Said a crazed Jesse Spano, hopped up on caffeine pills, on my favorite episode of Saved By The Bell. I get it now – how on earth could she have time to join a girl band AND keep up with her studies? It’s just not possible, women can’t do it all. I believe a much wiser woman has said this more eloquently than, say, Jesse Spano but I haven’t had the time to read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In so I am going with what I know.
Crazed is how I would describe myself these days. I run from one place to another to another, always late and always frazzled, and I only have one child! One child, but many full-time jobs it feels like (day job, Cribsters, mother, wife, etc).
I look at my friend Michelle – she has three kids, a full time job in the city and she comes home and cooks dinner for her family. That’s right, she cooks dinner for her family. Way to make the rest of us look bad, MICHELLE. I have one child, work from home two days a week and dinner is this thing I like to pull out of the freezer and microwave. Michelle probably showered and dressed fashionably this morning and I’m still in my pajamas from yesterday (it’s 11pm so it makes sense to stay in them one more night).
So I asked Michelle how she does it all, and here is what she said:
“If I were trying to impress, I would say that I am extremely organized and never stop moving. If I were honest, I would point out that there is a lot that I do drop. I don’t work out AT ALL, my house only gets cleaned by the housekeeper every other week (and then is back to a disaster an hour later). I still have not ordered the blinds for the living room that I have had on my to do list for three years, I haven’t put away the kids clothes that they have grown out of in the past year, my friend asked me to write a blog that I still have not gotten to, I am late on my Mothers of Multiples Club responsibilities EVERY month. Still, this level of inadequacy takes a lot of help. The internet pays my bills, does 95% of my shopping (including my grocery shopping) and tells me how to raise my children. I have a full time Nanny who gets the kids out to play dates, the library, playground, etc. while I’m at work. My in-laws are nearby and are a godsend — taking the children to classes, offering to babysit for date nights, making dinner for us at least twice a month on average. My mother is further away but she comes to our house every four to six weeks and does our laundry and makes us dinner. It is a HUGE treat to have dinner on the table waiting for you when you get home from work and a pile of freshly laundered clothes on your bed, even if it is only once every six weeks. There are so many women who do it much better than I do without this level of support — HOW?
Cooking for my family would seem a lot less impressive if you knew what I cooked, sometimes I think my family would prefer cereal to my “home cooked” meals. I prepare everything the night before, after the kids go down or in the morning before the kids get up. I do a lot of crock pot meals or food that our Nanny can just pop in the oven before I get home. Fresh Direct meals and Trader Joes frozen sides are a staple.
Darcy moved and redid her whole house (and continued to go to the gym) — I couldn’t even imagine being able to do that with kids. You found a new job, started a child care website and you and John still seem to have fun and make time for your many, many friends. Whenever I think of what other moms are able to do, that I get overwhelmed just thinking about doing, I like to remind myself that there is SO much that they are not getting done just like me. Either that or they are hooked on caffeine pills.”
And there you have it. Michelle doesn’t do it all, she can’t, no one can! I must say it makes me feel a little bit better to know that I am not alone in my feelings of inadequacy. Hopefully this blog post has had the same effect on you.