If you are a women with kids that works, chances are you’ve heard this. If you’re a women with kids that stays at home, chances are you’ve heard it.
“How do you do it all?”
Most often when I hear it, it includes a little tinge of judgement – whether it’s intentional or not, most often I assume it’s not. But it’s there when I hear it from friends, from family, from clients, and even strangers at the grocery. I think anytime you walk in anywhere with three kids, people wonder why you got yourself into this mess. It doesn’t help that they are all usually heading in three seperate directions.
It doesn’t help that I am often trying to answer an email, or a phone call, just to stay above water. The judgement is palpable then, especially when you’re in a public place. But that’s how it is now, isn’t it? We’re all expected to put our entire selves into our careers while being the best moms this side of the Mississippi, while staying fit but still enjoying a cocktail and cheeseburger. And don’t forget date nights with your husband, a house that is just shy of being featured in Architectural Digest and a swoon-worthy wardrobe.
Who has the time for all of this? I certainly don’t.
And even though these expectations have been created by some sort of social media myth, and I clearly know they are unattainable goals, for some reason, I still subscribe to them. I don’t want to. Every week I mentally unsubscribe but somehow, just like those Pottery Barn emails, they keep coming back.
So here’s the truth behind all the edited photos.
- Work: I always feel like I’m neglecting the company I helped create. This week my babysitter has been gone and I feel a pit-of-my-stomach kind of guilt being away from the office. It’s hard to get anything done with three people vying for attention but the grind doesn’t stop when you work for yourself, so here I am, sweating my ass-off working poolside in the humidity while keeping an eye out for every jump off the diving board.
- Home: My house is a disaster. Okay, that’s me being overdramatic but we’ve realized the girls are totally unable to share a room (the mess! the chaos! the fighting!), so we’re switching them back to individual rooms. In the grand scheme of things that’s little but we’re also hosting an engagement party in a few weeks and need to fix a bunch of random crap around the house too. Our front door knob is broken, some shutters are in need or repair and Reese snuck off recently and smeared slime all over our basement couch (slime is legit my worst enemy).None of those things individually is much but all together it’s a little overwhelming especially for someone who doesn’t do well with clutter. I can’t really focus or relax when I’m surrounded by clutter so it makes being at home more of another job than a place to relax. And there’s the feeling of wanting to get it all done NOW but realizing the budget doesn’t allow for that kind of instant gratification (there’s no bigger bummer).
- Kids: You guys, I love my kids. More than words can accurately describe. But you guys, I lack the patience to be with them all day. We all need to know our strengths and weaknesses and patience is not my strong suit. Because I am stressed with the two prior commitments, I end up being quick to anger, quick to be annoyed. I hate it.I want to be able to let loose and have fun with them. I want to be carefree and not pay attention. And sometimes I do. Friday afternoons are reserved for them but the majority of the time, I’m trying so hard to juggle a dozen balls that they get the short end of the stick. It’s especially hard when Drew travels and I’m attempting to manage it all solo. I become one of those cartoons whose head steams off way more than I’d care to admit.
- Self: You guys, here’s a confession. I weigh more than I ever have in my life. It depresses me and bums me out. I know it shouldn’t. I know I need to give myself a break. I also know I need to eat healthier, meal prep, work out. But gah, it takes SO much time. TIme that I prefer to allot to one of the above priorities.But to be honest, I felt like I was doing a really good job of it earlier this year – working out almost daily, doing FWTFL, eating well – and I still didn’t see results that moved the needle. It makes you want to throw your hands up in the air and ask for someone to pass the Cheetos.Oh and there’s nothing that makes me feel more guilty than when the amazingly sweet and thoughtful people at my gym (I say that totally sincerely, they are wonderful) text me and ask if everything’s okay, “We haven’t seen you in a while.” Aw guys, I know. I miss you too. More than you know. Could you send someone to pick me up? Or cancel all my meetings?
Okay, so I know this sounds like I’m throwing myself a big pity party and I don’t want it to come across as such. First off, I am totally aware that I have SO much to be thankful for. I am incredibly blessed and truly love the life I’m living. I just wish we’d all, myself included, would chill a little more.
I also want to show being the curtain of the “how do you balance it all” lie. Like I’ve said time and time before, there is no balance. Life is a pendulum, swinging in favor of one side or another. When one thing is going well, sometimes the other is going to shit. Well, hopefully not shit but it’s like what happens to my living room when I leave Reese and Blake alone while I take a shower. Things go awry… QUICK.
Mostly this is a brain dump that’s been on my mind for a while and just came to a head in this week’s chaos.
So yeah, that’s me right now… not doing it all but doing some of it not so gracefully.