I Don’t Know How She Does It

photo credit: nancycooklin.wordpress.com

Well, she doesn’t. Didn’t you read the book? Granted, I read this book probably ten years ago when it first came out so my memory of the details may be a little sketchy. And I didn’t see the movie because I was certain it would suck. The gist of it is this – this woman is a successful corporate type who appears to have it all. Perfect family, marriage, career, etc. Everyone wonders “how she does it”. The truth is, she doesn’t. Her marriage is falling apart. She suffers from major mommy guilt which also affects her ability to do her job as well as she could. Sound familiar?

I have personally been told, “I don’t know how YOU do it.” I kind of look around and wonder who the hell they are talking to. When I realize it’s actually me, I’m like, “huh?” How I do what? Apparently by appearances I seem to have it somewhat together. I have happy, healthy kids. I have a good marriage. I have a job I kick ass at. I have this blog which I try to write on somewhat regularly. And I have a facebook page that has a respectable number of likes. Well, I should start preparing my Oscar speech now because while I am more grateful for those things than you can imagine, they do not define me as “having it together”.

My kids rock. I wonder daily if I’m effing them up. My husband is a saint (mostly). He’s a far better spouse than I am. My job? Well, I do kick ass at that. But sometimes I could probably do better. Couldn’t we all? My blog and facebook page? Honestly, they stress me out. When I post something, I hover. I wait to see if anyone will read or like it. Or comment. If there’s any comment that isn’t absolutely glowing I freak out and take it completely personally. It feels like a kick in the gut and I think I’m not cut out for this. I’m not cut out for any type of feedback other than “I’m awesome”. Which is really stupid and I know that. Duh.

This idea of perfection – where the hell did THAT come from? I hate it. I hate comparing myself to others but can’t seem to stop. “Oh, SHE dyed four dozen Easter eggs with her kids, huh? Damn, I didn’t even make dessert.” “Oh, look at HER abs.” Have you ever walked into a birthday party and it looked like something out of a magazine? Yeah, we throw pizza and water guns at my kids and pray no one gets hurt. Have you ever walked into someone’s house and suddenly yours felt like it was someone’s first apartment? I’m not super mom. I’m not a trophy wife. I’m not a paid writer. I’m not perfect.

I’m embracing my imperfections. I’m not doing it very well, but I AM working on it. If I miss a school function because it slipped my mind, it’s okay. My kids still know I love them. If I skip a workout because I’d rather be on the couch, well, that’s okay (once in a while). I’m working on finding the balance that works for me. The huge list of responsibilities I have mean that I won’t be great at all of them all the time. Maybe I will remember that my kid is getting an award, but the whites have been in the washing machine for three days now. Maybe I will hit the gym five days this week, but I totally forgot to post something super inspirational on facebook.

Perfection is impossible. I’m working really  hard on living that truth. What are you working on?


10 thoughts on “I Don’t Know How She Does It

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  1. Crystal,
    Thanks for your post! I just started working and I am struggling with finding balance at anything in my life. I have slowly been going back to school and I keep wanting to get back in shape. But I’m so overwhelmed with everything right now I just want to go back to bed or cry. I truly know that working out would help me. Do you have any advice on how to start? I have a foot injury from a quad accident that affects my working out. I have an elliptical and a bike and it doesn’t seem to hurt as bad doing these activities. I really enjoy your honest perspective! Thanks for your motivation! Keep it up!!


    1. Hi, Tiffany. Thank you so much for reading. Girl, we all struggle for balance. I think it’s harder to get a hold of than the fountain of youth! I find that my focus shifts dependent on where it is TRULY needed. There are times I don’t write for a week or so but my laundry is caught up and I’ve taken my daughters out for girls’ night. Sometimes I’ll blog several times in a week, but I’ve put off a work project. As far as working out, just find something you enjoy (and that doesn’t hurt). When you get bored with that, try something else. The point is to keep moving. The good news (and the bad news) is there is no “right” answer. That’s what makes it so frustrating. And fun. Hang in there! Realizing you NEED to work out is the first step.


  2. Well, first of all: you are awesome! There, that should help a little.

    It’s funny, because I rarely compare myself to others. It’s not like its a conscious thing; I’m just always so caught up in my own head that I’m not really aware of what’s going on around me. That can be both a good and bad thing, I guess. Maybe it comes with age, too. In my 40s, it’s easier to say “no” so I don’t overwhelm myself.

    And you are right: the movie version of “I Don’t Know How She Does It” sucked. I can’t even believe I went to it. 🙂


    1. I knew that would be a horrible movie!

      Girl, I don’t know why I still compare myself to others. I’m almost 40. I think I live in bizarro world where I do the exact opposite of what I write about, believe in, and know to be true. Oh, and you’re awesome too. Thanks, that does help!


  3. Hahaha… this a great post, thanks for sharing.

    It brings back memories of when I was doing exactly the same thing. One thing I have learn’t in life is that you make decisions based on what is best for you first (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone).

    Because you owe it too yourself to be happy!!!!

    Glad to hear that you have maintained a healthy balance and value what works for you and your family 😀


  4. Ha Ha…you just reminded me that I need to change laundry loads. Glad to see I’m not the only mom who needs 24 hrs of awake time in her day to finish everything. Thanks for sharing. Makes me feel better. I hope you feel better too.


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