Last month, one Sunday evening, I had a slight meltdown and sobbed to Hubby. I was exhausted and experiencing burnout from a hectic weekend in which we had the twins 6th birthday, their party and my parents staying, on top of the usual jobs (uniform, homework etc).
I was basically dashing around aiming to please everyone else/serve them/care for them and had reached maximum tiredness. I had totally neglected myself and my needs.
This wasn’t just a frantic weekend and a one-off though; this is representative of me. I will run around making sure everybody else is happy, content, comfortable, satisfied, that I’ll end up missing out on the enjoyment of said moment.
It’s all rather foolish really, because no one is demanding this of me; there’s absolutely no pressure whatsoever from my partner, family or friends. This is in my own head. I guess, inherently, it comes down to the fact that I’m striving to create ‘perfection’ and work damn hard in order to achieve it.
This is indicative of other areas of my life too. I have the same ridiculously high standards throughout motherhood, marriage, blogging & social media, housework, fitness, relationships. Working hard over the years to aim to keep every area as perfect as possible; striving to be the best I can be.
But ticking all of the boxes at once merely isn’t feasible.
Nor is it realistic.
I have thus been doing a great deal of personal reflection and contemplation, and realised that going forward I’d like to adapt my thinking. Specifically in lowering these crazy high standards, because they’re unfair and set so high that I’m always inevitably going to fail at something.
So in the last few weeks, for work, I have adopted a more laissez-faire approach to it all. I’m over (and done) with trying to emulate others’ success. I have thus stripped it all back to understanding what makes ME happy, which, (like I said recently) is the writing. What I am producing already feels more genuine and honest, as well as more fun.
I’ve also stopped myself getting sucked into creating (and looking at) unrealistic content on Instagram. I have consequently started posting photos that I like to share and putting out material that I know may ‘not do as well’. It’s actually the most liberating feeling, plus I’m creatively satisfied again.
On Instagram Stories I’m not staged; I’m myself. As well as shouting about when I’ve had a great day I’ll also thoroughly moan when I’m tired, or slag Hubby off when he’s getting on my nerves. Because that is an accurate representation of my life, rather than only picking out the glossy — and perfect — parts.
At home I have aimed to step right back too. I’ve planned in to do a few hours cleaning/tidying a week and that’s it. No faffing in-between. No stress. Dave and I have shared out key jobs and he’s taken joint responsibility. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get down to the low standards he has for the cleanliness of our home (lol) but I’m now happy to meet him somewhere in the middle.
For motherhood — and this is the most important one — I’m not yelling at my kids any longer. I’ve realised, “what’s the point?”. I’m letting them make mess, be silly and giving them more freedom. We laugh more. I let lots of trivial things go. It feels a calmer home already.
And when we do have family/guests to stay I’ve decided that I’ll go with the flow of the weekend, as well as adopting a more relaxed approach to hosting.
This change in mindset hasn’t worked out all of the time yet though. It’ll take a lot of continued effort, of course, but I am fully committed. I’m well up for feeling like a more relaxed, fun and happy Jess. I like her already.
I’ll also look forward to letting the perfectionist crown slip off and fall away from my head much more, and (most importantly) to care far, far less about the consequences of that.
It’s endearing. It’s real life.
Love, Jess x