July 6, 2016

It’s that time of year again. Regardless of how old your children are, as the school summer holidays approach, do you start to feel panicky, get excited or have a mixture of both??

Have your kids been doing exams and has the house been fraught with tension that will soon be over? (pending results).

How do you as parents manage the juggle of childcare and working on any given day, let alone the school holidays?

I don’t know about you, but I loved the pressure being off with not having to do the school run, or the frantic dashes to and from after-school clubs, and I loved having my son at home, but I also had to keep working. So the pressure was on in a completely different way.

How do you manage to keep all the balls in the air with a smile on your face? The honest answer is that most of you (most of us) don’t!! Well not all the time anyway, even if you give the impression that you do… a bit like a swan gliding gracefully along the top of a flowing river, whilst its feet are frantically paddling underneath to remain afloat.

I also wonder if the words “manic” and “Super-mum” ring any bells? These are two words I hear a lot from clients, especially women. A couple of other words used a lot are “overwhelmed” and “pressure”. Any resonance there yet?

There may be the lucky few of you who really do float through life not feeling any of the emotions I mentioned, and that is great. I just know that these overwhelming feelings are ones that I had on and off when my son was younger and I was juggling. They are also how a lot of my clients feel on a mostly daily or weekly basis.

One thing I would like to stress to anyone reading this, is that it is okay to feel these emotions. It is perfectly natural. We parents tend to be very hard on ourselves, lumping guilt on ourselves where we don’t need to.

Something clients and I work with during our sessions, is bringing fallibility and humanity into their conscious awareness, which then enables them to be more compassionate with themselves and their “Super-mum”, “manic” susceptibilities, understanding those overwhelming feelings at a different level. I hate to break it to you, but everyone is actually human, which means we are fallible.

It really is okay to drop the occasional ball, or to put a couple down for a few days and pick them up when you actually need to. You could always choose to give a few away to someone else. What I am saying is, that you honestly do not need to carry all the balls (the Super-mum and overwhelming feelings) around with you all the time. The world won’t end if you choose to put some down, being kinder to yourself in the process – really it won’t!!

So, I would like to ask you to take a moment… STOP… literally do not move for a few seconds. Feel the ground beneath your feet. Feel the weight of your body going through your feet. Feel the breath in your body. Take a couple of nice deep breaths and allow your mind to stop at the same time (it’s a trick, so your mind will play along)….. and now, having done that a few times, carry on with your day.

It allows a “pause for thought” and a bit if a “time out”, which enables you to really put all the balls down for a short time and gather your breath. Do this a few times a day and you will notice a difference.

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