Most women complain that they feel run down, burnt out, frustrated and that they have to literally facilitate everything. But most moms don’t really know how to put those things into words and communicate that to our families. When we do try to ask family members to “step up” we get the typical response…”All you have to do is ask”.
But I get it. We don’t want to have to ask!
Although we aren’t expecting our spouses or our children to become mind readers, we also don’t understand why we are the only ones who know where the extra bottle of ketchup is, or that we need to reorder diapers because we are on our very last one! We don’t understand why our family’s cannot seem to pick up their own messes, or why were the only ones who know everyone schedule, when birthday parties are and what meals are being cooked this week. Is it too much to ask to get a little help? Most of the time, yes it is. Because that would require us delegating which sometimes takes more effort than just doing it ourselves. Right?
I felt all of this but I never really knew how to explain it. Nor did I really comprehend how common these feelings and frustrations were. I didn’t have the right “terms” or science backed research to explain that this was a real thing. The emotional burden of raising a family.
There is been so much research on the “givers”. Meaning working professionals such as teachers, flight attendants and nurses. That they reach burnout often because of the mental and emotional toll that their job takes on them. They are always caring for others but still have to maintain a level of kindness and joy while exhausting themselves as they continue to serve. They have to be able to diffuse stressful situations while not taking things personally. They have to manage many moving parts all while maintaining a level of stability and self control.
But don’t these job descriptions sound a lot like parenting?
Mom’s juggle more than I can even begin to describe here. While we might be physically juggling a million and one things, the mental and emotional turmoil that takes place is rarely recognized. Like actually remembering to do everything, directing the operations of the home, creatively solving problems with the kids, remembering to buy more paper towels and the birthday present for Timmy’s friend for his party next week plus the cupcakes needed for Mrs. Johnson’s Classroom etc etc etc. It is exhausting. All the while our kids do their thing, with their few chores that we ask of them (and they complain about non stop) and our spouses work so we try to make sure they are taken care of and then we are left to ourselves to try some form of self care so that we don’t get burnt out.
Guess what….no amount of self care will consistently help if you haven’t strategically solved the root cause of the stress.
Family Meetings changed our lives.
I used to manage almost everything on my own. And I couldn’t do it anymore. So I stopped. I started expecting my family to step up and take an integral role in our family and how it functions. Because I only get one life, and I couldn’t spend one more day being stressed out and resentful because no one else noticed the toilet paper was running low.
The key was effective communication - not about what I needed, but an open discussion about what it took for this family to function and survive. Because we don’t really need the help. We are the ones taking care of them. They need the help.
We started meeting regularly to discuss all that it took to run the household and how everyone could play their roles to serve our family. And then bang! All of a sudden, I wasn’t doing everything myself anymore.
It was life changing for us and I want that for you too!
Family Meetings are so much more than just a meeting. It is a tool, a resource, a safe space, a sacred space, a huddle to create a game plan together! A coach just helps leads the team with wisdom and knowledge, but the players of the game take part in the game. Get your family team in a huddle, lead them and coach them and then allow them to take part in the game, mamas.