So FOMO means the ‘fear of missing out’ (FYI those who have no idea ‘Hi Dad’) with the online dictionary informing me it’s, ‘Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website’ (please tell me you also laughed out loud at ‘aroused’ and the use of ‘website’ after social media-yes I might need to grow up #natch).
But you’ve got the gist right? It’s wanting to be somewhere or do something you see those you follow online or IRL, doing.
Now back to my post peeps because recently I’ve felt that that FOMO feeling creep up on me as I’ve had to say ‘no’ to various amazeballs shindigs I wish I could have attended but couldn’t (Hello LFF & LFW *cries).
And it’s normal to feel that way. To wish you were somewhere you weren’t. To be dressed up to the nines reconnecting with your pre-child self or part of your wilder side. A bit more carefree and alive in the name of networking.
The thing is though as mother (and father) hustlers, the juggle is real and endless and thanks to kids, deadlines, supermarket deliveries, Netflix marathons AKA life, we often just can’t roll that way (not every night anyway).
I’m basically writing this so you know you’re not alone. That it’s totes (yes I wrote totes because I’m not ready to let it go) utterly normal to want to do EVERYTHING even when it’s impossible and you need to embrace saying ‘no’.
You need to check yourself before you wreck yourself and say N-O to some of things (I’m not saying ALL) you really can’t squeeze in or which might not make sense to your blog/business or personal life at that moment in time.
You see, I’ve had to turn down a ton of stuff over this last year and in particular, the past few months which prompted this post in the first place.
Some of those things include a trip to the Caribbean (which I’m rescheduling-phew), Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week (twice), London Fashion Week, parties for global brands, networking events, movie premieres, film festivals, European press trips and more ( I know right, cry me a flipping river and I literally want to punch myself in the face for even writing this list down but it’s the truth, Ruth-I get invited to a lot of good stuff with masses I can’t make for a million different reasons (thank you everyone though and keep those invites coming *hides).
Of course I’m grateful for the requests (blows kisses emoji) but I simply want to be honest here (Honest Mum innits) and say I can’t fit everything in I’m asked to attend if it’s not work-related because #bills which granted a lot are paid- oh and the fact that I’m based in Yorkshire meaning London-centric events require time, effort, shaven legs 😉 so need to add more than just ‘a fun night’ to my life.
Although those junctures are very welcome just not of all the time.
Whilst I’m in London once a week, sometimes twice for work-related meetings and shoots, if I said yes to all the soirees, I’d never get back to Leeds and be with my bambinos (red carpet nights are fun but bedtime routine and honey-scented boys are my everything). Soz big movie stars, still love ya just not as much as my husband and kids!
I’m lucky too that being a filmmaker pre-blogging means my fair share of amazing events from seeing my film at festivals all over the world from France to LA to attending some of the most ah-mazing parties of my life were pretty common place.
Plus I get an annual trip with my friends to Cannes for the film festival
which sees me through the year! (It takes me that long to get over the trip so good job they’re only annual ;))
Seriously though, I recently wrote about streamlining my life
-and a huge part of being able to do just that has been down to saying ‘no’ a lot more, prioritising family life and taking on truly meaningful work/longer term projects and being selective about what I commit to so I don’t feel overwhelmed and overtired. No one likes a moody mama.
Trust me when I write that I wish I could have said ‘yes’ to all of the above and in some cases I will reschedule trips abroad or attend another fashion week the following year if I can, but I’ve had to recognise I’m just one single #mumboss trying my best with only 24 hours in a day and need to do and meet the needs of others to feel my happiest self.
I don’t want to miss my son’s assembly or Harvest play if I don’t have to.
There are of course times I need to be somewhere far for work and I’ll be there with bells on, bursting with passion and professionalism- and other instances I’ll just say ‘no but thank you very much’ and simply bake buns with my boys.
That’s balance right- in its unbalanced, ‘I’m a mum and a boss’ kind of way.
It’s about owning the guilt but not letting it stop you. About having quality time out (even if that means switching off your phone for few hours a day when your kids are around) so when you work and play, you can work and play fully focused and not guilty.
There are some dream life big projects I’m working on at the mo (yay) which require my love and attention and will do over the next year or so. My new babies if you like.
So they have to take priority when I get my head down and graft.
That doesn’t mean RSVPing ‘no’ hasn’t hurt but whilst FOMO can often make me feel left out because of social media, it’s equally made me feel better too (ironically the opposite of FOMO) as I get to live vicariously through mates on insta as they enjoy some of the things I can’t.
You see my FOMO feels don’t come from a jealous place but more ‘ I wish I was with ya’ vibe (although if you’re hanging out with Leonardo DiCaprio I hate you-you know who you are ;))
So what’s the moral to all this rambling I hear you cry?
I just want you to feel it’s OK to put yourself and your family first and say ‘no’ when invites come along that might well stretch and stress you out-be it mums’ meet ups or a red carpet do (we bloggers get around, right *high fives*).
We’re all juggling a hell of lot of plates (some which will inevitably smash to smithereens, even if you’re not a Greek mama like me) because well, that’s just life, right?
You can’t do and please everyone all of the time but you can certainly prioritise and not worry that missing a few events will affect your life and work.
People are reasonable, quality wins every single time, I promise so get your head down, keep writing or doing what makes you happy and stop fretting that you have to be at everything to be taken seriously, keep your friends and contacts or get more invites down the line.
Be confident in you and go do your thing safe in the knowledge that events crop up all the time and when you do actually say ‘yes’ to them, you’ll appreciate them more.
By saying ‘no’ more often, I’ve freed up time and for the first time, have felt much more in control of my life- so if the down side to that is dealing with a little FOMO, then I’m fine with that.
Buy my bestselling book in paperback or audio
My debut book is my guide to surviving and thriving at work and at home and offers insight into how to create a digital business or return to work with confidence.
Mumboss: The Honest Mum's Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home
(UK 2nd Edition)
Available on Amazon or Audible
The Working Mom: Your Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home
Available September 8th 2020. Order now on Amazon