Hello lovely people! I'm back from my USA adventures and can't wait to share it with you very soon. Today, however, I want to talk about doing it all and my continued quest to get the right balance for me and my family.
I've come back from my trip feeling a bit shaken up. I think part of that is because it was so amazing in so many ways and it's made me think so very much about lots of things to do with work, my family, the future. All in good ways but in ways that require a bit of tweaking here and there and lots of positive actions! But I think it's also because I've come back to a few stressful things that I've realised I've been dealing with every day for ages. One of the main stress triggers for me is our home and all our stuff. Too much stuff, too much clutter that all comes bursting out all over the place, and hours are wasted trying to find important stuff all the time. And it just makes me feel so unsettled and stressed out. I have known this for a long time but I think when you go away you realise how much better you feel when you're not surrounded by all the stuff! So, I've read the book and already started making progress - my wardrobe makes me smile every time I open it, which gives me a good feeling that I can make progress in the rest of the house too. Followed by my studio. And we've decided that getting the house in order needs to be my priority for a while, so that I can start to feel more balanced, more in control and I know I'll definitely be happier.
A couple of months ago (when I was doing my best to write a weekly newsletter...sorry people I will get back to that again soon!) I shared my thoughts on doing it all...or not, and I had such lovely feedback from people that I thought I should share it here with all of you. And today, when I'm thinking about all of this more than usual, felt like a good day to do it.
People always ask me how I do it all. I think I get asked this question more than any other. Yes, it's true my husband and I cram a lot into life. We have four children, run our own businesses, my husband is the chair of governors at our school, I work on the Parents' Association at the school, I exercise 6 times a week, we run meet-ups, we are all over social media, we go on date nights, we have family adventures....yep we do a lot and some of the time you probably get really annoyed with me because you think "how does she do it?"
Well, let me tell you a few things. Firstly, we have an amazing nanny who works for us and is so wonderful that when she is with the children I don't have to think about them. That's not quite true...I obviously do think about them because I love them and miss them but I don't have to worry about them. If there is anything to worry about she would phone me. She works for us a few days a week and then plenty of extra hours when my work/life balance tips over a bit.
Secondly, like Joy we have far too many take aways for my liking. I love to cook and I love healthy food too but when the freezer is all out of home-cooked meals and we both just need to keep on going with our work, then we get our food delivered. It's not great. There's plenty we could do about this but right now this is one of the areas in our life where we are not doing it all. And we are okay about that because we know it's not going to be forever. Before we know it all the children will be at school, my working week will look a lot different and we will all be eating together as a family as often as we can. And...the children will hopefully eat a much more varied diet that they do now....I'm working on that too!
Thirdly, I often wear the same clothes for days in a row because there just isn't time to find a different outfit and if you've tried getting four children out of the door every morning in time for school you will understand why this happens far more often than I would like to. Yep, I could get my clothes ready the night before when I get the children's uniforms ready but you know what? I have newsletters to write, blog posts to publish, photographs to edit and students to reply to.
And finally, our home gets far too chaotic far too often. We had a big photo shoot of our home for a big interiors blog this week and wow it shocked us into action that's for sure. We've had a big clear out and are now on a mission to clear out more. And make time for it. We have a storage unit full of junk...and a few lost treasures...that we waste money paying for every month because we are so busy doing all the things that we have no time to sort out the baggage of life.
If I were a life coach looking at all the things I don't do at the moment I know I'd be able to find ways of helping myself. I know what I need to do about all the things I've listed but the fact is that we really can't do it all, all of the time. We make choices about what we prioritise and these things change throughout our lives. For example a year ago fitting exercise into my life would have been possible but also really difficult and challenging, so at the time I decided not to do it. Now I'm in a different place again. I don't have a baby anymore but a toddler. I was able to make changes to my daily routine to fit exercise in again.
We have kind of a lot to juggle. And I am not going to lie, we work really, really hard and I know we do more and have more children than most couples we know but we certainly don't do it all. So, if it ever looks like we do then just imagine me in days old clothes, eating a take-away while editing photographs amongst piles of mess, and occasionally looking over to my husband on the other side of the table behind his laptop and giving him a quick wave! Hopefully you will feel a bit better!
Have a wonderful rest of the week, enjoy doing all that you do but don't let all the things you don't do get you down!
Love Emily xx
PS I also enjoyed reading this today and you might like it too! x