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What do you mean life doesn’t revolve around your kids…?

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I have always believed that whilst my kids are very much an integral part of my life, they are not actually the sole reason for my existence or my happiness. Let me be clear; I love my children wholeheartedly (and would throw myself to the lions rather than see them eaten – obvs) but what brings me satisfaction, fulfilment and outright joy is not limited to them alone. I understand that this isn’t a belief shared by everyone, and that is completely fine. We’re all different.

 

However, there are many women with kids who share my view in

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principle but end up feeling they are not ‘being a good mother’ or measuring up to what is expected because of this philosophy. The fact is, only you can define what is right for you and your family. ‘Good enough’ is, well, Good Enough. I would love to see more women (with kids) talking about and behaving like they are whole people rather than feeling reduced to the activities, accolades, whims and behaviours of the small people in their life.

 

Some women I know talk as though the sole justification for their existence is whatever

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their child ate that day, where they celebrated said child’s birthday and how they managed the latest outburst or demand for whatever’s on trend at that moment. Often, these ladies are unable to have any sustained conversation that is not related to their children. I’m genuinely not judging (I totally get it – our personal worlds become smaller when we have kids, especially when they’re tiny). But I AM encouraging women (with kids) to remember, celebrate and BE exactly who they are (which is the same person they always have been, just with an
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extended tribe, extra sets of skills and shitloads of additional responsibility – with far less ‘time’).

 

So say ‘no’ to the kids if what they want doesn’t suit you. Rest if you need to (the extra hour of TV or beans on toast for tea again won’t kill them). Ask yourself what’s Good Enough and go with that. Stop striving for perfection; remember, it’s actually the lowest standard you could set yourself. Have the extra glass of wine if you want. Tell them they’ll have to miss that playdate or outing this time. And put your own

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needs and wants first for a change.

 

Because what we teach our kids when we do this is that WE matter. As people. We help them understand that it’s good to take care of yourself and do the things that give you pleasure. We help them think about making balanced decisions and teach them how to manage other’s expectations.

 

So yes, my life doesn’t only revolve around my kids’ lives. In fact, I am one of those parents who refuses to commit to any regular weekend activities (because I like our freedom and there are other

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opportunities in the week); I didn’t used to be very forthcoming with playdates (because frankly it was a hassle, although now mine are older it’s becoming a brilliant help to have them distracted whilst I read my book); and I really have no interest is talking with my mates in the pub about what their kids are up to in great detail (as long as they are well and healthy the bare minimum is totally fine by me). I have interests, I have needs, I have things I want to do FOR ME. I’m alright with that – and so are my kids.
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Alison Ford

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- 8 Feb 19

I have always believed that whilst my kids are very much an integral part of my life, they are not actually the sole reason for my existence or my happiness. Let me be clear; I love my children wholeheartedly (and would throw myself to the lions rather than see them eaten – obvs) but what brings me satisfaction, fulfilment and outright joy is not limited to them alone. I understand that this isn’t a belief shared by everyone, and that is completely fine. We’re all different.

 

However, there are many women with kids who share my view in principle but end up feeling they are not ‘being a good mother’ or measuring up to what is expected because of this philosophy. The fact is, only you can define what is right for you and your family. ‘Good enough’ is, well, Good Enough. I would love to see more women (with kids) talking about and behaving like they are whole people rather than feeling reduced to the activities, accolades, whims and behaviours of the small people in their life.

 

Some women I know talk as though the sole justification for their existence is whatever their child ate that day, where they celebrated said child’s birthday and how they managed the latest outburst or demand for whatever’s on trend at that moment. Often, these ladies are unable to have any sustained conversation that is not related to their children. I’m genuinely not judging (I totally get it – our personal worlds become smaller when we have kids, especially when they’re tiny). But I AM encouraging women (with kids) to remember, celebrate and BE exactly who they are (which is the same person they always have been, just with an extended tribe, extra sets of skills and shitloads of additional responsibility – with far less ‘time’).

 

So say ‘no’ to the kids if what they want doesn’t suit you. Rest if you need to (the extra hour of TV or beans on toast for tea again won’t kill them). Ask yourself what’s Good Enough and go with that. Stop striving for perfection; remember, it’s actually the lowest standard you could set yourself. Have the extra glass of wine if you want. Tell them they’ll have to miss that playdate or outing this time. And put your own needs and wants first for a change.

 

Because what we teach our kids when we do this is that WE matter. As people. We help them understand that it’s good to take care of yourself and do the things that give you pleasure. We help them think about making balanced decisions and teach them how to manage other’s expectations.

 

So yes, my life doesn’t only revolve around my kids’ lives. In fact, I am one of those parents who refuses to commit to any regular weekend activities (because I like our freedom and there are other opportunities in the week); I didn’t used to be very forthcoming with playdates (because frankly it was a hassle, although now mine are older it’s becoming a brilliant help to have them distracted whilst I read my book); and I really have no interest is talking with my mates in the pub about what their kids are up to in great detail (as long as they are well and healthy the bare minimum is totally fine by me). I have interests, I have needs, I have things I want to do FOR ME. I’m alright with that – and so are my kids.

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Alison Ford

Alison is a Wellbeing Life Coach and founder of Simply Thrive Wellbeing Services. Alison also runs Not Just Another Mothers’ Group on FB/Instagram - platform for women (who happen to have children) where being yourself is the only requirement.

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