I’ve always loved when someone said that about me. I’ve had ‘You must be Superwoman’ a lot since having my second child and I even felt a little bit like her at times but as my youngest starts school and a very frantic chapter comes to a close for me I am realising it’s perhaps not the best message, no matter where you stand.
I don’t know how you do it can mean so many things, I just finished listening to Amy Poehler’s ‘Yes Please’ for the hundredth time in which she dedicates a chapter to this very subject. Depending on the person it could mean they’re impressed by what you get done or that they’re judging you for your priorities. It could also be from a place of feeling very inadequate, I’ve often looked at others and thought ‘I’m not doing enough’ or generally envied their lifestyle and wondered how they managed to fit it all in when I’m home juggling blogging and family between episodes of The Vampire Diaries.
Social media hasn’t made this any easier, now we get to see beautifully put together snapshots of everyone elses perfect lives on our phones from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed. We’re surrounded by multi-tasking women, having it all and having fun doing it. Is it real? Can it be? I know that for me it’s definitely not. I don’t do it all, I couldn’t! I have help in every aspect of my life and without that help I wouldn’t be able to do nearly as much.
My Mum has always been readily available for babysitting so that I can spend time alone with my husband, whether it be a night or a week it’s a luxury I will be forever grateful for. In turn my husband watches the kids when I spend the occasional evening with my friends.. he’s not QUITE so forthcoming when I’m suffering the following morning but hey, you can’t have it all! When you have kids it’s easy to fall in to thinking that your life is now 100% about them but you are still you and taking time out to remind yourself who you are without them doesn’t make you a terrible person! This is the area for which I’ve felt the most judgement over the years, not everyone is on board with experiencing life without your kids present but I think it makes me a better parent and if you don’t, don’t do it. Simples.
This is something I think people assume is all me, I’m the woman and so I ‘keep the house’, right? WRONG! When people remark ‘I don’t know how yo do it all’ I’m certain they think I spend 30 hours a week on housework before my other stuff but that is absolutely not the case. My husband does more than his fair share of cleaning, bathes Milo, walks the dog, washes, irons.. the only thing he doesn’t really do is cook. That’s not to say I don’t pitch in but if I was doing it all I’d have considerably less time. I actually became a bit obsessive about housework after watching Clutterbug on YouTube, if you’re a bit of a slob like me I’d highly recommend you check her out! Hugely motivating when it comes to decluttering and generally getting shit done that you’d usually put off.
Most of the comments surrounding this topic stem from my work commitments and the volume of content I post online. This past year I scaled WAY back on YouTube and blogging because I wanted to enjoy my last year with Milo before he started full time school (TOMORROW!!!!) but previously I had 5 videos and 7 blog posts going up every single week on top of a part time (and at one point full time) job and extra freelance work. When questioned about how I fit it all in my answer was usually that I didn’t do anything else. This is my job but it’s also my hobby, I wasn’t watching much TV (this was pre-Netflix) and I didn’t really go out, every spare moment I had was spent filming, editing, writing.. that’s how I did it. Looking back it was too much and my family life was suffering. I spent all evenings and weekends working, I didn’t even take a break when I had Milo.. I don’t think I had more than a few days off, it was a bit crazy. I went back to work 4 days a week and continued as I was until I decided to reduce my hours last year. I was also able to dedicate so much time to it because Lee is so supportive and hands on at home. He was looking after the kids while I filmed, he was looking after the house while I edited.. I couldn’t have done it without him.
In short, I don’t do it all and I don’t think anybody does. We see beautiful pictures of bloggers on location.. they didn’t do all that, they at very least had someone behind the camera and at most an entire team of people! Some people are working evenings and weekends so they can stay home with their kids, you might think they’re being ‘kept’ by their husbands but they could be earning more than he is! You have no idea what goes on behind the scenes in anyone else life. I am the first to say my kids drive me nuts, my marriage isn’t perfect (who’s is??) and my house is rarely tidy but I don’t post those moments online. We only post the good stuff and that leads to the Superwoman perception. Do yo have any idea how many failed family photos I took before I got this one???
None of us are perfect, don’t judge anyones lives based on social media! It might look like someone has an idyllic life but as soon as they put down the camera or step out from in front of it they’re working overtime to put that post of video together in their pyjamas.