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We’re Having A Relaxed Mum Summer And You Should Too
Once Christmas hits, I feel the opposite of relaxed. I’m wound as tight as my violin string. Between parenting, running a business and being a functioning adult, my inner Monica (the one from Friends, of course) is smiling in public and privately sobbing through the 17-hour marathons that are standard at that time of year. I’m calling BS on the whole shebang and calling a relaxed Mum summer. 
It will include previously enjoyed pursuits such as reading novels, engaging holistic health specialists to remove the knots in my soul and calmly going about my day. Sound too good to be true? It’s not! 
Society has sold us a myth saying women (mothers in particular) can’t be well-rested and relaxed. So we diligently wrap presents until our eyeballs are stinging, we smile and nod through endless requests and we internalise our needs. 
I see so many women over-give, over-function and as a result, burn out. NO MORE! It’s time we lean into our basic human right to rest. I’m making no apologies and you shouldn’t either. 
I've never known a relaxed woman
Here’s how it’s done.

1. Just say no

Where’s the rule saying we need to cover 60% or more of the workload to be worthy? I’m staking my claim in the less is more space and saying no to everything that doesn’t bring me joy. Keen to give it a go? Here’s how you can side-step volunteering at school and making the dessert for a dinner party you don’t even want to attend.
Get your response prepared with these iron-clad canned responses: 
  • “No”
  • “I am unavailable” 
  • “Ask your dad” 
  • “You can complete that task without my assistance” 
  • “This is not something I’m interested in” 

2. Delegate - don’t do

Put it this way, you could clean your kids' bedroom but do you WANT to painstakingly sort Lego pieces and itty-bitty Barbie shoes? Conduct an internal vibe audit and decide what you’re happy to do and what you aren’t. Write a list, check it twice and assign the said task to someone else. 
For example, my husband Chris is the newly appointed coordinator of Elf On The Shelf, excursions to the pool and playdate communications. And you know what, he’s happy to do it because I explained (with a pie chart) that I am currently reducing my capacity in these areas to focus on OTHER THINGS. 
If you are under-resourced and don’t have a ‘Chris’ available, you can explore: 
  • Piloting work experience with your young children at home. Provide them with a position description complete with agreed tasks, expectations and rewards available. 
  • Using AirTasker for the ‘I can’t be bothered’ variety of jobs. 
  • Pool resources with friends and family to lean into your strengths. For example, put your hand up to take over your brother's Christmas shopping if he takes the kids for a 4-hour bike ride. 
The most important rule is DO NOT DO EVERYTHING YOURSELF.  
Delegate Mum's To-Do List

3. Prioritise play

Choose the fun thing over the blah thing. Not only will it rank higher on your enjoyment meter, but filling your days with joy has a roll-on effect. 
Think of yourself as Mario eating coins. Consume for power in reserve. When you approach life with an already-filled cup rather than an empty one, you’ll find it easier to slide through friction and make better decisions. 

4. Remove yourself more 

If you are always physically, mentally and digitally available you’ll be the go-to forever. Set boundaries and choose how and when you want to show up. Set your unique tone by: 
  • Silencing phone notifications 
  • Decluttering your schedule 
  • Physically removing yourself (as required)
Communicate your availability with others and don’t budge! 
Plan Your Schedule

5. Demote yourself

The most annoying question for over-functioning women goes to: “Why didn’t you ask for help?” As a manager and doer of all things, communicating, asking and facilitating is TOO MUCH WORK.
Switch the narrative and get someone else to manage the damn to-do’s! They can “sing out if they need anything” and own the ‘thing’ while you jump in and out sporadically. 
And that is how it’s DONE. Say no, delegate, don’t do, prioritise play, remove and demote yourself. 
Tell your friends.
Here’s to relaxed mums becoming the norm!

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