It has been one of those weeks. You know the ones. The ones when you find it hard to put one foot in front of the other.
I think it’s all very well that we push on as working mothers, finding strength in the deepest parts of our souls to be all we can be at work and all we can be as a Mummy. But what happens when you just can’t go on?
I think your average working mother has a steely determination that pushes through the toughest times, but that in itself is our downfall. As when the dark days come and we feel we can’t handle it all, the inner voice kicks in. Well it does with me anyway.
I find myself saying things like ‘I should be able to manage this’ or ‘I should be stronger’. Who wrote the should rule book? Because whoever it was needs a smack!
The should book seems to exist in all our minds and the inner chimp is there telling us to man up, be tougher and keep pushing on.
The realisation is, sometimes it’s time to take time out. Now we know a week off work just at that moment is a no go, and actually then, let’s be serious, we’d be plunged into Mum mode and feel guilty about what we are leaving for everyone else at work, so that’s not a goer. What I mean by time out, is a drink with a friend.
Last weekend I had dinner with a girlfriend who lives out of London. She too is a working Mum. I sat in front of her, and with a mighty amount of courage, I spoke up and said
‘I’m just not coping with being back at work’. (I’ve been back 2 weeks). At which point she said ‘neither am I’.
I had dug deep to even share how I felt, I was almost embarrassed as this is a fellow alpha girl whom I have spent many an hour chatting about our achievements in life.
Her response was a huge relief. Suddenly I wasn’t alone. We were in this together. Those three hours over a steak in a pub, gave me my time out. Time out from the pressure I was putting on myself, time out away from work and being a mum, and time out from my own head. I woke up the next morning and my head was in a better place.
It is stronger to show weaknesses. Being true to yourself and those around you attracts genuine responses, from friends, family and work. You might even surprise yourself at how good it feels to show the chink in the armour. I know it felt good for me, and this week, I am back on fire and in a better place.
Go forth and be weak sometimes. It makes you stronger.
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