Like I just did.
I’m a perfectionist and have been from an early age. I had good grades at school while also being pretty okay at a few extra activities. By the time I was 30 I’d had a couple of different careers. So, you could say I was an overachiever.
However, part of being a perfectionist is being a bit of a stress head. I can never relax when something is out of place. I’m constantly writing (or typing, rather) to-do lists and tackling each day at a full rate of knots trying to get everything done. Even when there’s nothing to do, I’ll find something. And if everything isn’t marked ‘complete’, I chastise myself for it.
Now that I’m a mum things are out of place a LOT. Things have a habit of not going to ‘plan’ and it can be very stressful (read: absolute catastrophe).
There’s so much pressure coming from all angles. On top of the demands of a baby, there’re the demands of the house, a partner or husband, a job and more.
To be honest, for me most of it comes from within. I just want to be the best mummy I can be, for the benefit of my son.
But, there’s also external pressure. Staying at home with a baby means that people almost expect you to justify your existence. In my pre-baby life I remember wondering what mums did with their time. Sure, there was nappy changes, feeding, playing etc, but surely they had some spare time during the day to twiddle their thumbs and ‘do lunch’? Oh, how wrong I was. Now I know very different.
It’s like people expect us to do it all – perfect child, perfect house, perfect wit, perfect energy – with a smile on our faces, and to still look great at the end of the day. We’re expected to be Wonderwoman.
But too many times I’ve ended up in tears from the stress of not having everything done. At lunchtime my baby would be asleep in the cot after a crazy morning, I’d race around for his entire nap trying to clean, tidy and do multiple loads of washing. But, some days, there’s just not enough time, or my baby decides to wake up early or creates extra mess, and then I’m back to square one.