Increasing My Happiness Meter #MummyMondays

Increasing happiness through less overcommitment

Have you ever fallen into the trap of over committing yourself time and time again only to find that you’re always exhausted and wondering why you can’t seem to get everything done?

I have. I fall into this trap on a regular basis.

As a Mum and someone that works for myself, I find that I tend to over commit myself for a number of different reasons.

I organise play dates and coffee meet ups on all my days off to make sure Elliott and I are getting out and socialising, I often tend to try and squeeze various things into one day, we rarely have whole days at home.

Because I work for myself as a freelance writer, I also worry that every spare bit of time that I’m not spending writing or applying for writing jobs means that I may miss out. It’s a fine line.

The problem with overcommitting like this is that although my intentions are good, it’s really taking its toll on my happiness meter. I’ve come a long way in trying to embrace the mess when life gets busy, but looking beyond the mess, overcommitment is hindering my ability to take things slowly, to fit things in, to relax and to just be.

Overcommitment has hindered my ability to be truly present with Elliott without other things racing on my mind. Overcommitment has lead to dinner not being ready in time for us to enjoy together at the dinner table like it should be and it’s lead to my poor food choices when I eat in a hurry.

Elliott being sick of all things was what it took for me to realise that I need to slow down. Instead of going to our usual Playgroup morning on Thursday, our day was a quiet one at home. It was the first time in ages that I felt like I actually accomplished things. I vacuumed, I tidied, I baked a cake, I baked muffins, submitted an online grocery order, built toy train tracks, played with cars and had dinner on the table in time. I felt so organised, refreshed and in the moment and thought ‘I need to do this more often!’ I went from feeling pretty meh. to HAPPY!

Image source 

It was on this day that I realised the benefits of just staying at home every now and then and I realised that it was OK for there to be days when we just didn’t do anything and that work related stuff wouldn’t disappear if it was left for a day.

So, the moral of my story today,  whether you have free days during the week or the weekends are your only free time, try not to overcommit yourself, learn to say no and remember this phrase – ‘Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.’ 

Are you a sucker for overcommitment?

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Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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38 Comments

  1. Jody at Six Little Hearts
    July 28, 2014 / 6:05 am

    Eva, I never put us into everything anymore. I would much rather live in the moment than try to be involved in too many moments. Being at home with my little fam is just the best feeling and I don’t care about the rest! Enjoy them while you can I say!

  2. July 28, 2014 / 6:39 am

    You’ve raised some good points here. I try to ‘schedule’ at least one home day each week. They are my favourite days, we usually go for a walk around our neighbourhood, potter around in the garden and play at home. I hope Elliott is feeling better πŸ™‚

  3. Lisa Berriman
    July 28, 2014 / 6:47 am

    I certainly am a sucker for over commitment. I’m getting better at managing it but I also don’t like missing out so will do lots because I know they are things they enjoy.

  4. Malinda
    July 28, 2014 / 7:01 am

    I try to gauge my girls for what they feel like. If they are a bit stir crazy then we definitely go out but sometimes they just need a day at home. I know I’m right when I tell them we are staying home today and they go Yayyy and run off to play.

  5. July 28, 2014 / 7:04 am

    Totally a sucker for over committing but thankfully I gave up on trying to be supermum once No.2 came along. I figure the see enough of their mates at daycare and as they get older it’s C&K and school friends that they’ll remember.. well done for sorting it early! As for jobs, we will always miss some, what can we do?

  6. Hugzilla
    July 28, 2014 / 9:35 am

    I’m too lazy to be over-committed. It all sounds suspiciously like hard work.

  7. Samantha Nuttall
    July 28, 2014 / 10:21 am

    URGH! Totally sympathise – I find working from home whilst looking after a baby means that I never really have down time as naps/bedtime = work or house jobs. I try to do what you mentioned and have 1 day when we just chill out (haha!) at home and there are no deadlines to be met. And I remind myself that baking something yummy or just focusing on the baby gives me the warm and fuzzy feeling I need to feel happy enough to give to others in my ‘other job’. Thanks for posting!

  8. July 28, 2014 / 10:54 am

    I think that it took me having multiple children to learn this. Having a baby and a toddler meant that getting out of the house and doing this just becomes harder, so I gave up on doing so much. Then I learnt that not only do I need a day at home, my children need a day a home too. Now we always schedule in home days as a family. This weekend, for example, I wanted to do something on Saturday, but Husband was going to the football on Sunday, so I cancelled my thing. Then we discovered that Monday is a curriculum day, so no school. This meant both Husband and I could do our things AND we could have a home day.

  9. July 28, 2014 / 2:42 pm

    Completely understand. It happens all the time and my body slowing me down is causing me to get frustrated and upset as we are no longer able to get out and about like we used to. I don’t work but having my blog now takes up time. I am actually going to try to calm down with it and do it when I can. There is no rush to build it and it’s not a race against time. I did think the other day I am spending far too much time with my face glued to my computer, laptop, iPad, iPhone and social media and sometimes forget I should be playing with Locky.. That is so bad πŸ™ So I have made a conscious effort not to do that. I now only blog and go on social media when he is asleep. This will most likely slow down my blog grows but that’s fine. I’m only doing it as a hobby not as a job πŸ™‚

  10. July 28, 2014 / 4:53 pm

    Yes, yes, and yes! It’s a vicious cycle. It all becomes too much so I cancel everything, then realise I have nothing on so say yes to everything and off we go again! It’s that old ‘balance’ thing isn’t it?

  11. July 28, 2014 / 5:39 pm

    Hubster is the one who overcommits in our household, but it’s hard to get cross with him he’s just so cute πŸ˜‰

  12. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    July 28, 2014 / 8:15 pm

    Urgh yep I am a massive overcommitter!! I totally get you. I find it really hard to do nothing and it’s definitely something I need to work on! xx

  13. July 28, 2014 / 8:18 pm

    My health has been that bad that I had to take a step back and learn to say ‘no’. I’m now that good at saying ‘no’ I need to start practicing yes a bit more. My girls have just had two weeks of school holidays where we hardly did a thing. It was just what the entire family needed.

  14. TeganMC
    July 28, 2014 / 8:36 pm

    I find that we do seem to over commit on the weekends because it’s the only time we are all together. We are trying to find the balance though as we get a bit stir crazy if we stay at home all weekend too.

  15. Kirsty @ My Home Truths
    July 28, 2014 / 9:49 pm

    Fellow over-committer here! It has taken me a long time (actually it took almost having a stroke) for me to realise that i can’t do it all and that it’s okay to slow down and have nothing planned. I also enjoyed an easy and lazy weekend – it was THE best!

  16. July 28, 2014 / 10:15 pm

    I love that, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I’m going to follow your lead and try to commit to less!

  17. Alicia-OneMotherHen
    July 28, 2014 / 10:15 pm

    I long for a weekend that we have no plans, no one to entertain and nowhere to go. I just have to convince hubby of that!
    I have to convince myself too that things don’t have to be hurriedly done, I have all day!

  18. July 29, 2014 / 12:04 pm

    Weekends can always be so jam packed, hey? I’m glad this coming weekend is very empty…they are sometimes the best weekends.

  19. July 29, 2014 / 12:04 pm

    Good luck, Sheridan!

  20. July 29, 2014 / 12:05 pm

    Oh, I’m glad I’m not the only one! So glad you had a lazy weekend, just remember how good it was for next time!

  21. July 29, 2014 / 12:05 pm

    Yep, weekends tend to always be the time when things are crammed in. Good luck finding balance, Tegan.

  22. July 29, 2014 / 12:06 pm

    Learning to say no can be hard, but when you get the hang of it, it’s so worthwhile. I hope your health improves.

  23. July 29, 2014 / 12:10 pm

    Yep, I find it really hard too and it’s about reminding myself of how great it feels to take a step back.

  24. July 29, 2014 / 12:11 pm

    Haha. I don’t reckon my husband would think I’m cute, I think it drives him a little crazy because he’s the one that would prefer to just chill out.

  25. July 29, 2014 / 12:11 pm

    Totally a balance thing and not so easy to break the cycle.

  26. July 29, 2014 / 12:13 pm

    It’s good that you’ve recognised it Maria. Blogging is quite addictive but if you do set some rules for yourself, you’ll find a good balance.

  27. July 29, 2014 / 12:13 pm

    I’m starting to schedule ‘home days’ too, there’s huge benefit for everyone and more family time.

  28. July 29, 2014 / 12:14 pm

    Yep, even something like baking can just make you step back and get your mind off things!

  29. July 29, 2014 / 12:15 pm

    No, you’re just smart! πŸ™‚

  30. July 29, 2014 / 12:16 pm

    I’m glad I sorted it early, I’m gonna need this mindset for when number 2 comes along sometime in the future!

  31. July 29, 2014 / 12:16 pm

    Yep, I totally get the ‘stir crazy’ thing. There are days when Elliott is like that and if it was going to be an ‘at home’ kinda day, I sometimes have to change the plans because he simply wont be happy at home, he needs something new.

  32. July 29, 2014 / 12:17 pm

    Oooh Lisa, it’s the FOMO happening!

  33. July 29, 2014 / 12:17 pm

    He’s feeling much better, Lauren. I’m going to start scheduling these kinds of days, with the hope that Elliott will be happy to just potter!

  34. July 29, 2014 / 12:18 pm

    Totally agree with you Jody! Thanks x

  35. The Plumbette
    August 1, 2014 / 5:38 pm

    Yes I think I’m over committing right now and I have a newborn. This was very timely for me to read!

  36. August 1, 2014 / 7:40 pm

    I think it’s so important that it’s become my mission to spread the word! Unscheduled time is awesome, we do it all the time.

  37. Kathy www.yinyangmother.com
    August 3, 2014 / 12:14 pm

    Glad you had the ah-ha moment reconnecting with the ‘slow’. I wonder sometimes whether this really is the ‘secret’ (if there is one) to happiness in our world today. Hope Eliot is feeling better now. x