By Danielle Galvin
Reading Melbourne mum of three and time management specialist Kate Christie’s new book, ‘Me First’, it’s impossible to feel anything but inspired.
Inspired to change something in your daily routine, to find time in the day to do something just for you.
It’s a tough ask, to stop taking on the entire domestic load and doing every odd job that needs doing.
As Kate rightly points out, mums everywhere are programmed to put the needs of others first, and to do all of those incidental tasks rather than asking for help.
But, she says, it’s time for change.
“It’s a people pleaser thing we have going on in our brains,” she said.
“No one is giving you a gold star for being busy, or for mother’s guilt.
“There’s so much we need to let go of.”
‘Me First’ is a practical guide for working mums to find that extra time with a few hacks – and it’s all data driven.
She asks her readers to sit down with a whiteboard and nut out where those hours go each day.
There’s practical exercises and stories from women around the world, and plenty of hilarious tidbits too, like the ridiculous tasks we all take on (ironing underwear, anyone?) that we need to say goodbye to.
And then there’s some of the powerful ‘stop you in your tracks’ lines that will make every mum reading really think twice.
“Do I want to invest my time – or do I need to decline?” Kate writes.
“Busyness is not a badge of honour.”
It’s simple enough – but Kate says we need to get better at saying ‘no’.
She says, it’s time to be selfish.
As an example, Kate says teaching kids a few basic things can go a long way.
Just because you gave your children life, that doesn’t mean they are your whole life, she writes.
We shouldn’t feel obliged to “do it all” just because we work and have guilt about that.
“When it comes to your kids – don’t do anything for you kids they can do for themselves,” she explains.
“We have to create a sense of independence and an ability for our kids to feel capable and make choices and be involved in chores.
“One of the real issues I see with women who work, there’s almost a guilt or an overlay of guilt that they have because they work.
“It’s almost like they overcompensate at home and do everything and we have got to stop doing that.”
In the book, the fictional character Alice is based on women Kate meets all the time.
Alice is first introduced as she sips a glass of wine late one night, preparing herself for a busy, chaotic and anxious day. Jobs to do, children to tend to, a husband trying to engage in conversation and an ever-increasing workload.
For Kate, Alice is the character who epitomises the selfless, overworked mum.
“Family is a team sport,” she said.
“It’s about designing or curating your own life.
“For too long we have sat in the passenger’s seat and it’s time to get in the driver seat.”
To find out more or order the book visit timestylers.com/books/