Scrolling past hundreds of Pinterest pins on home organisation, parenting methods and marketing skills. How do we get the perfect balance? How do we manage the house, parenting and work all at the same time? I have pinterest pins with tips on how I could organise the house better, improve my business skills, make my grass greener in the like. I never feel like I am nailing any of them.
It occured to me to write a post on this subject after many conversations with friends about trying to stay on top of things without feeling like your drowning. Mummy guilt is a powerful thing and I think we are so ever torn about how to balance the 10 thousand item to do list in our chaotic lives. Mummy guilt pulls us in all directions telling us we need to be here, need to be there, need to do this, need to be - more.
I dont think there is one soul on the planet who feels like they are. Who ever feels like they are ticking all the boxes on their to do lists? Women and Men alike. Whether you are parenting little kids or big kids, 1 or 10. Working or not. Every single one of you feel like your just keeping your head above water, while the mum next door with 2.5 kids has her total shit together. Not true. She is looking across the grass at the mum with 5 kids thinking the very same thing.
A mother that has all the help she needs, a cleaner, chef chauffeur will probably still guilt herself into thinking she should be doing more even though thats what their hired for - to help.
There are days I feel productive and their are f*** it days where I admit defeat and not one damn thing is going to get done. I beg to close my eyes for a new day to start. No two families are the same and has different challenges to overcome. Our families are also forever growing and evolving, so with old and new challenges coming and going so does our commitments, schedules and work/life balance. So in the power of support of knowledge I want to share what this week looks to me. I run my own photography business from home, I have a 10 month old and a 6 year old. So I totally acknowledge my problems may be very different to someone else's. I do not balance. I am not a supermum, sometimes there are days I lose my shit so bad that I resent being a mum at all. Other days I rock being a mum, typically on days I am a sucky house wife. Some days my kids need me so bad I provide poor service to a client. I get days where I am so determined to give my business some love that I have to be a sucky house wife and a sucky parent and so be it.
After a busy weekend, I am pulled in all directions. The house is a bomb. I walk the hallways and living areas stepping around toys, clothes and bits of food trickling through out the house from my 10mth olds new crawling adventures. I have 50 emails waiting for me a galleries I need to sort. I chose the house. My husband needs clean uniforms for the week and I feel like I cannot breathe in my house. By the end of the day the house is spotless.
The kitchen is a bomb again. I have dishes piled up at the sink because you know, stacking them in the dishwasher is a rediculously hard task. I have washing piled up on the table ready for folding. The kids and I need to sort some medical appointments and my 6 yr old is on holidays and wants to catch up with friends. So I abandon the house at 9 am, run between 3 different medical appointments and have a playdate. I do not get home until 6 30 pm. My 6 yr old is happy, my 10 mth old and husband is not. We have a late dinner and a late bed time.
Baby is tired from the day before. He is cranky, I did not sleep well after tossing and turning most of the night. My neck and back kills and I barely can keep my eyes open. Today is a write off and I fall asleep on the couch. Surrounded by the bliss of toy, clothes, tissues and dish clutter. Later in the evening I manage to respond to some emails and hubby cooked dinner.
Today I am determine to provide an optimum client experience. I respond to messages instantly. I smash through orders and setting up client galleries. I even manage to update a few things on my website and run the dishwasher thanks to the baby having a big day sleep. I ignore the 4 loads of washing on the table. I try to attempt writing some blog posts however many nappy change and head bump interruptions from my 10 mth old I feel like Ive pushed my luck in the work department and focus my attention in him.
I would really like to catch up with some friends. The kids are sick so thats a no no and I really hope they do not feel like I am neglecting. I ponder at when will I ever get the chance to socialise and maintain my friendships. I very reluctantly tend to tedious house duties and chip away at that washing pile. As I check my emails i sigh at the lack of enquiries coming after a month of sickness and not enough marketing, I have now frustratingly fallen below my quota for the month.
Always first in best dressed, my husband and I coordinate our work commitments and tag team being home with the kids. We do a breakfast or brunch together at our favourite cafe before doing our grocery shopping for the week ahead.
So thats this week for me and not every week is the same. I think the only secret I really have to share is learn to prioritise. Whats important and needs doing right now? I will never have enough hours in the day. Heck before I was a parent I still struggled to find time for somethings (idiot). If something needs to be done, make time for it. If you have to be a sucky business person because your kids miss spending time with you or your in your third round of gastro in the household. Write an email, apologise that you suck but you will deliver as soon as you can. If you really really need to edit that gallery and your kids won't leave you alone. Put netflix on repeat and do what you gotta do. You can be an attentive parent another day.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself.