I went to Costa today, with my kids and then for a business meeting – it was amazing. While there a fellow Mum I don’t know that well came over & asked “how are you coping with it all, how do you do it all?”. My answer was Oscar worthy, “oh well its hard but you just cant get down about it, the kids are amazing, and my husband is incredible, and were totally FINE right now“. I thought it was convincing enough, she bought it and we carried on chatting. I drank more coffee, then I read that Daily Fail article bashing instamums (cringe) and calling them slummy mummies & then I pulled out my trusty laptop and started writing. This is a long one!!!
Lots of people ask me “How do you do it all”, in varying tones from complimentary to judgemental. It comes with the territory of being a prolific instagram poster (not an ‘instamum’, I only have 169 followers to over 1000 posts 🙁 ), sharing everything on Facebook & having 5 kids.
Most of the time my answer is as above (a bit of a lie) or one of the following;
– ‘Oh I don’t do it all, you should see my house, its a disaster”
– ‘Well I don’t know any different so this is just my life’
– Or my best one, “mate Im so jacked up on illegal painkillers I don’t even know my own name, let alone if Im coping”. I thought that was funny a.f. but the people I was talking to were horrified and looked like they wanted to call child services. Sidenote – I am jacked up on painkillers but they are Panadoll and I got them in Supervalu which really pisses me off because in England Paracetamol is about 15p and I have to pay €1.73 a packet here #firstworldproblems
This is how I actually “do it all” and what I should really say but never do.
I only share photos of the clean-ish parts of my house or the cutest/cleanest kid, or really nice natural style photos captured ‘in the moment’. This dupes people into believing I’ve got my shit together and didn’t just spend 5 minutes shouting “get in the photo, smile, look happy, these photos will mean a lot to you when you are older” at my disinterested 11 year old. Or I share real photos of real life with mildly amusing captions which some of my 169 followers like but others find really boring.
A meal plan and schedule save my sanity and help me through the week, most of the time. Some weeks we eat really healthy food and some weeks we have lots of fish fingers. Its called balance. Most Fridays I drink something fizzy, Champagne or a Martini & Lemonade are my favourites because I’m classy like that. The best Fridays are when drinks are consumed with friends, an insane old school soundtrack and a cheeky fag- I need these nights to remind me who Clare actually is (I am gonna quit my social smoking though, promise Mum).
Some nights I let the kids sleep in my bed because I think its healthy to have a family bed where everyone feels close and feels loved. I kind of like some of the attachment parenting theory so go with it. Right now Im actually sleeping downstairs in my office so can hear my children’s little voices upstairs at bedtime & I lay and have a little pity party about what a shitsit (shit & situation married together, new word, its awesome, thank me later) we’re currently going through & vow to wake up and squeeze everyone extra tight in the morning.
Other nights I make the kids go to bed by 7pm because I need to sit and watch an ‘adult film’ (any film thats rated over a 12 – not that sort of adult film) and have some physical space between me and my children. Some nights the kids take themselves off to their own beds because they too need space. Recently Im not ashamed to admit I’ve used my leg to tag myself out of family life and go and listen to zen music in my room and sleep.
Everywhere I go I I carry a notebook with my goals written it it, in the present tense as if Ive already achieved them. Whenever Im having a ‘holy fuckballs why did I think trying to raise kids, a business & deal with a broken knee was going to be ok?!’ moment, I read the entire notebook page by page. I don’t know how or why but it helps.
Every single morning the first thing I do is write in a gratitude journal. People I tell this to usually think its whacko, but I don’t really care. One day when Im dead my kids are gonna clear out the house & find all these pages of gratitude statements and be like “Mum was grateful for my spark and sprit – wtf does that mean?”. It is too easy in life to think about the negative, this helps set my day up to be a positive one.
That is how I do it. Those are some of my coping mechanisms. Now you know 😉
When you become a parent you just do your best, thats all any of us can do. Wouldn’t it be great if instead of trying to hold each other to account of ‘doing it all’ or, in the case of the Daily Mail today pointing fingers at the mums apparently NOT doing it all, we said ‘high five for doing your best today’? I think it would. We should all try and be a little more like our drunken selves in pub toilets – complimentary and real, instead of questioning and a little bit fake. I hope this long ass post gives an insight to ‘how I do it all’, or that you relate to some of it, or even laughed at bits. If not then I don’t really want to know to be honest 😉 next time you see me just high five me!