We’re all heard the phrase “having it all” or “trying to have it all”. Right the way through my life I’ve been trying to have it all. I’ve done my A-Levels, gained my university degree whilst making new friends and enjoying the Cardiff night light. I’ve had various jobs before working over 10 years in advertising, and trying to work hard and play hard at the same time. Then I started this blog, became a digital mum, and I’m now managing social media channels all whilst trying to bring up two children, run a home including a renovation project, plus be a supportive wife and make sure I’m looking after myself somewhere in between. So you could say I’m trying to have it all, but is this enough, not enough or is it too much?
I am forever feeling like I am failing at something, and this is especially true now that there are children in the mix. I feel that I can never be a good enough mum, a good enough wife, or be good enough at my work, just because there isn’t enough time or I simply do not have energy to give my all to everything that I’m doing.
I feel guilty for sitting on the sofa doing nothing when I know that the dishes are piling up in the sink or the washing needs to be taken out of the washing machine, or a blog post needs writing just so I have something to publish tomorrow. There is always something to do. And this blog post isn’t a moan about not having enough time, it’s a moan because I am trying to have it all, and I quite simply can’t.
Becoming a mum of two earlier this year has to some effect made me realise that. When Bertie arrived at the start of June I continued my hardest to maintain this blog as best as I could, I was even still managing social channels from my hospital bed when I was recovering from my c-section. Just writing that now sounds absolutely mad, yet it’s the truth. I do look back on it now and wonder what the hell I was thinking, why was I trying to do too much? I had myself and a new baby to look after. Having realised this I have reigned back the blog, you may have noticed that I’m not posting everyday. I’m doing that as it’s simply not possible, I’m tired and I need my sleep, plus I need to retain some energy so that I can look after two children the next day to the best of my ability, and to try and be the best mum possible even though it’s bloody tough at times.
My priorities have definitely shifted and yes I am still trying to have it all in some aspects of my life including being the best mum, but I’ve realised that some areas of life have had to give. That’s normal, and I know that one day when my daughter starts school and my son starts to go to nursery I can ramp up the work again.
Trying to have it all is a good thing, it gives you ambition, drive and determination. Yet on the flip side it can make you feel incredibly guilty if you end up not giving your 100% to something. As I’ve become older and wiser I know it’s something that will peak and trough, and it’s a constantly evolving beast that changes as we move through life.
I read a very interesting post earlier today on Instagram that explained that mothers have never had it so hard as they have today. In some respects it’s true. We are expected to be mum, to retain a job, to look after the home, to be the house administrator, to be the diary for our children, not to mention everything else, and somehow find time (maybe) for half an hour in the week so we can do something that we want to do without the kids. As I mentioned earlier it’s so flipping tough, but is it harder than our parents or our grandparents had, I don’t know?
They may not have been trying to have it all, they may have just tried to focus on doing one thing to the best that they could, or they may have been holding down jobs whilst juggling multiple kids. I think that part of the reason why there’s so much focus on this topic is because there are so many ways today for women to talk about it and to share their experiences with others, plus we are trying to do both. We are trying to be mum and have a good enough job, so that we feel like it’s not all about being “mum”. I know that’s why I work, as I don’t just want to be a mum.
What do you think? Are you trying to have it all, or have you realised like me that having it all comes in waves? I would love to hear your thoughts.