It never fails. Whether I’m at a family gathering, out with friends or even just talking to strangers in the doctor’s office, when the topic turns to our busy lives, someone says it.
“I just don’t know how you do it all.”
Sometimes it’s said with admiration. Sometimes it’s said with disdain. More often than not, it’s said with a fair amount of disbelief (and more than a little pity). And no matter what the situation, I’m supposed to shrug my shoulders, smile sheepishly and say, “Well, you know. I manage.”
But you know what? The truth is, I don’t. I don’t do it all. It’s simply not humanly possible. And what I do do? Is never enough. In fact, on most days, I’m behind before my alarm even goes off.
I focus on the basics. Things like keeping Tori clean and fed. Making sure the animals don’t starve to death or die of dehydration. Making sure we all have (semi) clean clothes to wear and dishes to eat with. Making brilliant ideas happen between the hours of 9 and 5—even if I’ve only had four hours of sleep. And, of course, making sure my family knows that they’re appreciated and loved (even when I’m wishing they’d just disappear for an hour or two).
But you know what slides?
Things like saving the earth. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s a landfill with my name on it. I rarely recycle, still use the plastic bags at the grocery store and feed my family off paper plates more often than not. And that’s just for starters.
Also, housework. As I sit here writing, I’m staring at no less than four loads of laundry waiting to be folded. I just spent an hour and a half cleaning my kitchen—and there’s still a half a load of dishes that needs to go in the dishwasher. And our carpet? Is polka dotted with black fur balls in more places than I care to admit.
My relationship. Don’t get me wrong. Bri and I are doing fine. But at the end of a long day of dealing with political shenanigans at work, tantrums at home and cleaning puke off the carpet (damn cats), I feel anything but sexy. That kind of thing takes its toll after a while…
Myself. I haven’t run in…weeks. This morning, I had to take a Q-tip to my foundation container in order to get the last smidges out. And my eyebrows? Look more like Bert’s (from Sesame Street) than I care to admit. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with the level of maintenance I need to look my best.
So, please. When you see me? Don’t ask me how I do it all. And if you do, be prepared to hear the ugly truth. I just don’t have the energy to play the stoic super mom anymore.
Does anybody out there feel like they actually “do it all?” And if you do, can you please tell me how you do it? I could use some pointers.