I’ve had a few people ask me recently how I find the time to blog around being a full time stay at home mum. It always amazes me because often the people asking me have even more on their plate than I feel that I do. But the truth is that it is hard. It’s hard in the same way that it must be hard to be a full time working parent outside of the home, and in the same way that it is hard to be a full time stay at home parent who dedicates all their time to raising their children. No parent has it easy, working or not, and I think it’s about time that we admitted that it’s actually really difficult to have it all.
There is so much pressure for us to have it all. The successful career, the pristine children, the clean home, the ideal relationship and the active social life, all while ‘bouncing back’ to our pre baby bodies of course. But in reality it’s really difficult to find the time to achieve all of this, and the truth of it is that a lot of the time one of these standards will slip. If you’re juggling that many plates, one of them is going to get broken. I made the decision to become self employed and work around being a stay at home mum. It wasn’t a hard decision to make, I have always wanted to work for myself and I’ve also always know that I wanted to stay at home with my children when I started a family. I really have found the best of both worlds but that doesn’t mean it is easy all the time. There will be weeks when I have a deadline looming for a blog post that needs photos of Darcie co operating in some way, but of course she’ll be totally disinterested in being photographed or unwell with a snotty nose or with a shiner on her forehead and just absolutely not up for a photo shoot. And in those weeks I really wonder how on earth I’m going to get what I need to do, done. I have to find a way around the problem. Of course on the other hand, and the majority of the time, Darcie will be napping well, the lighting will be good for photos and I’ll have plenty of time to get everything done.
I’ll often find that if I’ve had a good blogging week, the housework will slip. If I’ve had a lot of orders for dream catchers, the spare room where I keep all of my craft supplies will become a war zone. If Darcie and I have a really busy week of play groups, play dates and trips to the park, I lose focus on the blog or I’ll be too tired in the evenings to spend any quality time with Dan. I’m constantly reassessing my priorities and writing lists of things that need to get done, in which order to get my brain and my life organised. My priority will always be Darcie. I’ve taken on these extra projects on the side for my own personal satisfaction. They give me a different sense of achievement that being a Mum does. There are more tangible rewards from them and in particular I’ve found that by being a part of the blogging community I feel a part of something again which I was missing after leaving the workplace. But if something ever has to give, it has to be them, because it won’t ever be Darcie, my relationship or our family life.
It honestly is a balancing act and I feel so unbelievably fortunate that I love all of the things I am balancing. But that does also make it difficult in times when one of them has to take a backseat. I suppose what I am trying to say is that we all juggle, we all feel immense pressure to have it all together all of the time. And even the people who always look like they’ve got everything in order are probably smashing the odd plate behind closed doors. I know I’m not the only person who needs there to be a few more hours in the day and the time to actually satisfy the perfectionist in me and not be constantly feeling like I’m doing a significantly less than perfect job. We all need to be less hard on ourselves and start admitting to each other that we sometimes struggle too. It would be great to have it all together all of the time and to be able to give a hundred percent to every area of our lives but that’s not reality, so let’s stop pretending that it is.