I can’t believe that we are in May already. This week it seems to be about celebrating Mothers Day and spending time with family. What has always fascinated me is why mothers take time to celebrate this day with all the wonderful things our family do for us but the day after things appear to go back to normal. A standard morning for me goes something like this. It’s an early start with work and writing time, exercise, getting children ready for school including breakfast and lunches, feeding the cat and preparing the coaching suite for the day and making beds. It is not unusual for me to be hanging out washing at 5.30 am in the morning. I know this will resonate with many of you.
Yes I love being pampered on Mothers Day – who doesn’t and especially from your own children who make an extra effort to make you feel special. But why can’t they make you feel special all the time? When I ask women why things go back to normal, the answer is that “We have no choice” If we don’t do it nobody else will. But here is the thing. We do actually have a choice. We always have a choice. Why do we think we have to do all of it all of the time? Single parents have a harder path without a doubt but there is still a choice. Why do we need to do it all?
Mothers are special and unique. We have such an overwhelming desire to protect our children, to ensure they are loved and achieve to great heights in whatever they choose to do. We are nurturers and protectors. Children know that mums will sort everything out for them.
More and more of us are working mothers and guilt features as a major part of our life. When we are working we feel guilty that we should be spending more time with our children and when we are at home we feel guilty because there is always so much to do and not enough quality time spent with our children. Technology and needing to be accessible play a large part in our day to day lives. Being offline is the new luxury. When we feel guilty we tend to overcompensate and do more and more to make us feel better about ourselves. I have observed and experienced myself that it is the same with women in business as well. When we feel a little out of control we do more and more to try to bring control into everything we do.
Here’s the thing. Our children know which buttons to press to ensure we feel guilty. They mirror exactly how we feel. So if you are wondering where it comes from, it is actually coming from you.
When asked what mothers would do if they had a day to themselves, most say I would spend the day pampering myself and spending time with girlfriends and doing what ever it is I want to do but the reality is actually quite different. Yes we want to do those things but we end up really wanting to spend time with our children hanging out before they get old and too cool.
So, I think the question becomes: Does it have to go back to normal the day after Mothers Day? The answer is No it’s your choice. If we empower and teach our children to help be part of the family unit by giving them a role to play regardless it will make us feel better about ourselves.
It’s our mindset that keeps the old habits in play. If we think, no one else will do it then that is what we will create. You doing everything.
I think it’s time for mothers to get clear on what we actually want. Once we know this we can relieve ourselves from the guilt and can therefore celebrate our own uniqueness and being true to ourselves. That’s where the magic lies.