Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Why I'm Not In Awe of People Who "Do It All"

Years ago, I remember being absolutely entranced by a mom blogger whose blog was a collection of homemaking tips, family fun ideas, and gorgeous interior shots of her house.  She would bake and create amazing crafts and home projects while her children napped.  But she had six children, which often left me wondering two things:  were they ever actually all asleep at the same time?  And also:  HOW IN THE HECK DOES SHE DO IT ALL?

The more I read her blog, the more I wanted to read it.  She seemed so fun, so down to earth, and so chill.  She was like Martha Stewart,  Mister Rodgers, and Mother Nature all in one. She took her family of eight camping when her kids were all under the age of 10. I was petrified of taking my family of four on our first camping trip.  I couldn't imagine her ever losing her cool with her kids, the way I was seeming to do every day back then.  She seemed to have the happiest marriage, the cleanest house, and the sweetest kids.  And her crafts were off the hook.  

About a month into reading her blog regularly, I realized that I was comparing myself to her.  A lot.  I was comparing myself to a stranger on the internet who was someone I felt like I could be friends with if we knew each other in real life, but how well could I really assess that from just reading her blog?

The worst part?  My self esteem would take a hit every time she posted another awesome DIY project, another shiny kitchen sink, another happy family photo.  I was jealous.  I was covetous.  It was ugly.

And despite this sweet woman's regular claims to the contrary, I viewed her as perfect.  Still more problematic was that I viewed myself as as far from perfect as one could possibly be.  You see where this is going?

Eventually, it dawned on me (after my husband kindly pointed out the obvious to me as I showed him pictures of yet another of this woman's projects) that there is literally no way in LIFE this woman does it all.  Like, none.  

Fact:  we all have 24 hours in a day.  Perhaps this awesome mama thrives on a mere 4 hours of sleep per night and crafts and cleans away in the wee hours of the night.  Perhaps she cleaned her house perfectly one time and then took zillions of pictures of it that day and then that's really never what her house looked like again. Perhaps she has a cleaning service.  Perhaps she's independently wealthy.  Perhaps she's MOTHER THERESA.  Some or all or those things could be true.  Well, maybe not the Mother Theresa thing...that's almost certainly not true.  For the rest of my guesses, though, I really have no way of knowing.  

Here's what I do know:  I do NOT thrive on 4 hours of sleep.  I'm a disgruntled grinch of a mama when I get less than 8 hours.  So that means most days I take an afternoon nap just in order for my family to want to be in my presence.  #moody.  I, too, can clean my house perfectly one time, but somehow I never remember to take pictures of it when I do.  ;)  I don't have a cleaning service. I'm not independently wealthy.  And, spoiler alert:  I'm also not Mother Theresa...just in case, you know, there was any doubt about that.  

I'm just me.  And I've decided to use the 24 hours I'm given each day to focus on what's best and most important to me.  That usually looks a little different, depending on the day.  Most days it means a bit of house cleaning will get done, I will spend some time with my family, and get some work done.  I will nap and I will not feel guilty about it!  

Because of that, on any given day, there will certainly be things that don't get done. But  I've learned to be ok with that.  I've learned to stop looking around and comparing myself to others. Especially people who I only know on the internet and social media.  Social media is the ultimate comparison game and has the potential to be the ultimate joy-depleter, if we're not careful.  Can I get an amen?!

Hopefully this encourages you to stop stressing about what others are doing and focus on your own life.  Focus on what you are doing well.  Take a serious look at how you are spending your allotted 24 hours per day, 168 hours per week.  If you don't like what you see, you are always at liberty to make a change.  But do me a favor...make it for you.  Make a change because you want to balance your life and feel better.  If your body, mind, or soul are telling you something's not right...listen.  

Besties, nobody really does it all.  Nobody online, and nobody in real life.  We're all showing up and doing the best we can every day, and that's all anyone can ask of us.  And most of the time, that's all anyone is really asking anyway.  

***If you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious, please don't hesitate to contact me.  Through a few, focused therapy sessions via FaceTime, Skype, or telephone we can get your peace back! *****


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