When I started Project Happiness, one of the things I noticed was that I’d forgotten about myself. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, an employee, a sister, an aunty, a friend, a housekeeper & a cook, but somewhere along the way my identity of just being ‘me’ has got a bit lost. I’m not totally sure I know how it feels to shed these other titles & be me.
I like to please. I don’t like to say no to things & have tremendous FOMO. These qualities combined mean that I often bite off more than I can chew because I don’t want to look like I can’t do it all. I will often be up until midnight finishing off work I should have done in the day because someone saw my car & thought I was ‘off’ instead of working through an ever-increasing ‘to do’ list from home & I don’t have the heart to turn them away. Interestingly, I think I actually take on more at work now I’m a mummy, because I don’t want people to think I’m slacking & can’t deliver. This often means work at the weekends too.
When Mr T & I got married, our present to each other was hiring a cleaner. This meant that every other week, we would come home to a sparkling house & it was lovely. All we had to do was keep on top of it & – with just the 2 of us – that wasn’t beyond the realms of possibility. Now we have Little T & need a cleaner more than ever – possibly one that lives here & starts cleaning from top to bottom as soon as he or she is finished, like the Forth Bridge of cleaning! Unfortunately, we are no longer in a position to be able to afford a cleaner, so we spend weekends cleaning – which I hate, because it’s the only 2 days of the week when we can do family things.
I very rarely take time for myself, by myself. I run, which is a good stress-reliever & acts as my fitness, but gone are the days when I’ll disappear with a book for hours on end, or do a face pack or buy myself flowers, just because. I haven’t had my hair cut or coloured for almost a year, as we’re trying to save a bit of money & I just don’t see it as a necessity, but I know I feel better when I look better. I think I’ve broken up with me. It’s time I got back to putting myself further up my priorities.
As part of the project, I’m adding in some homework: to do something just for me twice a week. I hope that’s achievable. Every day would be a struggle, but twice a week seems doable. I actually feel quite selfish committing to this, when there’s so many other demands on my time, but I think I need to, for that very reason. It doesn’t have to be massive, just something that doesn’t involve looking after someone else or something else, just me.