I have a confession to make. I’m not as busy as I pretend to be.
I’m a working mom. I am a freelance consultant and am constantly juggling my pipeline of projects and clients. I have two dogs that are terribly needy and a daughter that is always in go-go-go mode and asks “Hey, can we have an adventure today?” I have a husband that actually wants to be present and do family things together in the evenings and weekends. I have lots of local friends and the best damn neighbors in the whole world, and family, and a calendar full of social events and BBQs and local activities we plan to attend.
But I’m actually really not that busy.
I got an email not too long ago from someone asking how I juggle being a working mom and my family and friends and the blog and still look cute. She commented on a picture I posted of a family walk one night and said she’d love the luxury of going for a walk in the evenings, and have a cute playroom and dress my kid like a Gap model.
Ya’ll, its easy. For the most part, my “give a damn” is broken. Remember that Instagram and Facebook (and my blog, but lets be honest, I rarely blog anymore) are a highlight reel.
The truth is, I’ve gotten REALLY good in the last year at setting priorities. Tyler and Guinevere and my career – those are important. Everything else can wait.
Spending lots of time on dinners can wait. I rarely cook. Usually Tyler handles dinner, but we eat a remarkable amount of frozen veggies and Wegman’s Brand pre-marinated chicken breasts. I feed my daughter frozen meatballs and chicken nuggets and peanut butter sandwiches and fresh fruit and veggies. I can make her dinner in under 2 minutes, and usually sit with her during it to talk about her day. We don’t do family dinners and Tyler and I usually eat after she is in bed. Its what works for us.
Spending lots of time on my house can wait. We recently rearranged the playroom and I have lots of things I want to tweak and decorate in there, but then my kid wants to make a birthday cake out of legos and I forget all about the yarn pom pom balls that have been 80% finished for about three months, waiting to be hipster-ly draped around the edge of the ceiling. I have the paint and some of the decorations for Guinevere’s bedroom and then we started talking about how many days it was until her birthday and she was struggling to understand so we spent two hours cutting out strips of construction paper and making a paper chain with links she can rip off each day.
Spending time on myself can wait. I’m lucky that I mostly work from home – I rarely blowdry my hair more than twice a week. I sleep in yoga pants and wear them all day and don’t change again til nighttime when Guinevere and I take our nightly shower together. Honestly, thats why you never see outfit pictures any more. I’m basically not wearing any.
Spending time on my friends can wait. And lucky me, lucky lucky me, I have friends that don’t mind waiting. Or if they do, they’ve never let on. We text and talk on the phone or over e mail, but I went from twice a week happy hours to maybe once a month meet ups with kids in tow. I’m okay with that. I don’t feel like any of my friendships have suffered, although I do have one dear friend planning a wedding and getting ready for a move to Atlanta that I need to make more time for right now.
The blog can wait. I no longer do sponsored posts or events. I usually manage to get Trendy Tot Tuesday up on time but rarely most more than twice a week. I occasionally tweet but find my feed so overwhelming that I don’t read anyone else’s and I skim Feedly when I am bored waiting in line at Target or while sitting on a conference call but can’t remember the last time I left someone a comment.
Spending more time on the computer can wait. I’m terrible about replying to emails. A girl wanted to buy a bundle of my items on Poshmark and I took about 10 days to get back to her for bundling it because I knew I was too crazy that week to ship it promptly. Someone else emailed me wanting to buy some items from Guinevere’s closet and I haven’t replied because 1) I accidentally put the box of her clothes in the attic and I need 20 minutes with Tyler to go up there and get them, and then probably iron them and package to ship out and 2) I’m lazy. Well, not so much lazy as FULL OF PRIORITIES – and if its not Guinevere, Tyler or my job, I frankly don’t care. Its probably sort of dickish of me to put myself out there and not reply but my email inbox gets bogged down to the point of terror and I just can’t. I’ll probably reply tomorrow and the person will be like “yeah, no thanks,” and I’ll understand – just because I’m living this weird selfish season of my life doesn’t mean everyone else needs to put their lives on hold and wait until I decide I have time for them. I get that.
I sometimes feel like I should care. I should want to juggle home projects and plant a beautiful garden and make one of those meals I see on Pinterest.
I just don’t. I did absolutely nothing this weekend, and it was the best weekend ever. Tyler and I happened to pick Guinevere up from the nanny the same time as the parents of the other kid there, and the 6 of us all went out for dinner. Home by 8, we stayed on the couch all night on Friday watching TV.
Saturday Tyler mowed and edged the lawn while Guinevere and I went to Lowes for flowers. We got absolutely filthy planting them in the planters out front and she spent about an hour walking around with her Mickey Mouse watering can and watering our lawn (that has an inground sprinkler system, but don’t you dare tell her that) and not taking a single iPhone picture or running in for my DSLR – just watching her. We cleaned up and got ChickFilA and took a nap together and then Tyler sanded down a giant table I bought at a yardsale for our kitchen and stained it a weathered gray. We rode the scooter all over the cul-de-sac and had an impromptu playdate with some neighborhood kids.
Our nanny came over around Guinevere’s bedtime and we went out with the next door neighbors in the houses to the left and right of us for Kate’s birthday in Old Town Manassas. We had amazing food and went to a dive bar that was having 80s night and got gloriously, inappropriately drunk. When we moved into our house, the other two couples on either side of us thought we were the teenage children of their new neighbors – not the homeowners. They tease us for being a bit younger than them but that was quite fun watching them rock out to songs they loved and saying things like, “Man, I wasn’t even born yet.” We danced and laughed and took shots (mistake) and it was the best night ever.
On Sunday we managed to do absolutely nothing. We never even got out of our pajamas. We built lego towers and a fort out of couch cushions and had a picnic in the living room. We did an art project and watched a few movies and snuggled.
I could have fit in some of those things I “never have time to do” during a nap. Or when she was watching a movie. Or let her play with Tyler while I got some things done. But I didn’t. I napped, and watched the movie with her, and played with both of them.
It was pretty awesome. And I’m not a tiny bit sorry that nothing else ever gets done around here.