We all realistically know that you can’t have it all. Well, you CAN have it all, just not all at the same time. My problem is not that I can’t have it all. My problem is that I can’t do it all.
There are simply not enough hours in the day.
I wake up between 6:15 – 6:30 every morning and if I’m lucky I’ll get a few minutes to pop open my email just to see if there is anything that can’t wait another hour. There usually isn’t. Except when there is and then I end up waking the kids late because I needed to answer an email or apply for a job or tweet out something really important.
The rest of my day is spent cooking, cleaning, shopping, helping with homework, laundry, and letting the dogs in and out of the house at least a dozen times. I haven’t had time to sit and blog in almost 3 days. Life has gotten in the way.
I am the 99% of Moms who aren’t managing to make it look easy. I’m no Gwyneth Paltrow. I don’t wake up at 5 and meet my personal trainer at the gym, then come home and serve my children a hot breakfast before I drive them to school. (Not sure where the shower, hair and makeup come in, but that gets done sometimes during the morning routine.) If I were part of the 1%, I would then meet with my nutritionist, grocery shop at Whole Foods, come home and spend the day on conference calls and blogging, managing to crank out a few award-winning blog posts as well as 2 or 3 chapters of the book I received a hefty advance for.
If I was the 1%, I would finish all the above in time for my children to come home from school so I could sit and help them with their homework. I would then make a gourmet meal, pop open a bottle of wine and we’d all eat as a family. After dinner (the dirty dishes miraculously disappearing) the kids would be bathed and crawl into freshly washed sheets (of course the beds are professionally made) and we’d lay in bed and read educational books and tell stories and everyone would kiss each other goodnight and the lights would be out by 8pm.
It I was the 1% I would then pour myself another glass of wine as I filled the tub with bubbles and turn on soft music and relax from my super hard day. After my luxurious bubble bath, I would get into bed with a great book, read for an hour and then drift off to dreamland so I could awake at 5am and do it all again. See? It’s easy.
In 1% Land there is never garbage to be taken out, floors to sweep, poo to scoop up, or laundry to do. There are never screaming, whining children or sibling rivalry or failing grades. There are only freshly baked cookies and homegrown vegetables and Martha-Stewart-like holidays.
I need to buy more time. Maybe I can use airline mileage points. Because if I had an extra few hours in the day, maybe I could manage to go to the gym and write a book and snuggle with my children. I’m thinking I would have time to garden and read and be philanthropic. Surely I would be able to do it all if only I had a few more hours in the day. Of course I could.
Of course I couldn’t.
I’ll never be that Mom that makes it look easy. It’s NOT easy. And I’m pretty sure 99% of Moms will tell you so. And you know that 1% of Moms who DO make it look easy?
Those Moms are skinny because they are in a constant state of stress that you’ll find out they aren’t perfect.
Those Moms are stressed because they’ve created this perfect image that they can’t possibly live up to.
Those Moms can’t keep up the perfect picture because every now and then they just want to crawl into bed in the middle of the day with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
Those Moms need Ben & Jerry’s because they are starving after doing lunch with the girls and only ordering a plate of lettuce leaves and lemon water.
Those Moms have their kids in ballet and piano and soccer because they have no idea what to talk to them about if they were actually hanging out at home.
Those Moms are terrified their husbands will find younger women.
Those Moms are terrified that their kids will grow up hating them.
Those Moms are terrified that the rest of us will find out they really can’t do it all.
So where does that leave us? 100% of Moms know that they CAN’T DO IT ALL!
And it’s okay.