It was a Tuesday evening. I was lying with my toddler, trying to get him to fall asleep. After the usual read-to-me-sing-to-me-can-you-tell-me-a-story-with-the-lights-off routine, I could feel his tight, snuggly grip around my arm begin to relax. I figured I’d wait about five more minutes before trying to slip away.
As I waited for him to fall deeper into his sleep, I turned on my phone and began to mindlessly flip through the evening’s latest status updates. Suddenly a message popped up from one of my friends. We chatted back and forth about life for a few minutes. Soon, it was time for me to make my getaway, so I began to say my good-byes–but as she signed off, she made a passing comment that stuck with me all night. “I love watching you grow your business,” she said. “I don’t know how you do it all. If it were me, things would fall through the cracks. My house would at least be a tornado!”
I mulled over it all night. In the moment, I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. Because the truth was…I don’t actually do it all. Things do fall through the cracks. And sometimes I feel really ashamed to admit it.
So here’s the truth. Not only do I not do it all…sometimes I don’t even do half of it.
My life–just like yours, likely–is a constant dance. Sometimes the music is fast, and sometimes slow; sometimes I know my steps well and sometimes I’m hanging on by the seat of my pants. And every now and then, I trip.
Often, there is a tornado at my house. In fact, sometimes it seems like there are only precious seconds in between the cleaning up from the last tornado and the hitting of the next one.
Laundry is frequently sitting in baskets, waiting to be folded. Or put away.
…and the counters get cluttered. Frequently. And my patient husband puts up with my piles of business books (I do eventually read through all of the piles) that make their way into our living spaces. You never know when you might have a spare moment to read!
Notice the Advil and the lunchbox next to the books. I did not place those there for the picture; they just happened to be there. Those can also be found on the counters more often than not.
Sometimes our dog gets kind of goofy when we’ve gone too long without walking her. And our couch (or what used to be our couch) can attest to that.
And there are quite a few days when I need to make a second pot of coffee…or more.
…and the things I don’t have picture of? The days when the kids and I stay in pajamas until lunch time because we’re having that kind of morning. Or the moments when I cry on the other side of the computer because someone said something unkind about my business, post, pictures, prices, etc. The times when I am undeservedly impatient with my kids because I stayed up too late the night before working on the book or DIY post or product launch or pitch. The moments when I question whether I made the right decision when I figured I would follow my heart and try to balance motherhood and entrepreneurship.
It’s true. Running a business is hard. Sometimes, it’s really hard. And it requires a definite juggling act to be the mom, wife, and businesswoman that I want to be. So I have to prioritize.
If the house doesn’t get clean today, or the laundry doesn’t get put away, it’s okay. Our dog might need to settle for some tug games tonight and we’ll do a longer walk tomorrow. Reading a story while snuggling with my boys might need to take precedence over doing the dishes immediately. Some days, I wake up at 4:30 in the morning so I can get a blog post done, because I want to offer my customers frequent, quality content (thus needing a second pot of coffee that day).
And that’s okay.
I’m not perfect. I make sure I get enough exercise and eat good food; I try to prioritize evenings and weekends for my family instead of the business. But I don’t do it all. And I don’t think any of us can expect ourselves to do it all. Yet we see the public presentations of other lives on social media and allow those things to let us question why we can’t be perfect.
I guess the main point of this post is to say…we’re all human. We’re all trying our best, doing the dance, fumbling through some steps. I’m lucky to be able to have an amazing family and a business that I’m extremely passionate about. I love my dance, even if I have some moves that aren’t so great. After all, if I try to be perfect at everything, I just end up grumpy all of the time. And who wants that?
So the next time you’re on Facebook looking at that friend’s post and thinking, “Wow. She always seems to have it so together,” just remember that there is a story behind every post. There are angles that the camera doesn’t catch. There’s the lost temper, the embarrassing moment, the messy garage that we don’t include in that post about how great our weekend was.
And then forgive yourself for the stumbles in your own dance. The most important thing is that you’re enjoying the music, anyway.