How I Cheated: Learning to delegate, outsource and not do it all as a working mum

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This weekend a voice inside me kept telling me that I’d cheated.

Now let me give you some context.  It was my mother-in-law’s birthday this weekend and I decided to host the family for a dinner party to celebrate.

In the past when hosting a dinner party I would have tidied the house from top to bottom.  I would have spent hours preparing the food. And would have felt pretty exhausted and probably stressed before everyone arrived.  Rushing around to get changed minutes before the doorbell rang. 

This weekend I did something different.  I got a lovely local company to pre-prepare the food for the dinner party.  All I had to do was wack it in the oven to cook.  

And I had a cleaner come the day before so my house needed relatively little attention (it’s still amazing what carnage a family of four can do in just 24 hours though!). 

We had a lovely time together as a family and I actually could relax and enjoy it.  But a little voice inside kept telling me that I’d cheated.  That I somehow hadn’t earned the right to enjoy this celebration because I hadn’t worked myself to the bone to make it happen.  Weird right?!

Work hard to play hard

Not so weird when you consider that many of us have been raised in a culture that values work ethic. That we are somehow more worthy if we’ve worked hard. That we should feel guilty if we’re not.  That we should do what’s ‘right’ not what’s ‘easy’.  That we have to earn our right to rest and play.

Doing less is smart and strategic

This little voice inside kept telling me I’d cheated because I’d done what was easy and that was wrong.  But I’m here to tell you that it wasn’t wrong.  I hadn’t cheated.  In fact I’d given myself and my family a gift.  A gift of enjoying the moment and being present with them to enjoy our time together.  Even though I knew this, I had to remind that voice inside of me that wanted to tell me a different story.

If you struggle with high standards.  If you struggle to not do it all and do it all perfectly, I wanted to share this with you.  Because if we want to thrive as working mums, we have to remind ourselves that we can have it all but we can’t do it all.

That it’s ok to ask for help.  It’s ok to outsource stuff.  It’s ok to delegate stuff.  That doesn’t mean we’re failing or cheating.  It means we’re smart and strategic – despite our deep rooted culture of hard work and sacrifice trying to tell us different.

Here’s to doing less and enjoying more.

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