“I don’t know how you do it!” That’s a phrase I’ve heard a lot over the last few years, and let me tell you, I don’t know either. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a wife and mother to three kids ages three, two, and almost seven months (yes, we DO know where babies come from). In addition to those two roles, I’m also a teacher, and up until very recently, I was trying my hand at building two home-based businesses. Crazy, right? I know.
So now that you know what exactly was eliciting the above exclamation from people, please allow me to respond. For a while my answer has been, “I don’t know,” or “I just do.” For a long time I have just let that be the answer, because secretly I kind of like the question and the shocked looks I get – a mix of terror and awe. Those looks make me feel powerful and dare I admit… better than. But let’s be REAL (I’m very honest… the sooner you realize that the sooner we can be friends)… I don’t do it all and I definitely don’t do it all well. Not even close.
When I was younger, my mom was awesome about making sure I didn’t spread myself too thin. I tried different sports and activities one season at a time – not all at once. When I finally committed to dance lessons for the long haul she told me that besides being an excellent student, studying dance was my job as long as I chose to do it. I was only allowed to get a job in the summers when school was out. Even when I went to college and started working at a local coffee shop, she wasn’t super happy because she was afraid it would be too much and my grades would slip. I didn’t understand her reasoning then, so somewhere along the line I got caught up in this idea of doing it all… working this job and that. Joining clubs A, B, & C. Volunteering here and there. It became a habit, the way it was. It really wasn’t a problem until I became a mom… and still tried to do everything I had always done.
Think about pizza dough for a minute (wait… now I’m hungry). What happens when you stretch it too far? You get holes and once you’ve made those holes, they are really hard to repair. My life has basically become like pizza dough – I’ve been stretching myself so thin that there are holes that need mending. Which brings me to the point of this whole essay:
I DON’T WANT TO DO IT ALL.
I am done. Seriously. I am done with the questions, and the shock, and the disbelief. I am done trying to prove myself by filling my plate until everything falls off. I’m done comparing myself to all the other woman I know who “do it all.” Are they even really happy? Not like butterflies and rainbows happy but truly content. Do they feel real joy in their lives? Do they have peace in their hearts? For a long time, I have not, so I’m done. I’m taking time to clear my plate and simplify, and hopefully in the near future once we’ve gotten back to basics, the question will become “why don’t you do more?”
But God help whoever has the courage to actually ask that question out loud…