Growing up in a big family, my house was far from perfect. It was always clean and always tidy and there was always food on the table, but it was never a place you were likely to see in Home Beautiful.
I think my mum got used to embracing the craziness that came with bringing up 7 kids. She always said that having one kid was OK, two was hard, 3 was harder and after that, you just never noticed another kid in your house.
So many of us (me for sure!) whinge about not having time to do things, maybe there’s too much housework, 9-5 work or kids to fetch and carry, and if you are like me you know you are going to be the person who can do all this stuff in quickest most efficient way possible. So you just do it.
Then after a while, you look around and realise that the reason you’re cranky and grumpy and running about doing every bloody thing is that you ARE the one doing every bloody thing.
This is me. Every flipping day. I see people doing things wrong and I’ll be like “No, not like that here I’ll do it”, THEN when I’m run off my feet doing everything for everyone I get cranky that I’m the only person doing anything. This happens ALL. THE. TIME.
It’s crazy stressful.
So Why Don’t You Just Say Yes?
Sometimes it’s difficult to let others do things for you. I’m a perfectionist, FFS I know exactly what that feels like! My boss is forever telling me that I take on too much. He’s right of course (but don’t tell him I said that). It’s so easy to say these things to someone else but it’s damn hard to admit it to yourself and even harder to stop doing it.
I have a hard time giving control to other people when I know damn well they are not going to do as good a job as I could. They are not going to live up to my particular specifications. It’s goddamn frustrating. It makes me mad.
It’s also really hard to stop feeling guilty that people are helping you. You should be able to handle things yourself right?
Why can’t you do it all on your own? Aren’t you good enough?
I swear my subconscious thinks this every bloody day. I’m such an independent person that I get flustered when people even offer to help me. I feel guilty that I’m letting them down or that they are having to go out of their way for me. I feel bad that they are lumped with extra stuff to do.
Can you see my problem here??!
There needs to be a point in your life where you can say yes. Willing and able to Just Say Yes.
If your mother in law calls and says “How about I watch the kids on Friday night so you can go out for your anniversary?”. Just Say Yes.
If your friend offers to take your kids on Sun arvo? Just Say Yes.
If someone is at your house and offers to take the clothes off the line for you? Just Say Yes.
If your 8 yr old is trying to suck up because her sister is in trouble and she’s trying to prove what a good kid SHE is and wants to fold some washing for you, even though you know she’s not going to fold it properly she’s just going to stack it in a crumpled pile? Just Say Yes.
If your kids’ school has any kind of dance group, recorder club or choir that means you get to drop your kids off an hour earlier a few days a week? For God’s Sake, Just Say Yes!!
All these small moments add up to create the one thing you think you don’t have enough of.
This WILL make your life easier. Even if it’s in a really small way. Sometimes even the tiniest sanity savers can help you from feeling overwhelmed or extra stressed out, and that just might make you not grump around and get narky at your kids. It might just be the one thing that’s stopping you from cracking it and losing your shit.
So what to do? Now you’ve found some extra time?
Spend it doing something for you.
Something, one thing just for you, every single day. I do not care how long it takes. I do not care what it is.
It could be anything.
Even if it’s 15 mins extra to stop for coffee on your way to work.
Even if it’s extra time at the office to finish that presentation.
Even if it’s time without the kids to work a bit more on your business.
It could even be as simple as sitting in silence with a wine in hand after everyone else is asleep. No one talking to you, no one wanting anything, no none needing help or answers or decisions.
It’s bloody hard, I get it. but we need to try and not have such high expectations of ourselves, of others and of the ways things are done.
Did someone die doing this job? No?
Is someone likely to die if this job is not done right? No.
It might piss you off intensely but that’s what you need to recognise. That inability of ours to let go. That innate feeling of frustration that things are not “done” unless they are done 100% “right”.
I love having a house that looks lovely all the time. I crack the absolute shits when I trip over dirty clothes sitting right next to the basket or schoolbags that are dumped in a walkway. But to be honest, the house really only looks nice for about 5 minutes after it’s cleaned. Why? because I have a family. They are not perfect and I guess I can’t really expect them to be. I would love it if they were but that shit ain’t happening any time soon, I mean honestly – have you MET my family?!
Perhaps we all just need to be like my Mama and embrace the craziness that is our own homes. Mine will be different from yours, I can almost guarantee it (I’ll bet your house ALWAYS has toilet paper on the roll…)
Sometimes you need to Just Say Yes.
Just Be You, Every day