I physically shuddered as my 13 year old daughter's teacher accused me of bad parenting.
Because I told her I would rather my daughter failed academically than destroy her mental health by spending all her waking hours on school work.
Apparently I was not doing a good job at parenting because I refused to let my 13 year old (who is only in Year 9) spend 2-3 hours on homework every day.
Bearing in mind her school day starts at 6.50am when she leaves for the bus, and ends at 4pm when she gets home.
I set a top limit of 1.5 hours a day to maintain balance and avoid burnout.
Yet this makes me a bad parent.
(We have since changed our schooling set-up for our daughter as this was a recipe for breakdown.)
It still astounds me that we are in this situation with everything we know and have experienced over the last few years.
Suicides, burnouts, breakdowns, cutting, increase in alcohol and substance dependency, eating disorders and other mental health issues.
Why are we still pushing for a work harder society and mentality? Even at this young age.
Most of the women I work with have suffered burnout or similar, and often this stems from the work mentality instilled in them in their teens (by parents and / or teachers), and this goes on for decades.
When they start working with me it is rare that they are comfortable "doing nothing".
When society pushes this work harder mentality on us it drives us to a whole host of health problems - physical and mental.
So it's up to us to stand up and say "NO!" for ourselves, and for our kids.
I regularly take days off to think.
I plan nothing in and just let my mind wander and see what comes up.
I also have weekly "Me Days" where I am 100% selfish for the day. I do what I feel like, when I feel like it (despite being a wife and mum of 2).
And I get judged for this. Because it makes me a bad wife, mum and generally a lazy person apparently.
But we need to stop shaming people for resting. For downtime. For not being "on" all the time.
I have been following Kate Northrup's work on this, where she explains that nature has seasons. We don't expect to harvest in the winter and we know fields need to be left fallow from time to time.
Now it's up to us to put ourselves in winter or go fallow for a while.
Work smarter, not harder and - crazy thought - you might just start loving your life rather than simply getting through the days.
Look after yourself, your body, your mind and your health lovely :-)