Sunday, October 09, 2011

How I do it

Over the past several weeks, I have had several people ask me how I do it all. This question is usually asked by a youngish person with no kids/husband/job. My pat answer for them is "I don't know. I just do."

Perhaps the more truthful answer is, "I don't."

Every semester I struggle to balance the stuff competing for my time and attention. By definition, when you are a "full-time" something (in my case, student), you are a "part-time" something else (in my case, mother, wife, friend and housekeeper). Try as I might, there are not enough hours in the day or brain cells in my head to do it all. What usually suffers for me is the housework, time spent with Ry, and sleep. 

The idea that you can do it all is a bill of goods.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or has a great staff.

For some reason though, we all pretend like we can. I'll neglect the housework all week, only to scramble around for 2 hours before I have friends over, so they don't see the layer of cat hair and cheerios on my kitchen floor. I'll post the pictures of fun times with my kiddos on the blog and facebook without sharing the stories about how Cheeky Monkey clings to me and cries when I make dinner sometimes because he just wants to touch me.

And I'll tell my classmates and friends that I just getter done even when I'm wracked with guilt about the fact that my dishes are piling up in the sink, my kids just spent 9 hours at daycare, and my dear husband gets to see me for long enough to help put the kids to bed before I'm off for a study session.

Still, I'm not writing this to throw myself a pity party. I chose to go back to school with two young children. I'm excited about the path I've chosen. Getting a break from my kids 3 days a week makes me a better mom. I just think we should all stop trying to project the image that we're the kind of pulled-together woman advertisements sell us, invite our friends over, and hope they see the humor in it when their kids eat a 3-day-old  raisin off the floor.

I do it ... by not doing it all, all the time.


Becky said...

Frankly, reading this is such a relief. I always feel like a slacker in comparison to you, since I barely manage grad school, a husband, and two cats. (And my little apartment is STILL a disaster area about half the time.)

You can always tell the parents of young children in our department because they fall asleep during meetings and talks! Clearly something has to give and that thing often seems to be sleep. I guess that's why they tell you to wait until tenure to have kids - no one will dare point out when you fall asleep. (Or even if they did, hey, who cares? You have tenure!)

Cathy said...

Prioritization is crucial in both nursing and life. Something's gotta give and I agree that housework should be the first

Mom said...

Please don't try to do it all. In ten years from now, no one will remember if your house was clean or not. They will remember the sweet time they had with your family and the way you shared them. They will remember the sweet laughs, giggles, songs all the good stuff. You are doing a wonderful job. You are on the end of a long journey. It won't be long now. Just hang in.

Jason said...

No way at all to do it all, and all you can do is the best that you can. Even when Morgan is in full show mode (right now) and I get to see her for twenty minutes when I get home and then maybe an hour when she gets home, I love that she's doing shows and balancing that with being a full-time mom. I also love that I get my own time with Magnolia :)

G'pa said...

You are a "supermom" because you already know the secret of doing the best you can with a focus on teaching your boys discipline and respect.

ldupbeat said...

I used to think that your mom, my sister, did it all and wondered how she did it. Who knows, perhaps some people have thought this of me as well LOL. Your right on, no one does it all unless they have staff to help them :)And Theresa is correct, I've never heard an elderly person say, "Gee, I wish I had kept a cleaner house." LOL Have a wonderful week and enjoy your chaos, once your kids are grown, there'll be times you want it back.

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