughter needs me to order her a flute lesson book. I have forgotten this many times so I will go write it down!
- I realize that I don’t know everything. I don’t need to know everything, and I never will. I am learning a lot about my son’s high school. My friends with older kids have been super helpful. I’m also learning as I go. I also ask questions to people who I think may know. I don’t know a lot of stuff about a lot of things. We need to just be okay with that and ask questions. I have a lawyer friend who I am really appreciating as I type this. She knows things in multiple facets of my life that I wouldn’t know. It’s great to have people in our lives with a variety of skills. This is why we have an accountant. This is why we consult lawyers.
- I realize that I can’t possibly do everything. My daughter has a fun Fall Fest at school Friday night. She also has three dance classes every Friday. My son also has a soccer game. We can split things up and do a little of everything. We can skip things. I saw a mom appear and disappear at a soccer game and I felt so understood. I know she has three kids and is living a similar life to mine. I know that my son doesn’t care if I have to miss something. We show we care. We show up to events. We show up to shows. We volunteer. We also have multiple children, a husband, parents, friends, and we have to share ourselves. That was the hardest lesson I learned in parenting. Max had me all to himself for two years. Ella was born when Max was two years old. He didn’t want to share me with Ella, and I didn’t know how to share myself. I had to learn this skill. I would say that was one of my very hardest lessons in parenting. I also had to learn that our children don’t need us to make them happy every second. Take the pressure off and realize this lesson with me.
- I realize that I can do it, but it’s okay not to. Max needs to be picked up after school today. He needs to be driven back to school for soccer practice, and he needs to be picked up from soccer to go back home. I could make all of that work.Ella has theater, Lillie has cheerleading, and Max has soccer tonight. I forgot to mention that Seth (husband) is working late. This is what my evenings look like. If I tell you I am busy in the evenings, this is why. If I tell you I am busy on the weekends, this is why. I am definitely neglecting social plans, but I am so happy to be their taxi.I also have friends and parents who can help and want to help. Just because I can drive Max every way tonight (not really, I would be late to pick him up), doesn’t mean it’s easy and doesn’t mean that I need to. I had to get comfortable saying thank you to people. I had to get comfortable asking for help. Just because I can make it work, doesn’t mean that I need to put that pressure on myself. Every time the school needs volunteers doesn’t mean I need to jump. Max’s high school is looking for a secretary for their PTA. Sometimes I have to mentally sit on myself. I said, “No you will not volunteer for that.” I could probably make it work but how much can we do? I don’t know if you believe in past lives. My children have asked me about this. I don’t know the answer. When I spoke to the name lady (she analyzes your name), she told me that in my past life I worked myself to death. She said I worked very hard for very little money. This didn’t surprise me, but it did wake me up. We have to pace ourselves and we have to ask for help. Just because I can get up off the couch and do the dishes doesn’t mean I need to. My husband was doing the dishes last night while I sat on the couch. That would have really bugged me a year ago. I would have felt like that was my job. They are “our” dishes. It is family work. It is a wonderful thing to get my whole family helping in work for our family. I am learning and growing every day. As I write this, I am proud of myself for the progress I have made.
- I don’t need to exhaust myself. My husband has said how jealous he is that I fall asleep in two seconds when it’s time for bed. If you are moving and grooving from 6 am to 11 pm then you will fall asleep fast at 11. We do not need to exhaust ourselves. We need to pace ourselves. Take a break from work and see your friend. Take a break from the kids and go get your nails done. Sit on the couch while your husband does the dishes. Make sure that you are pacing yourself and not exhausting yourself. We shouldn’t fall over when we get into bed. Build breaks into your day and take some time for yourself. Find a way.
- Challenge yourself to get more comfortable with the word, “NO.” I love the word yes. I am a yes mom. I want to say yes to everything. I just told Lillie in the car that she can’t do everything. She can’t do cheerleading, theater, dance, girl scouts, and Hebrew school. I’m tired writing that down. I realize that she is figuring herself out and I appreciate that. I also realize that I can say no to her. “No, you can’t do that. No, we don’t have time for that.” Or saying, “No I can’t come I am busy. No, I can’t volunteer that day.” I know how uncomfortable that can be for you. I get it. Start to practice that word. I still love the word yes. I also know that sometimes we have to say no.
I hope you will work on unsuperwomaning yourself with me. We can do this together. I no longer want to be superwoman. I want to be good at a lot of things. I also don’t have to be the best. I also don’t need to push myself to exhaustion. “I do enough. I am enough. I am proud of myself.” Now go say that to yourself and tell me how you are unsuperwomaning yourself. This is my new movement!
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R
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