The question friends ask me most often is how I do it all. Wife, mother, homemaker, designer, friend? It’s a question that embarrasses me 100% of the time, and makes me laugh out loud 99% of the time. I had no idea I was sending out some kind of a superwoman vibe. The truth is, I don’t do it all. I can’t do it all. The truth is, no-one can do it all. You know what we do? We prioritise. My life is all about choices and prioritising towards what is most important to me.
I actually spend a lot of my time feeling guilty. Sure on any given day the house is (relatively) clean, I’ve played with kids (and cuddled the heck out of them!), I’ve filled orders & grown a business, talked to my mom, spent quality time with hubby and cooked dinner… but (and it’s a big but) a lot of things get left out.
Here is how I’ve had to prioritise my life recently (normally 2 and 3 are switched):
- My business
- Everything else (including chill out time for me)
For me it’s all about choices. I choose to suck at being a housewife so I can do both my business stuff & look after the kids properly. Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m as good a friend as I could be because I have to choose to work that day. I could choose to be better at housework, but then my business would suffer. Thats life. You can’t do it all. You choose. For example, I suck at laundry. No I’m not showing fake modesty. I really truly honest to God, suck at laundry. Every morning my husband asks me where he can find some clothing for work. It’s not because he’s lazy, it’s because the poor guy simply can’t find a clean shirt. Every night is a desperate hunt for pajamas for the kids. I try, but I never catch up with the load, and if given the choice, I will prioritise towards something else that’s more important to me than Laundry.
But I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to help me get through my work load.
- I prioritise. Simply put, I channel time to what is important to me and neglect what isn’t. I’m not proud of that, it’s just the reality. We’ve already establish that I’m no good at housekeeping, so lets move on!
- I am very organised. I have long to-do lists for everything, and i’ll make a spreadsheet for anything. I file everything, and everything has a place. I have special drawers for pending orders, shipping supplies, half done projects etc etc. I do this so that I can be more efficient, and also because I have kids and need to protect my sewing things from them, and protect them from the dangers of playing with sewing equipment.
- My kids are on a schedule. No I’m not one of those crazy people who has their kids on such a tight schedule that the poor child is starving but isn’t fed because “it isn’t snack time”. But, I have worked very hard to give them a good day time routine, which means predictabilty for all three of us. They have their needs and wants met, and I also get some time for me.
- My kids have play time on their own. Buddy is obviously too young for this, but something I recommend to all my friends is having a designated time for their toddler to play on their own in their room. Currently Bunny will play alone in her room for 45 – 60 mins every morning. It’s wonderful for me, because it gives me time to work on my business, and do chores, but it’s also wonderful for her, because she learns discipline and concentration skills. Now when I tell her it’s time for “room time” she yells “yay!! room! room!!”.
- I run don’t walk. When I have free time to work, I run! (perhaps why I keep breaking toes? I kid!) So at 9:30 when Bunny has her play time, I run to my sewing studio & I get cracking, I work solidly for an hour, and then at 1pm when she and Buddy go down for their afternoon naps (2.5hrs) I once again, run to my study & get working. While they’re awake I balance my time between playing with them & doing my housework and other chores like dinner. Also, I know I’m naturally gifted at working fast. I don’t like people who constantly tell you what they’re good at, but that’s one thing I feel like I am really good at. I work really fast.
- My husband picks up the slack. A lot. I would not, and I repeat I would not be able to continue with my clothing line if it wasn’t for Chris. He encouraged me to do it to begin with, helps with my housework, keeps the kids away from me when I’m under the pump, doesn’t mind if I have to work at night sometimes, supports me through all my breakdowns and panic attacks, and allowed me to take over 2 rooms of the house for my sewing junk. Without his support I couldn’t do anything. end of story.
It’s tempting to look at someone elses life from the outside and think they all have it together. Especially when you just read their blog. But really, no-one actually has it all together!
So don’t envy me, and please don’t think I’m some sort of a hero. I’m a normal girl, who’s just figured out she can’t do it all… and that’s okay.