When the pressure is on, what do you do? Something had to change, pressure to be the best at everything in life meant that Anisa nearly reached burn out. Read on to find out how she combated this.
There is no manual for becoming a parent; there are plenty of blogs, books, well meaning friends and relatives to gain insight from but nothing that frees you to be the parent you want to be without the outward pressure of comparison and trying to do it all.
I desperately desire to be the best parent I can be and to make my daughters childhood magical, always striving for excellence in all areas of my life not just motherhood, however, when you are dealing with and working with others their goals, emotions and presence which may not be in alignment with where you are, this brings pressure and stress.
Parenthood now is not like it was when I was growing up.
Yes, both my parents worked but with the lack of social media, there was a layer of connectedness to ‘the world’ that had to be sought, looked for and invited in. Rather than today where ‘everything’ is at our finger tips. I find that I personally need to be strong of character to avoid the pressure of parenting and some days life. To keep all my balls in the air is quite frankly, tiring!
I reached a point in my journey as a mother, woman, wife, and career about 2 years ago, when I had, had enough.
Something had to change.
I was risking burn out and nobody was benefiting from my company least of all my daughter.
One of the first things I did was to put myself first, something that I had not done in the 7 years of motherhood. I had lost myself on the journey, no one had asked me to do this, and it was a role I took on, embodied and embraced willingly.
Can you relate?
I NEEDED to change, I started with small steps, for example reading a book that wasn’t about parenting, planning a weekend away with some girl friends (a year into the future!), not filling my days but allowing peace to come in.
Following these wins, an honest conversation with my husband lead to a change to our careers and moving from Surrey to Yorkshire a little over 18 months ago. I am not advocating such BIG life decisions for you unless of course you want to, but it worked for my family.
A fresh start, a clean slate, doing things on our terms and dare I say it being slightly selfish about what we were doing, this was for us, our sanity and our family.
Fresh air and spending time outside has been a game changer for me, and something that has slipped in the last few months as I feel the pressure coming back on! Walking our puppy, being by the river, sitting in my court yard garden looking up at the green hills that surround me, taking it all in and breathing in the sights, sounds and smells.
How could you spend some more time outside?
Mindfulness is a term that is thrown around a great deal in recent years and for good reason, and another tool I have embraced in order to feel more grounded and at peace with who I am and where I am right now.
For those not familiar with Mindfulness it is the practice of being present, focusing on the here and now. I was shocked many times, to find in the past that I would have whole conversations with my daughter and at the end realize I had no idea what we had been discussing or perhaps what I had agreed to.
Every day my aim is to be more mindfully present in what I am doing rather than the multi tasking wonder woman I once was.
A mantra, affirmation, positive thought I have repeatedly said to myself over and over and over again to combat the overwhelm and quite honestly will probably continue to say for years to come is
“I am enough’, and you dear reader are enough.
Say it until you believe it. You need to define what ‘enough’ is to you. For me ‘enough’ is about trust, growth and honesty. It is about being present, loving my journey and growing from the bumps in the road. The power of positive thoughts cannot be underestimated. Find space in your life for little bursts of positivity.
2 years on, my daughter is now 9, I have changed careers to run my own business, we have moved our family 290 miles north and although life throws curve balls, and all is not as I would like it to be, I am in a much better place to manage and thrive in my role as a parent, wife, career woman and being myself.
I am reminded of a quote from Abraham Lincoln
‘determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find a way’.
What is your ‘thing’?
How will you find your way?
Who or what do you need to help you along the way?
What tools can you use to help release some of the pressure that life throws at you?
This guest post was brought to you by Anisa Lewis
Anisa works to support parents and families with tips, coaching and workshops to help take some of the stress out of being a parent. Bringing over 18 years experience working in education with teaching roles as well as leadership positions such as Deputy Head and Head of Operations, Anisa’s international back ground also brings influences from global cultures as she has lived and worked in places such as Australia and Colombia. Being a mother, wife and Director of her own Small Business, Anisa is well aware of the juggling act that parenting can be today. Founding Parenting Success Yorkshire in 2016, Anisa offers support to parents with children of any age, through non-judgmental and interactive workshops alongside events for Families and 1 to 1 work with individuals. A friendly open approach is what’s offered, in a relaxed environment, and a recent participant described the workshop as a “parenting party” as she came away feeling excited, inspired and full of parenting ideas to implement in her family home.