Feels Like Tug Of War

is this you - tug of war | Vicki Tongeman


3 Things To Do When you Feel Like You’re in a Tug of War with Yourself, Work and Family

I get it.

I really do.

Those times when you finally get down to some work and you’re interrupted by your child/partner/dog needing your attention – tug of war!

Or you’re at work completing an urgent project and the School calls needing you to pick up your child and self-isolate for two weeks. Or you REALLY need some time to yourself but there’s no-one to take care of the kids right now. And then there’s the needs and opinions of your parents, and don’t get me started on the in-laws!

Motherhood can be a constant struggle between work, home and family needs, including (and sometimes especially) the extended family. And if you’re anything like me, you can often feel like you’re in a “tug of war” being pushed and pulled by other’s needs and opinions and having to forget your own needs altogether.

I didn’t know how to explain this feeling, until I drew a stick figure version of me, being pulled in two opposite directions, like in a tug of war. I really felt I was being pulled apart and might break any minute, until I understood what was happening and ways to deal with it. So, what can you do to get out of this very painful bind?


1)     Don’t expect to be perfect

Recognise that you cannot be “perfect” for everyone and no-one should expect you to be. You are a human being, juggling the needs of many, and if you’re going to continue to do this, then you and others will have to cut you some slack when you occasionally drop the ball. You are working 24/7, on call at night and working three shifts a day…nobody can do that perfectly all the time.


don't expect to be perfect, you can't get it right all the time




2)     Your opinion and needs matter more than you think

Understand that every member of your family, work or friends is entitled to their opinion, just as you’re entitled to yours. And if you feel strongly about a situation then your opinion is as important as, sometimes even more important than others. Especially if you have a “gut feel” about something. It’s ok to stand your ground over what’s important to you. And you DO deserve a break from your job, so that you can gather the energy to keep going.


your opinions do matter - don't feel pushed aside


3)     Understand that there are many “parts” to you

– the Parent, the Partner, the Career person, the Adult and the Child (yes we all have an inner child even when we’re grown up), the daughter, daughter-in-law and many more characters in your subconscious, all wanting to go different ways sometimes. Each of these parts of you wants its needs met, and when they are not all working towards the same goal, life can feel very painful.


find your calm - don't fight a tug of war


These characters reside mostly in your Subconscious mind, and can be encouraged to work together, making you feel more “whole” and less “torn” as you integrate them into a thriving “team”. An NLP Coach like myself can help you to get those parts of you talking, so they can start pulling together instead of tearing you apart! Imagine what it will be like when you feel whole again, and can face the world with greater confidence and clarity!

So, if you’re ready to call the “Tug of War” to a halt, heal within and feel ready to face the world once more, contact me and we’ll start helping you to feel strong and whole once more.

Speak to you soon! 😊


  1. Michelle Payne

    Fab read! So many women will resonate with this. I particularly need to remind myself of no.2, because although I make time for me (not nearly enough of course!!) I always feel guilty about it!

    • Vicki Tongeman

      Thank you Michelle! 🙂 I’ve had feedback from a few ladies recently that they struggle to nurture themselves as much as they nurture their significant others <3. My book "Daphne and the Smiley Shells" could be a good starting point both for you, and how you teach the next generation to nurture themselves :-). There's also a Facebook group called "Daphne and the Smiley Shells 5-Day Challenge" which reveals some of the "hidden" secrets in the book...https://www.facebook.com/groups/281832530285989 and if you would like to learn to let go of the guilt that tends to come with self-care and motherhood in general, I can help you find your unique blocks to this issue 🙂

  2. Margaret Webster

    Fab Blog, really easy to read and will ring home for so many mums.

    • Vicki Tongeman

      That’s so kind Margaret 🙂


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