If you follow me in any of my social media outlets (facebook and instagram are definitely my favourite) you know that I’m a mamma… I have three beautiful kids ranging from age 6 years to 7 months. We are, as they say, in the thick of it. They’re young, needy, loud, lovely, moody, happy, excited and everything else in between. My husband works full-time, thankfully close by, but sometimes long hours and extra shifts. We have a cat. We have a home. I have a business.
All that to say, I am grateful. Grateful and busy. And the question I get asked a lot is “how do you do it all?” and it’s usually followed by “wow you must be like supermom”. Here’s the answer, “I don’t, and I’m not”.
Nope. Not even close. You know that saying, “you’re not a good husband unless your wife says you are?” Well that’s kinda the opposite but true around here. Please don’t get me wrong, I know my husband loves me and thinks I’m a good wife. If my husband hears someone say that, he just kinda rolls his eyes. He knows. I know, but often people just chose to see what they want, not the reality. Often when they’re saying it, you can hear the self questioning… “look what she’s doing, i’m not doing that.” But I don’t get it all done and I’m no super mom. I’m pretty lax when it comes to regular major cleaning. I actually ENJOY keeping my kitchen clean, partly because it’s 130% necessary with a cake business and a family, and partly because it’s the most awarding thing to clean since it looks lovely and shiny when it’s done. But the rest of it? I vacuum when necessary, I tidy up only when the kids go to bed and I avoid anything major unless it’s falling on my head. This mostly drives my poor husband mad but he definitely helps out in a million areas to keep us going.
I’ve talked to lots of small business owners, mostly mom’s and we all throw around the same question, “How do you balance it?” I think the answer most of the time is, “I don’t”. One day I do nothing extra for my kids but feed them and hug them before bed, while throwing cakes in the oven and try to get all the cookies done so they dry by tomorrow… and other days I neglect all my emails and run behind on contracts because my kids need me. I think the balance is more 100% one day and 100% the next, to two different things. But here’s my confession… I probably don’t have enough days of 100% kids and family. I’m a little consumed by all the things I need to do, sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough to be a mom. I can list a million reasons why I need to always keep my head in the game and just “finish this last email”, but mostly it’s because I’m a selfish person and still desire to do my thing, rather than give my kids all of me. This isn’t meant to be a self-flagellant, self-pity sort of thing, but reality. I am running a business, so 9/10 I’ll need to do something business-ey during my day, but when I’m with the kids, I need to be WITH the kids.
So no, I don’t get it all done, my floors are often spot cleaned and baby wipes are my best weapon against stains. I work hard but I don’t play as hard as I should. I’m a mom with three awesome kids, but that’s also because I have an amazing husband who supports me. When I’m busy with a full week of orders, there’s nothing I can’t accomplish with a good list, but when I’m not there’s nothing pending I can accomplish nothing but sitting on the couch watching home-reno shows. I remember seeing this poster on pinterest (ok fine, that’s also another way I spend my “nothing” days), “STOP the glorification of busy”. Oh how true. I don’t want to glorify it. When I really think about this phrase, it’s not saying that it’s wrong to BE busy, but it’s wrong to glorify it. Nothing is closer to the truth than that.
Be encouraged. There’s no super-mom, there’s no being everything to everyone at all times. So when someone gives you that incredulous look and smiles and asks you how you do it all, be honest. Better yet, tell them you just finished cleaning the bathroom with a wet-wipe. They’ll either lock eyes and recognize a fellow survivor or laugh not believing you. Either way, you’re telling the truth and letting them know that it’s ok. It’s ok to be just enough for the day.
As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.” The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” Luke 10: 38-42