Every now and then, some sweet, precious colleague will say to me, “I don’t know how you do it all,” and for a flash of a second, I’ll feel like I’m accomplishing something extraordinary. Reality is a swift kick in the pants, however, and the statement quickly just becomes a reminder of two things: 1) I don’t do it all, and 2) there is a lot that doesn’t get done.
I don’t want to be one of those people that parades around proclaiming that my life is perfect, my kids are perfect, my business is perfect, because, let’s face it: we all know that life isn’t perfect. People who paint perfection feel like frauds to me. In blogging and in business, however, I’ve wondered what the balance needs to be: the balance of pretty projects that are blog and instagram-worthy, and the authenticity and transparency that builds trust with readers, but could also be classified as too transparent. I don’t know how much of my world to let you in to, and sometimes that holds me back from blogging and sharing. Nobody wants to see my laundry piled up in the corner, or my stack of stuff to sell on eBay in the other corner.
But there are two things I can assure you, the first being: I don’t do it all. I have a husband who is an amazing asset to our family. He changes diapers, he cooks, he works, he puts kids to bed, he gives kids baths, he entertains kids. We have been so, so, so blessed to have amazing help with our kids, and some minor household maintenance tasks. I believe in delegating, and believe in hiring people to help at things I’m not good at, especially when it comes to production layouts, accounting tasks, and customer requests.
But the second thing I need to add to all this is: there is a lot that doesn’t get done. There are some days that I don’t get enough time with my kids or my husband. We haven’t had a date night in a loooooong time, and we’re ok with that: we know that as our kids get older, the seasons will change, and we’ll find the time to do that. There are several house-maintenance tasks that need to be tackled before they become a problem: I won’t go into the number of dings that need touch-up paint around our house. There are some stacks of paper begging to be organized. My kids’ baby books are projects that will be started, and finished, when they are teenagers. And as far as work goes, I’ve turned down a lot of projects this year because I didn’t feel like they’d be worth my time investment, and I’m continuing to evaluate each project as it comes along to make sure it’s profitable, primarily in heart and spirit.
And on the days that end unproductively, and when I have those moments when I feel like I just can’t do enough, or that I’m not “earning my keep” in this life, I remind myself to count the blessings: husband, kids, roof over our heads, food on our plates, and people who love us. When I start to feel myself whine about the lack of a date night, I remember the last time he made me laugh–and he’s pretty good about his one-liners. When I look around our house at all the dings, I smile when I realize that they are there because of that cozy-coupe/little red wagon run-in, or that a little dump truck plowed into that base board. When I look at the piles of paper disorganization, I remind myself that all too soon the little ones tagging along at my heels will be gone–and I can organize then. And when I look at the unfinished baby books, I just grab my iPhone and take another picture, because I know I’ll need something to reference and cry over when I actually have time to start filling those out.
Somewhere along the way, I heard someone once say: the days are long, but the years are short.
So true. The days are SO long with three kids, the oldest of whom is barely three. There is so much this year that isn’t going to get done. But it’s what I will do, that will matter most in the long run: I will choose to savor every moment with them. I will choose to forgive myself for what doesn’t get done. I will take the time to teach my kids that life is a series of the results of our choices. And I will choose to enjoy this crazy journey we call life, family, and love.
The above photo was our first, and so far, only, attempt at family portraiture. This picture was taken because the boys happened to both be wearing pink shirts that day, and how charming would it be for me to have them hold their new baby sister while sporting their pink shirts? We begged my oldest not to bawl, as he hates performing on request, and “saying cheese” would count as a performance, in his opinion. I finally got him to smile by jumping up and down in ridiculous fashion, which is why the top photo is blurry. Our second, a much cheerier fellow, would not be separated from his darn blankie. And poor Charley looks like she’s grimacing just having to deal with them. The entire photo shoot lasted no longer than 35 seconds. But hooray for precious memories, right?