While on our trip up north a couple weeks ago, we watched the movie, I Don't Know How She Does It. The reviews said it was ridiculous, etc. but I enjoyed it. It was clean, not violent, and not a horrible way to spend an hour or two.
The storyline is that Sarah Jessica Parker is a mom who has a high powered job in the finance world. She is doing everything, until she starts to fall apart. Her husband, Greg Kinnear is an architect. They have a nanny and their daughter goes to a nice private school.
Sarah Jessica Parker is juggling everything well until she forgets to bake something for a school bake sale, and ends up buying a pie and pie-plate, and smashing the pie into said pie-plate.
The story progresses as her career gets more successful and demanding while her home life simultaneously falls apart from neglect and such.
Meanwhile, her husband's career and home life just plod along-without all the conflicting junk and guilt that accompanies a woman and her career. A man's role is provider. A woman's role is home-maker and mother. If she throws in a career, well, she deserves everything she gets. Everything.
The moral of the story is that she doesn't. (I don't know how she does it-she doesn't)
The moral of the story is that we are jugglers. That all that is between us and chaos is one.dropped.ball.
Does this have to be?
Do we have to live in a constant state of stressful, hectic, barely keeping all the balls in the air, activity?
It makes for a nice movie plot, but must our lives reflect this if this is the path we have chosen? The path of woman, wife, mom, home-maker, business whatever. Is this the only option available to us?
I have to believe it is not so. I have to believe that life does not have to be one hectic, harried, stressful pot of barely restrained chaos.
I know all the cliches. Truths-but cliches. I preach them.
We can't do it all. Every yes requires a no. There are busy seasons-both yearly and in life.
I just have to remember to LIVE them. This month. This September.
With a new product launch. With the start of school. With insurances renewing and the accompanying audits.(I shouldn't have even mentioned that, 'cause guess who got an email from her agent even while she typed? Sigh...) With the preparation and teaching of a workshop for a woman's retreat. With Art Prize. With a triathlon, bike race, and 1/2 marathon plus the continued training for each. With planning our church campout the first weekend in October. With family in town.
I need to remember it today. I need to live the facts of a best yes and what I don't do is as defining as the things I do.
So, I supervise school, correct school work and dust my house. I read to my kids at lunch and pull on my biking clothes. I get out and pedal in the sunshine and listen to the crickets and cicadas. I send emails and write posts about what life really is like, and how I really struggle. I shut my computer and vacuum my house and then scrub the bathrooms and floors. And then make a fairly healthy, but definitely quick and easy dinner for my family.
We cut what we can. And we don't do it all.
We have to let of being in control. We don't have to maintain an aura or facade of perfection. We don't have to have everything exactly balanced every moment of our lives. Sometimes though, we do have to do the busy. We can't get out of the responsibilities. We have to keep moving forward.
Because the moral of the real story is that we don't do it but we each does it. My does it may look different than yours, but it doesn't make either of our does it's more legitimate. Or more or less. We just both are doing what we need to do.
-For an interesting male perspective on work-life balance, read this post.
-I also love the fact that one of my favorite bloggers, Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy, writes a regular post, How She Does It. It is about how real live women are achieving work-life balance. It is so encouraging for the stage of life I'm in.