I hit a mini wall last weekend. It doesn’t happen often thankfully, and certainly MUCH less often than it did 18 or months ago, but hit it I did, and it felt as painful and raw as it ever does.
I talk a lot about the often detrimental effects of continuously serving and pleasing others – your children, your partner, your colleagues and so on – can have on you. And in particular when you do this above and beyond what YOU need, and what nourishes and supports you. And I think part of me talking about it a lot, is not only to reach out to women who feel this way to say I understand and I want to support you to change that, but to remind MYSELF of it.
Because the wall I hit had a big fat “DANGER! LOOK OUT, UNBALANCED NEEDS AHEAD!!!” painted on it, and I didn’t take notice and so smashed straight into it.
For the last couple of weeks I’d been letting things slide with the children – doing their tidying up for them, hanging their school bags up, putting their shoes and socks on (and the two eldest are 8 and 5 for goodness sake!!!) – the things they can easily do for themselves. I’d been saying yes to all their requests for my time, when I knew I’d needed (and wanted) to get something else done, and that they were OK to watch TV by themselves for a bit.
I’d said yes to more requests to help out than I knew I should have done – at school, with the extended family, with work things. And I’d allowed people to talk over me, and I’d held back on talking about how I’d been really feeling and what I wanted to say.
And I’d picked up my whingey 2 year old out of childcare/abandonment guilt too many times, which has just added fuel to the fire.
And it got too much. It was inevitable that I was going to hit that wall.
Because, if we don’t make the effort to put ourselves on equal footing with everyone else, and we don’t build and maintain our boundaries, who will? If our children, our partners, our colleagues and our friends and family don’t know where to draw the line because we haven’t made it clear that actually, enough is enough, why would they stop asking for more of our time, more of our support, more of US? How do they know what enough is enough looks like?
So, after a cry, and a burst of angry frustration from hitting that wall, I took myself off and sat down to figure this sh*t out. What had led me to that point? What was out of balance? What was it that I wanted that I wasn’t getting? And who was looking after me? Because I certainly wasn’t.
And if I wasn’t, how could I really expect anyone else to? We’ve all got our own thing going on, our own crap to deal with, and ultimately, we are the only ones truly responsible for ourselves.
It isn’t easy creating these boundaries. Figuring out where to draw your own line, and in fact believing and not feeling guilty that you should have one. It’s actually pretty bloody hard to even start thinking about what you want in life, and what’s important to you when you’re so consumed in looking after others and keeping your busy, demanding life in check.
But as hard and as daunting as it might be, it’s so imperative that it’s done. Because if not, that wall is only going to get higher and stronger and the speed at which you hit it will just get faster and faster.
Are you looking after you? Or are you headed towards that wall??
If you need a bit of help getting it together, or getting back to it, my easy, daily wellness routine can help you get back on track. Download it here now.