Canberra Centre Masthead

The one where I hang up my Superwoman cape

Amanda Whitley

Oh hey, remember me? It’s been a while since my last ‘weekly’ personal blog post and my inclination is to apologise…but you know what, I’m not going to…because for the first time in a really long time I’ve been prioritising the stuff that I WANT to do rather than the stuff I feel I HAVE to do.

A week ago, I was given the incredible honour of being named the ACT Woman of The Year, and it was (and still is) simply amazing to know that the little thing I started in my spare room five years ago now means so much to the women of Canberra. Blows me away.

But that’s not what this post is about. The next morning I did an interview with Tim Shaw on 2CC and he asked what my advice would be to the women of Canberra. I said something like ‘don’t try to be Superwoman.’ Because I did for a very long time, and the result was a very tired, very stressed woman who exercised too little and liked wine too much and spent a lot of her time saying, ‘I just have to [insert work thing here]’ instead of doing the things that made her happy.

Last year, I took a long hard look at myself. I saw the woman who felt she had to work long hours at her job yet still pick her kids up five days per week and ferry them to after school activities; the woman who kept saying ‘yes’ to volunteer roles and unpaid speaking engagements even though she couldn’t even fit her ‘to do’ list into one day; the woman who felt internal pressure to produce gourmet meals and lunch boxes every single day…and I didn’t like what I saw. I decided I needed to (in the wise words of Elsa) let it go.

So I asked for help. I leaned on my amazing team, I asked the daughter of a schoolfriend to replace me in my role of Glorified Taxi Driver to my kids two days a week, I took my husband up on his numerous offers of sharing the load, I decided that eggs on toast was fine for dinner occasionally. I admitted that I couldn’t do it all.

And a funny thing happened. I started to have time for myself again…I’m dancing five times a week, I’m drinking lots of water instead of wine, I’m spending quality time with my family, and I’m a much happier (and no doubt, nicer) person. So, I’m not going to apologise for not spending my nights writing these posts, because I’ve hung up my cape. I’m busy living…

Until next time (whenever that may be!)

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author