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Doing it all

Fat Mum Slim /

beach

One day last year I walked in to see my accountant, my head heavy with the flu and the onset of my very first ever cold sore on my lip. As soon as I sat down my accountant remarked, “I don’t know how you do it? You’re amazing.”

Amazing? Had she noticed the glistening of snot in my left nostril, or Clarissa {the cold sore} erupting on my bottom lip? Had she?

She could tell that I was puzzled. I think the perplexed look on my face was a dead giveaway, “You know the blog, the App, all the things and being a good mum as well. I don’t know how you do it all?!”

I laughed it off, wiped my nose and we got busy working out how much money I owed the kind people at the tax department.

For most of last year I didn’t feel like I was doing it all, at all. I didn’t feel amazing or inspiring or like I was a good… anything. I felt like I was treading water. I felt overwhelmingly overwhelmed most days. There was more than one day that I cried driving up the hill after school drop off because I just couldn’t do it all, and it felt hopeless {it wasn’t depression, just a huge sense of feeling overwhelmed}.

I was running a small business on my own without childcare, and taking care of two kids {one under two} and tackling a to-do list a mile long and never feeling like I was making an impact on that list at all. Ever. In fact, writing the bloody to-do list was too hard for me to do too. I couldn’t get a straight thought out of my head. I was dragging myself around each day, feeling like I was in a fog. I couldn’t get focused and I was just… knackered.

I wanted to do it all. Not for anyone else, but for myself… and I guess my family. I’ve always been driven, which I don’t know where it came from but since being a kid I’ve never stopped trying and thriving for something. I don’t know how to do nothing. Or to do less.

There were times regularly last year that I’d throw my hands up in the air in despair, and say to myself, “I give up! I can’t do it!”

Do it, being all the things I had to do. I was struggling with the juggle. Oh that stinking juggle.

The reality is, I wasn’t doing it all. I guess people thought I was doing it all. I even get emails now asking, “How do you do it all? How do you do it?”

The truth is, no one really does it all. No one. I think learning that was pivotal to me. It wasn’t that I was trying to keep up with anyone, but I honestly thought others were doing everything, and doing it well. I learned that something always has to give, and that it’s OK not to be a master of everything, because it’s really quite impossible.

We’re all just doing the best we can.

This year I made some big changes. I never planned on running my own business. It kinda just happened, and I have no experience in doing it. I’m photographing stuff, writing things, putting together invoices, answering all of the emails {except the ones that have sadly fallen to the bottom of my inbox} and being a wife/mum/friend/daughter/sister/human. Running a business is harder than I thought it looked. Sometimes I need outside help to make me realise that I don’t need to be a one-woman show.

My biggest struggle was around the whole balance thing. I work from home so I never really leave work. I wanted to be an awesome mum, and to be good at my job too, but I felt both were falling a little flat. Without childcare I didn’t know when I’d get an opportunity to get my next block of work done. I was all up in my head, and it was noisy.

This year I got help, and it’s made the biggest difference. I have a beautiful babysitter that comes two days a week to look after the girls and I work like a machine to get stuff done… and then the other days I focus on being mum, and I steal pockets of time to do little bits of work when Hubby is home. This has been a game changer for me. I still often feel overwhelmed, but nothing like last year.

Why am I writing this? I don’t know… I think because I want you to know that I don’t do it all. I drop balls. I eat Weet-bix for dinner regularly, but I definitely have more calm in my life this year than last year. And it’s all a work in progress.

And it’s good to remember that with anything online, you’re only ever getting a snapshot. I honestly believe that no one does it all, they just do the best they can. They’re human like the rest of us.

@Fatmumslim