Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Keeping it Real V2

So I initially put this post up this morning, but after thinking it over and discussing it with Christopher, I deleted it. I'll let you read the post and decide for yourself, but when I expressed the opinions below to Christopher he reminded me that I'm always the one saying the only person that will keep me from doing something is me and that the points I make in this post make me out to be a "glass half empty" kind of girl. Folks, that is certainly not the type of girl I want to be, so if that's how I'm coming across forgive me. As I figure this whole "growing up" thing I'm making lots of observations along the way, and I'm trying to sort out what type of adult/employee/wife/future mother I want to be (and more importantly perhaps, what type I DON'T want to be). That was the purpose of the post. 

But I chickened out initially. 

Then I got a wonderful "come to Jesus" (as my dad calls them) email from Victoria. I can't thank her enough for her kind words that allowed me to not feel guilty for my post. *The title of her email was classic as well: "girl, stop deleting your amazing, honest posts". 

Yes, ma'am!!!! 

So here's what I initially had to say this morning, and I added a few of Victoria's words at the end!

So I haven't seen I Don't Know How She Does It (I'm not really sure if I will), but every time I see a preview I feel an upset stomach coming on- afraid that this will be me one day. I honestly have no clue how two people can work full time and have a family. I feel guilty having a dog most days because she really doesn't get the attention she deserves. By the time I get home from work, make dinner, pack our lunches for the next day, and clean up, it's 8:30, and I'm completely exhausted (and feeling guilty that I didn't dust a bookshelf or iron something). I can't imagine adding another human to the equation (especially one that can't feed or bathe itself). It's funny too because everyone says "oh, you'll make it work and figure it out".  My response (which I always say to myself and never aloud) is that of course people figure out how to juggle it all, but I've yet to see any full-time working couple do it well. You can always tell who the parents are in my office (specifically the moms) because they're the ones running out the door right before 5 to pick their kids up from school, run through a drive thru for dinner, and head to a sporting event. They're also the ones that send emails in the middle of the night and throughout the weekend. I guess they've "made it work" and "figured it out"..... 

Today, for the first time, a co-worker was honest with me regarding this topic.  She asked if I had a family, and I explained that I can barely take care of myself and my dog right now and juggle work at the same time. She laughed and said it was so refreshing to hear someone answer honestly. I explained my observation  about not being able to find a single example of a couple who both have successful careers and a family. She smiled and said, "I'll tell you what very few other women here will. It's nearly impossible to do both- unless you outsource". 


"Outsource what?," I asked. 

"Whatever takes up time in your life that doesn't necessarily have to be done by you," she replied. She went on to explain that she has a nanny (who cooks and does laundry), a cleaning service, lawn service, etc. Sounds expensive, but I suppose what you're losing in income is similar to what you would be losing if one parent stayed home. 

So that's it then, I guess. Everyone "figures it out"- some better than others. I'm not sure that "better" means outsourcing parts of your life, but I do see how it would be beneficial. I guess I just assumed I could be wonder woman: have a family, career, blog, dog, cook, clean, do the yard work, laundry, decorate my home, be involved in my children's school activities, etc. Maybe I could do it all, and while I wouldn't have the expense of "outsourcing" things, I worry a different expense would come into play: happiness, friendships, free time. 

This is heavy stuff, people. Too heavy for me right now- or ever for that matter. Some days I wish I could go back to college when things were easy.... and as I'm typing this I'm remembering that in college I worked three jobs (i.e. 40+ hours a week), graduated with honors (in less than four years), paid for my expenses myself, and managed to never have a major breakdown. HMMMM... maybe I will figure out a way to do all these things, enjoy it, and keep my sanity. Who knows. 

Here's what Victoria had to say on this topic: 
As women, we put so much pressure on ourselves to do it all. But I think this is dangerous too. Like, the fact that you and I are so young, have no kids, and already feel guilty about these little things? How is that good for us? Instead of being out to prove something, or that we can do it all, isn't the better approach to strive for balance? I think I'd admire a woman who had total BALANCE more than a woman who was doing a million things and always seemed rushed or frazzled.
I simply could not have said it better myself. 

Did I scare everyone off??? Would you feel better if I kept things  surface level like usual? Here, how's this: I love SJP's hair and clothes. She's super stylish; I'd kill for her closet in SATC. How's that; are you feeling better? :) 

Here's to figuring it out, making it work, and most importantly, balance. 


  1. Hooray! A few extra thoughts. 1, I don't think it's glass half empty to think these types of things through. Every woman who has a full time job, a relationship, friends and hobbies struggles with the same. Anyone who doesn't is either lying or really IS superwoman. 2, I hope you keep it real on your own blog as often as you want! It is, after all, YOUR space. Clothes and furniture are fun, but sometimes (often, actually), real life is even better. I mean, I wrote about tying scarves today. In a bar, a conversation around scarf-tying would last two minutes (a fun two minutes, but still). A conversation like the one you just wrote about could last two hours.

  2. As my good friend always says, "I'm selfish now and enjoy naps, getting my nails done, being lazy because when I have kids, that is out the window". I often think about this as well. I moved from Manhattan to Indiana last year to start a life with my Mr. I thought my stress level would go down but it has not. I've realized I set my stress level and I need to let go. The thing is, I don't want to let go of everything. My work, my love of design, cooking, etc makes me the woman I am. I might be a mess or never finish anything to the level of perfection I want but I'm making peace with that. I take comfort in knowing that I'm a work in progress. Keep telling the truth, it is refreshing!!!!!

  3. Kelly...so glad you shared and are so honest with all of us. I know I am the same thoughts...I don't know how people do it, but I know people DO do it, you know? Keep your chin up...keep calm & carry one...you're going to be just fine! It's good to be selfish now...and always as you move onto the next chapters. One of the best words of advice I got about being a mom is to be selfish. You won't ever be a good mother unless you take care of yourself...so you can then take care of your children. I think this is true. And yes, I'm echoing the above...keep it coming! We all appreciate your honesty! :)

  4. Wow Kelly, thank you for opening up and being so frank with us! I think you'll find that most of us can relate to these feelings. I already have similar anxiety just about time spent or not spent with my dog.

    I think as Victoria so eloquently put it, it is all about balance. I think it is also about not being afraid of anything less than perfection. Finally, it is about learning to take care of yourself and in doing so learning to say no and not feeling guilty about it. It is hard, but I am slowly learning to be a little more selfish with things like social demands, ridiculous work requests, cooking/ cleaning expectations and making sure you get "you" time for your sanity.

    Thank you again for sharing and definitely don't hesitate to voice/ write these concerns on your blog. It is nice to relate to someone on this!


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