You Can’t Have it All, but You Can Have a Lot

April 8, 2015

OMDG wrote a post earlier this week that resonated with me.  I think it’s for two reasons:

1) She acknowledged the false (yet common) narrative out there that women ‘should’ be able to do everything.  You know, exercise for hours daily, overachieve at work, maintain a picture-perfect idyllic home a la Real Simple mag*, and still make time for her 32 hobbies, including crafting, family photo-archiving, and making (and photographing!  with a professional camera!) soufflés.

2) She goes on to make a very valid point that despite not being able to do everything on the above list, it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong.  Sacrifices of some kind are just a logical extension of the finite number of hours in the week.

Therefore no, one cannot have/do ‘it all’.  But one can do a lot.

Things I have chosen to give up/not do:
Cooking (mostly outsourced)

Cleaning (mostly outsourced, and I do ‘pick up’ around the house for perhaps 5-10 minutes at night, often attempting to get Annabel to help me)

Train for long races most of the time

Watch much TV.  I probably watch 1-2 shows/week, max.  It is not unusual for a week to go by with nothing watched.

Watch many movies (unless we include partial viewings of Disney classics with A, anyway.  I think so far in 2015 I’ve seen one.  Boyhood was good.)

Have much of a social life.  I feel like I keep up with friends to some extent through email/social media, and that is just what works right now.

Things that make me feel like I still get to do a lot/enough
Exercise most days, even if it’s 35-40 minutes most of the time.

Spend time w/ A&C – a couple of hours/day on workdays and more concentrated blocks of time on weekends.  This is a great balance for me.

Have enough fun/social events on the calendar that I feel like there’s always something to look forward to, even if they aren’t super-frequent.

Feeling generally engaged and happy at work, because my job feels fun (most of the time) and meaningful (most of the time).  If there wasn’t quite so much documentation, I would call my job perfect.

Getting to reconnect with Josh on date nights/weekends.  If there is one item on this list I feel could use more time, it’s this one but the limiting factor is his work schedule.

Being able to post here as my ‘craft’/hobby fairly frequently

Reading books/other blogs/podcasts as my media outlets of choice.


There are of course things I’d like to do more of (journaling! yes, home organization projects! more athletic endeavors/social life!), but I find the above list to be satisfying.  With a 1 and a 3 year old, it may not be “all” but it is “a lot.”  I hope I generally come off as grateful and happy, because most of the time I am.

* Confession: I like Real Simple despite its ridiculousness.   But I acknowledge the ridiculousness.  And ignore all of the cleaning articles.

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