“Women can have it all!”
Who said that? And can I punch that person? What if we don’t want it all? What if we just want a little bit? I don’t need it all. I’m not good at all of it. Sometimes I want all of it to go away. Some days I don’t know what I want. Maybe I just want to know I brushed my teeth. I realize it’s a constant balance, and I have to find zen, and blah, blah, blah but I just don’t know how to do that. Something has to give, and someone, or something has to lose. The whole work/life balance thing is bullshit. There’s a kid twice my size on the other end of the seesaw and we are not balancing each other out.
When work is busy, I want to stay on top of it and fulfill all my commitments with my clients. When I am working one on one with a client, I think thoughts like “I love my job! I rock!” We all have that one thing that we know we can do and do it well and for me this is it. I am damn good at my job, not the running a business part but the being with clients part. It is the ONLY area of my life where I know that I am at my best. I don’t think I’m full of myself for saying that because I think I stink at so many other things. My job is really the only thing in my life that I can do with 100% confidence. I literally feel buzzed off the high you get from doing something you are successful. I love what I do so it can be addicting to want that high from getting something right. But as soon as I leave a busy day with a client and I come home my first thought is “Man, I suck.”
My dogs look sad and dejected. They’ve been left alone for hours and they have to pee. Sometimes it smells like they already did and yet I can’t find it. That’s gross, I know. There are dishes in the sink that are literally stuck together because of the syrup on them from the kids’ breakfast. And one of my kids, and I think I know which one (hint – it’s not the girl), thinks it’s “interesting” to pour their left over juice or chocolate milk into all of the cups or bowls that are already in the sink, some of them sadly from the night before. There is mail and school forms and bills and receipts on the kitchen island. The fridge is empty, except for some fruit that and vegetable that are now soft and clearly inedible. Nobody ate them, myself included, because I never cut them up and put them into containers after bringing them home from the grocery store, because, really, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” I panic realize we have nothing for dinner because that whole “I’ll sit down on Sunday and plan out our meals thing” only lasted 2 weeks. I’m not even going to mention what our bedrooms look like but lets just say my kids’ sheets are on an “if it’s not broken than don’t fix it” type of laundry schedule. I used to think formal living and dining rooms were a waste. Now we use every room in our house and they all get messy. I finally understand why my mom would put our nicest things in a room and then tell us not to go in it. Our living room had perfect vacuum marks and a pristine carpet. I now see that for my mom that was the ONE room in the house she could look at and feel a sense of serenity because it was clean and tidy.
It’s usually around 4:30 in the afternnon when one of my kids asks for some kind of article of clothing that necessary for that night’s sporting event or activity. Inevitably, it is either dirty, or sitting wet in the washer, possibly for more than a day. Having a large laundry room in the basement is wonderful, but it also leads to that out-of-sight out-of-mind kind of thing. If I’m lucky I’ll see my husband on the road as we pass each other while we are dropping our kids here and there. I’m fortunate to have an amazing husband. He’s hot, handy and helpful, and I feel he deserves much better than me and and a meal of grilled cheese and wine at 9 o’clock at night. The wine is just for me, it helps to take away some of the guilt from the evening. Though I inevitably feel guilty about drinking the wine, eating some more, and then having my jeans be too tight.
So then I decide to pull back. “It’s time to put my family first!”, I’ll declare to anyone that will listen. I’ll try to get all the stuff done around the house so that everyone will have food, and clean clothes, and a place to sit without dog hair. I’ll spread out clients and I’ll make lists and get organized. I’ll wake up early, I’ll exercise and I will kick ass today! But then that day comes and I find myself zoned out on my computer, looking up stupid stuff like what the inside of Taylor Swift’s Beverly home looks like, all because on that stupid trending sidebar on Facebook that I am inexplicably drawn to. Like a moth to a flame I can’t help but notice that Vogue magazine did a video with Taylor inside her home where she quickly answers 73 totally random questions. (Oh and just so you know, her decorating wasn’t at all what I had pictured – now you’ll have to waste time and google it too!) Next thing you know I’ve lost track of time and ruined my day. My family lost, my house lost, and my clients lost. I’m behind on emails, text messages and phone calls. I’ll feel like a failure and I’ll eat cookies to pour salt in the wound. I will have self-sabotaged myself and I have no idea why.
Why am I airing my dirty laundry? (Pun intended) Because we don’t talk about it enough. Or, when we do, it’s written as how to solve it or fix it. I can’t give you that advice here. What I can tell you is that everyone I know feels the same way, and I talk to a lot of women, and I’m inside a lot of their homes. This is why they hire me. They are overworked, overtired and overwhelmed. Going shopping, putting together outfits and cleaning their closets are on that list of One More Thing We Cannot Handle. They are trying, not to do it all, but just to do some of it. Nobody wants to fail. Nobody wants to be overweight. Nobody wants to be messy and disorganized. I get that we are in control of our lives, and we all have choices, but that’s just not as easy as it sounds.
So the real point of this blog post is to let you know, if you are still reading, that you are not alone. I don’t care how someone’s life may look on the outside, we all feel not good enough. We all want to do our best but feel we can’t. What we can do is thank our lucky stars for the chaos. It may drive us nuts, and it may make us want to run over our stupid “smart” phones with a monster truck, but it’s the sign of a good life. It’s a life full of busy kids, messy homes and great friends whom I rarely get to see but are there to laugh (or cry) with me when I tell them that I feel like I am losing my mind. You know that feeling you get when you vent to another women and they shake their head in agreement and you both feel bonded for life? That’s a great feeling to know that someone else is stressing over all the craziness in life. But it’s also a temporary life. Every phase is in and out before we even have a chance to stop bitching about it. We will gain weight. We will lose weight. We will wonder if we aren’t good enough. We will have good days and we will have horrible days. We will want to vent and complain. We will feel guilty for complaining because we know there is always someone that has it worse. We will find the courage to let go of guilt. We will decide what part of “ALL” we want. We will recognize the need to outsource the things we cannot do, the extra’s on that list of ALL that are in the need-to-but-don’t-want-to category. And if we are fortunate enough we get to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.
*Insider Tip – Buy the Lay-N-Go
I can organize other people really well because it’s not my stuff. With my own stuff I over think it and become paralyzed. Have you every just wanted to scoop everything up and put it away to deal with it later? This will let you do that. Better yet it will let your kids do that too. Click the picture for a short video tutorial. This thing is awesome. And of course it was invented by a woman!
I have one that I use for my makeup and I love it. I actually enjoy finding the right light to put on makeup so I often put it on in different areas of the house. Sometimes I sit on the floor, sometimes I’m by a window in the kitchen. I don’t want to put everything back in a specific spot. I want to grab and go. I love it.
If you and your significant other are lucky (or crazy) enough to make it through raising children together, and still kind of like each other, you can eventually use it for a romantic picnic.
Now if only we could magically throw in our worries, insecurities, anxieties and too-skinny skinny jeans in there. We could cinch it up and never even have to open it up ever again! Or maybe open it up to share it with our friends so that we all feel better.
Thanks for reading!