My mom friends and I were talking the other day. Let’s be clear – “talking” means that we maybe get four words out in between one of our kids feeling an urgent need for something at that very second. But in the attempts to chat, we started talking about how we fit everything in.
I began telling them my “brag” story of Labor Day weekend. My son and I rose early and were in the kitchen making soup by 8:30 am. Simultaneously, I had music on in the background because I was practicing for a group fitness class I was teaching later that morning. To add onto this, I also thought it was the perfect time to completely organize my fridge and pantry.
As I was telling this story, one of my friends started laughing. Not the reaction I had foreseen since I had thought it was one of my supermom moments. Shouldn’t she be applauding me instead?
She proceeded to ask something so simple yet so difficult: “Why?”
I paused. I then reflected on how the morning had turned into pure chaos once I realized I had clearly bitten off too much. The result was me rushing around to get the kids ready and out the door so I could make it to my class on time. I left a half-organized kitchen and a sink filled with the proof I had, in fact, made soup.
Instead of a brag story of how I “did it all,” it really was a story of what not to do. As I paused and reflected on that, my friends and I all stared laughing. We all know that we can rush around like crazy people in attempts to check off every imaginary mom box and expectation we build up in our own heads. We can multi task like no other.
But, at the end of the day, “doing it all” is a total myth.
Something always has to give. In my recent experience, what “gave” was having a clean kitchen and being a calm mom. I could not check those two off my list on that particular day.
I cannot offer a solution to this problem but I can offer this – you can feel like you are doing it all if you take small bites. I schedule myself to take a 45-minute lunch once a month in order to get a manicure. On those days, I truly feel like I am conquering it all because it is manageable. I love the feeling of fitting in something extra like that once in awhile in order to feel like I am put together. Maybe it’s being a stay at home mom who lets the baby nap in the stroller sometimes in order to get a run in. Doing it all is truly a myth. But balancing life can be done, if we set ourselves up for success.
If you are a mom who is doing it all, please share with us! But if you are a mom who struggles with it like I do, I’d love to commiserate with you here!