The O'Donnell Sister's Guide To Mama's Survival

How has your day been Mama?

Right now, you might have your magnificent offspring on your hip while talking on the phone- stepping over blocks and shooing the dog away from lunchtime spills on the floor. Between ubering, cheffing, counseling, diplomatic rationalizing and smashing the glass ceiling you may well be wiping wee off a toilet seat and mentally preparing a list of everything you NEED to do while pondering Marie Kondo and realising how many things are just NOT sparking your joy… Welcome, you are not alone!

According to research by Griffith University, many women struggle with being time poor and the demands of being a mother, the requirements of being an employee and “getting it all done.” No kidding. I mean, really? “IT ALL” is a broad term to throw into inverted commas people. C’mon already. We are amazing, we are warriors- tell us something we don’t know! But let’s be serious. It can be so hard.

Mother guilt can be heavier than a bag of bricks.

The old phrase “a woman’s work is never done” could not be more ‘en pointe in our western–i-can-do-it-all-because-bras-were-burned-for-me world. Life is busy. Busy women doing many things with as little mistakes as we can manage because the world is watching right?

So, as busy mums how do we lessen the burden and start living our best life? What is this magic that will give us more energy and propel us out of the world of Mombie and into the land of the living and being present?

Now we could sit here and tell you like everyone else to meditate the proverbial out of yourself, however, let’s keep it real. We are modern women with modern needs, and sometimes it’s the little things that put a smile on your face.

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1. DITCH THE GUILT

We are living in a time where women are waving the feminist flag with one hand and holding the washing basket in the other. The load on the mother has increased to include basically EVERYTHING! Working, childcare, home duties, meal prep, bikini waxes or if you are liberated- not- corporate takeovers, Bachelor Degrees in OMG I AM A MOTHER NOW WHEN AM I GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN- to hang on, I love this, this is WORTHY.  Oh and worming the dog.- don’t forget that. Are you Vegan and gluten intolerant or maybe your child has allergies? Put the whiskey down, its ok, we have more… point is- GUILT is too heavy an emotion, it holds a heavy vibration that will zap the energy you are already lacking. So give it a miss and send it on its way. Good vibes Mama, more of this in your life will do nicely.

2: Hire a cleaner!

Good thing I mentioned ditching the guilt first right?!  

Regardless of who does what in your abode, stats from Macquarie University tell us that in Australia 86% of women do the majority of the housework. Would you like some gender inequality with your smashed avo?

Hiring a cleaner may sound like a luxury for some- however, hiring a cleaner even once a fortnight to do the tasks you hate or don’t have time to do (insert scrubbing bathroom grout, the laundry pile, cleaning the oven) is a winner.  By outsourcing, you are giving yourself time to do less obligatory tasks and allow more meaningful moments. Take time for yourself, make memories with your kids (the fun ones!) and the job still gets done. Can’t afford it? Try and work it into your budget by ditching the lattes and takeouts- substituting things in your budget to make life easier may become your next best trick. $35 every two weeks for an hour of those jobs might be a life-changer.


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3. Organisation time

There is no way we can remember everything. Keep an electronic diary on your smartphone with alerts and reminders. Keeping track of events, library day, bills, appointments, due payments. It’s like having a free PA that reminds us of the important stuff. Have you checked out Google Personal Assistant? If not.. do this today!  If you make time to check your phone once a day, you won’t find yourself red-faced in the school car park- it is not Crazy Hair Day and your child is walking around the playground looking like Johnny Rotten.

4. Learn to say NO.

You don’t have to explain yourself to anybody. No is a lovely word when it is used in the right context and when it comes to you Mama, saying No sometimes can be your saving grace. It might be no to catching up, no to attending something, a party, or a favor. You and your children come first. There is a time in adulthood when we need to conserve our energy for the important things. Those moments are when we bravely decide to sidestep the “have to’s” and permit ourselves to opt out. And if you pause and think about it- who deserves the best of you? You. What you take from one bucket you give to another.

Everyone else can wait, and if they don’t understand that it might be time to rethink who your tribe is.

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5. Take 10 minutes.

When the kids are asleep, or entertained, take ten. Go outside, put your feet on the grass- adorn your head with headphones playing soothing music and thank yourself for being you. Yoga Nidra meditation is really awesome too. Or….if you wanted to you could put on your old Doc Martins and smash out some interpretive dance to Four Non-Blondes. Your own silent disco. Cool doesn’t have a used by date in your loungeroom.

We will leave you with our parting gift of advice: NETFLIX. Gorging pure escapism for the sake of sanity. We are talking Outlander, no limits, no judgment. Soulfood. Mr. Grey is a thing of the past- we’re talking kilts, rolling hills,  a thick Scottish accent, and a sporran. Did someone just say “Sassenach?”

 The O’Donnell Sisters
One is a celebrated author, mother, and teacher, the other is the black sheep and ratbag wordsmithing her way through life with gusto. Kate O’Donnell and her sister Kirsten can often be found reminiscing and talking women’s business over a peppermint tea (Kirsten’s is often laced with Gin) and knitting. Kate knits, Kirsten does not. Mind you Kate does play a mean steel six string guitar and loves a good Xavier Rudd concert. Her big sister loves popcorn, gardening, Hemingway, quantum physics and is quite partial to a pirouette. She is not certifiably crazy but on the quiet- she thinks she might be the OA.

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