Women Everywhere Are Sharing Their ‘I Don’t’ Lists And You Should Too…
Why every Mum should have an ‘I Don’t’ list…
Do you have an ‘I Don’t’ list? Of course, you have a to-do list that’s probably a mile long and seems never-ending, but what about the list of things that you just. don’t. do?
This week on Mamamia – Holly Wainright wrote an article titled ‘Every Woman Has An I Don’t List. And It’s About Time We Shared Them.‘ And we are all for it.
Because for most of us, especially mothers, the demands on our time are endless, ongoing, and in some cases relentless.
It is virtually impossible to do it all. But too often we think we should, and we battle on, sacrificing our selves, our sleep, our health, trying to keep up to an impossible standard.
No one does it all – and if they get a lot done they usually have (undisclosed) help. In the age of social media, it can often feel like other mothers have it all together, while you are over here being a hot mess (no? just me?) because your house is trashed, the kids clothes are grubby (they’re making memories, you guys) and you haven’t had a full nights sleep in 7 years.
‘I told you, you’re not doing enough.
How could you possibly be? You’re a woman, living in an age of extreme expectation. Superwoman Syndrome has shaken off its shoulder pads, pulled on its activewear leggings and buddied up with Hustle Culture to provide you a continual feed of All The Ways You Could Be Better. If you’re a woman with a child, then throw in a dose of Peak Parenting, and the bar for a successful life is now so high the Hubble telescope would squint.
Superwoman Syndrome lives in the inspirational, ‘go get ’em’ memes scattered through your Instagram. It’s in the relentless productivity apps being advertised in your news feed. It’s in the ‘The Surprising Habits of Successful Women’ stories that algorithms and magazine supplement covers serve up to you daily.’And it’s the prism through which we view the influential women around us and the gauge we use to measure ourselves – just as humans have always done and will always do – against them and find ourselves wanting.
And it’s making us sick.’
Standing Ovation Holly!
It’s so true. I too often feel that I am doing nothing, treading water, hanging on by my fingernails – and then I bump into someone who asks ‘How do you do it all?’. And I think, I don’t.
Whenever I meet another mother with 4 children, I want to grab her and quiz her as to how she does it, because to me some days it all feels so impossible. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of fantastic days – it’s not all doom and gloom over here – but it is hard work. And as Holly says, it can often feel like everyone else is getting shit done while you are just barely surviving.
Just as we look to others to see what we should be doing, we should also look to others to get some ideas of what we shouldn’t be doing.
Hollys list of I Don’ts has gotten women talking – and I think that all Mums of Brisbane should share their I Don’ts Lists too – because anything that keeps the pressure off us as women and mothers is a good thing.
Heres My I Don’t List
- I don’t cook fancy dinners – it’s just plain, simple and quick food over here
- I don’t walk my daughter to her classroom
- I don’t limit screen time
- I don’t exfoliate
- I don’t wax my eyebrows often enough
- I don’t cook fancy dinners
- I don’t clean the house
- I don’t do homework with the kids
- I don’t answer all my emails and social media messages – I just get too many to cope with so I have to let some slide
- I don’t know anyone’s birthdays except my husbands and my kids (and even then I sometimes jumble them up)
- I don’t answer my phone when it rings (leave me a voicemail and I will def call you back!)
- I don’t iron
- I don’t make snacks for my kids from scratch – often they are from packets
- I don’t wake up when one of my older kids gets up in the night – my job is the baby, hubby’s job is the other kids
- I don’t wash the sheets every week
- I don’t play much with the kids
- I don’t hover over the kids at the playground – with so many my rule is ‘you have to be able to do it yourself’
And I refuse to feel guilty about any of it. You see if I let these things slide, then I can make space for the things that are important to me and my family. And that makes it worth it for me.
What is your list of ‘I don’ts’ – Please share it so that we can relieve the pressure a little bit.