It’s a little strange when people ask me: “How do you do it all?” I’m not sure whether to take this as a compliment on my social media skills. (“Gee – I must be doing a really good job at posting the glamorous side of life in Miami.”) OR, if I should take this as a serious question from a person who REALLY is trying to figure out the greatest mystery in life. (“How do I attain balance in my life?”) In either case, I’m not quite sure how to answer this question.
My thought is: if you are asking this question, then chances are you are doing much more than me.
Here’s the little secret about people who appear to be doing it all: they are NOT doing it all.
Here’s the things I know I’m REALLY good at:
- I’m good at saying no.
- I’m good at not hyper-scheduling myself (or my kids).
- I’m good at prioritizing.
- NOT DOING IT ALL <– I’m REALLY good at NOT doing it all. (And that is PRECISELY why you think I am good at doing it all.)
You see… the reason why I come off as someone who does it all is because I have a peaceful life. It is that peace that makes people think that I do it all. But, I have that peace in my life BECAUSE I don’t do it all.
Are you seeing where I’m going with this?
This post isn’t about how lovely and pretty and peaceful my life is. I’m not really into that sort of thing. I want you to try to see that this ‘balance’ thing… it’s NOT about doing it all… it’s about having peace… whatever that means to you.
I want to get real here because I think there is a very big misunderstanding about people who ‘do it all’. I’m going to illuminate my points with photos here to help you understand what’s really going on:
Last week, when I was at the park reading in the garden with my daughter at 3:30pm in the afternoon…
Well – behind me was my 2.75 year old son, running around like a wild banshee, trying to kill all the butterflies… and we had to skedaddle before he ran into the street to get run-over by a car.
And – yes I have the luxury of picking up my daughter from school at 3pm or 4pm on some days. It doesn’t mean I get to only work 20 hours (tho I wish!) It just means that I get to pick which 40-50 hours I work. (And some times that’s at 11pm at night. Tho, I try not to make a habit of that.)
So what was life like after this beautiful 2 minutes in the park?
A mad dash home to do homework, stop the kids from fighting, bathe them, feed them, put them in bed 10 times, and resume working. Same ol’ same ol’. A lot of you do this.
So – what didn’t get done?
- I didn’t put on makeup that day. (I probably didn’t do my hair.)
- I didn’t get any exercise done.
- I didn’t get enough sleep.
- I didn’t pick up my contacts from the eye doctors (and kept reusing the dailies for several days.)
- I didn’t make dinner. (Thank you to my husband for that.)
- I didn’t dust the furniture or clean the kitchen floor.
- I didn’t read the book I’m trying to get through.
- I didn’t watch TV.
- I didn’t blog.
- I didn’t go to any networking events.
- I didn’t hand-make Valentines with my kids.
On that note… the Valentines…
Yesterday, I was off to speak at an ABC meeting here in South Florida… ta-da! the selfie!
This looks fun, right?
I’m going to speak at wedding industry meeting!
It’s sunny and warm in Florida!
YAY! I have makeup on!
Gonna go get my networking on!
Gonna go spread some business-planning-magic on everyone!
Alas… being gone from the house from 5:30-8:30, a lot did NOT get done:
- I did not feed the kids.
- I did not do all that bedtime stuff.
- I did not finish the copy I was writing for our Sage Wedding Pros website update.
- I did not send my client that contract yesterday.
- I did not volunteer for the field trip.
- I didn’t review homework.
- I did not contribute anything to the school’s auction.
- I did not make cupcakes for Lucas’s Valentine celebration at school.
- I did not hand-make Valentines with either of my kids. (My husband went to the CVS at 7pm and assembled them from a kit himself.) PEOPLE! I was a stationery designer! This is crazy.
A lot did NOT get done.
Here’s another thing… I have a REALLY good support system. Many of you will not have a husband who will assemble Valentine cards for your 2 year old. PLEASE – for the love of all that is good – PLEASE do not have this expectation of your spouse. SUPPORT comes in all shapes, sizes, and directions. (It’s not fair to expect these things of our spouses.) Find ways he can support you and love him/her for that.
Some other ways that people support me in trying to ‘do it all’ with my kids… teachers! (god bless all the teachers everywhere!) My kids are in school from 8-3. My parents… but before they moved to Miami, it was babysitters. It’s after school activities that I don’t have to drive my kids to. It’s friends who will pick up my kid if I scheduled a meeting on the wrong day. It’s the teachers… did I mention that school is AWESOME!?!?!?!
That stuff about it taking a village… that’s no joke.
Support is SUPER-DUPER important… you HAVE to have a team of people who can help you. It can be a friend, a neighbor, an employee, a babysitter, a parent, a spouse. If you want to not do it all… you need to have support.
SO… my rules for the day…
- STOP doing it all.
- Get yourself some support!
I have a few more thoughts on peace, balance, and doing it all… tomorrow.