By Rosemary Marchese
Physiotherapist and mum of 3 fit kids
Why working stops Nicole Kidman living vicariously
According to recent media Nicole Kidman chooses not to be a stay-at-home mum because it stops her living vicariously through her children. And I don’t think she’s alone. She reportedly told Harpers Bazarre that she juggles her strong career with her tight knit family because everyone is better off for it. I don’t think she’s alone.
From my 10 years of parenting experience, with much of that being a ‘working parent’ (but I’ve also been a ‘stay-at-home-mum’ for parts of this), I’ve watched and spoken to a lot of mums who struggle with the question of whether to work or not. Interestingly, it seems Nicole loves what she does because for goodness sake we know that she does not need the money.
I think that’s refreshing.
Refreshing that a mum has the support of her family (well, so it seems) and has enough drive to keep pursuing her dreams in an era of her life where it would be easier for her to simply stay at home between school drop offs. Let’s face it, it’s not likely she has much housework to do.
Are you living vicariously through your children?
Think about the life your kids lead. Is little Jimmy at sport every day because he wants to be there or because you scheduled in those classes for him? Are you up at your child’s school every moment buttering up the teacher for that prestigious award your child ‘deserves’? Do you have a life of your own outside of ‘parenting hours’?
I’m not saying that a ‘stay-at-home’ mum is the only one who would do these things. There are plenty of working mums, and plenty of dads, that I see first hand living this life. The life where the kids must be number one at everything and get an award for ‘showing up’ just so that the parent has a purpose. Ouch? Or is it true?
Parents, including mums, are allowed to have goals too
There. I said it. Parents, including mums, don’t have to lose their identity and are allowed to exist as a person beyond their children. At the end of the day, aren’t we meant to be leading by example? If you have no goals for yourself, and they don’t have to be work goals, but they have to be your goals, then what message is that sending your kids?
Checklist…are you living your life, or living through your kids?
- Does your entire day revolve around the children, to the point where you regularly skip meals and exercise?
- Have you completely forgotten the last time you had some ‘me’ time or went out with friends or your partner without the children?
- Do you attend every single school and sport event of your child’s life, including every training session, yelling from the sidelines and fobbing off any adult that comes your way for a friendly chat?
If you answered yes to any of these, it might be time for a re-think…for the sake of your sanity and that of your family!
Rose is a Fit Busy Mum of 3 fit kids. She aims to empower mums who are time poor. She acknowledges that mums are ‘busy’ but tries to inspire them to regain their fitness through simple everyday habits that she promotes through her book ‘The Fit Busy Mum: Seven habits for success’. Visit www.thefitbusymum.com.au