If you’re a working mum you’ll no doubt be familiar with mum guilt – that awful (and completely useless) feeling that you’re not giving your kids enough of your time and energy. As someone who has always been very career-driven, I used to experience mum guilt a fair bit – especially when I was working 60-hour weeks as a clinical nurse manager.
Like our idea about what it means to be successful, mum guilt is a result of societal conditioning. We’ve been led to believe that we need to be by our kids’ sides 24/7 otherwise we’re somehow failing at this motherhood gig. But when we shed all that BS and look at things objectively, we realise that our kids don’t need us all the time. Instead, they need short bursts of quality time to fill their emotional buckets. There is no right or wrong. You find what’s best for you and your family unit, just like I have.
A great way to fill your kid’s emotional bucket is to do something spontaneous as a family, something that gets everyone away from work and devices with a focus on fun and adventure with a touch of spontaneity. When I was talking about this concept to a client, she introduced me to the fantastic yet simple concept of Spontaneous Sundays. I’ve since introduced it with my husband and three kids. We are big fans.
Introducing Spontaneous Sundays has taught me that one simple activity every Sunday has the power to keep us connected and happy all week long. While I used to think my kids needed my undivided attention, I’ve realised that all they really want is to play a simple board game, go to our local sushi train restaurant, or kick a soccer ball.
Spontaneous Sundays is a great addition to our family weekends and one we will continue wherever we are in the world. I hope you find it as useful and enriching as we have. I guarantee your kids will love it more than you do.
If you have multiple kids or are feeling disconnected in any relationships, this is a game changer. Ask the person what is one non-negotiable activity they want to do once per week with you or the family. Our seven-year-old son wanted a sunset picnic and he prepared the platter. My nine-year-old daughter instructed us all in yoga and gymnastics for half an hour. My twelve-year-old daughter organised a quiz night with team names for the family and individual questions – we hadn’t laughed together like that for a long time. I have had client’s kids want a bike ride with just them, poker night, long walks on the beach, Mario Kart races, camp fires with marshmallows and movie nights. All of the requests are about connecting and being present. Quality connection and time is what they are craving from us.
I’d love to hear them in the comments. And remember, if you need some help getting the joy back in your life, you can apply for my one-on-one coaching program.
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