The Do It All Myth – It’s called a myth for a reason.

On occasion, I’ve gotten emails from readers asking me, “How do you do it all?”

And I always have to laugh, because I so do not do it all.

Yesterday I had a reader ask me for my tips on “time management”.

Oh that gave me a good chuckle.

But I also felt for her.

Because she reads my blog and thinks she’s seeing someone who has it all together.

Oh the power of the Internet to belie.

I know how she feels. I’ve projected perfect-home/perfect-body/perfect-marriage and a whole bunch of other unrealistic images onto bloggers I read.

And fallen short in my mind’s comparison every time.

But here’s the reality.

It’s 11 a.m. CST on Erev Shabbat and my bread machine just beeped. I have to go braid my challah. But I haven’t even shopped yet for lunch tomorrow (and we’re having guests).

And I think dinner tonight just got down-graded to spaghetti and meatballs.

Because I can’t do it all.

Not even close.

We started homeschooling our two sons this year. (I’ll write more about that later – but I feel like I’ve been hiding something from you guys by not saying anything until now. Anyway, if you notice that there are huge chunks of time that I’m just not responding on Facebook or Twitter or approving your comments – now you know why.)

If I thought time management was a challenge before, now I really know what “challenge” means.

More and more, I am realizing the value in saying “no”.

If you say it enough, by the way, people stop asking – and then you don’t even have to freak out about having to say no. icon wink The Do It All Myth   Its called a myth for a reason.

The ONLY things I do these days are school my boys, blog, and do my best to take care of my family.

And even those balls don’t always stay in the air.

The myth that one person can do it all is just that. It’s a myth.

We all need help. We all need to prioritize – ruthlessly. And we all obsess over the the stuff we’re not doing, or not doing “perfectly”, that so-and-so seems to do so effortlessly.

So if you’ve been thinking, “Oh that Mara from KOAB – she has it all together. I wish I could be more like that,” just STOP.right.there.

Believe me. I do NOT do it all. Nor do I have it remotely together.

Not even close.

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. And the fact that you don’t try and hide it or fake it…makes me love you even more.

  2. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

    I have read your blog for a while now but this is my first comment. I value so much when people publicly acknowledge that they are NOT keeping it all together at all times. I struggle daily with work, family, self care and all the other stuff we do! Here’s to being HUMAN!

  3. Well said Mara!

  4. A perfect assessment of the sentiment so many of us feel. We put on the outward persona of having it all together, when behind closed doors we are running around with mascara on only one eye, tripping over the sneakers that we never bother to put away any more, and eating crackers for dinner (I’ll get to the grocery store eventually) while calling back that friend (who you can’t really hear over the chewing anyway) who said she had something urgent to discuss with you – three days ago. (Or is that just my life?) What you wrote is an excellent reminder to stop with the “I wish I had your life” syndrome. Well said.

    • No way – I don’t believe that you don’t put your sneakers away, Aliza ;-)

      I wish I had your life syndrome is totally overrated – you are so right!

  5. Mara,
    Thank you for this blog post. I, too, started homeschooling my kids this year. If I thought I needed help prioritizing before, this year was a HUGE wake up call. Thankfully, the year is going well & little by little I’m figuring out what responsibilities to accept, what to delegate & what to drop. Life is a big learning process. Shabbat shalom!
    - Janet

    • Good for you! Homeschooling has provided many opportunities for me to ask myself, “Educationally, what really matters?” Definitely learning process.

      I’m also trying to remember that just like I can’t do it all with my blog, or at home, I also can’t as a homeschool mama. Those homeschool bloggers can drive you to drink if you play the comparison game. ;-)

  6. Spaghetti and meatballs! Love it!!!

  7. What a great, honest post! Thank you. When people ask me (full time wroking mom of four) ‘how do you manage all of it?’ My standard reply is ‘I don’t! I look like I do, but most days I’m just scraping by, barely managing to do the bare minimum!’
    Thanks for your openness. Good shabbos! Hope your meals came together. Mine didn’t, but, hey, there’s still 2 hours till shabbos starts!!

    • Thank you for your comment, Rivki. Spaghetti and meatballs are started. I streamlined lunch, too. Off to start the cholent! xo

  8. Mara, the fact that you own it makes you not only more awesome, it makes you more human and approachable. Thank you for an amazing blog!

  9. Thinking ... says:

    A spagetti and meatballs dinner is an upgrade, in my house. Canned tuna on matzo can also be a delightful Shabbat dinner, if you smile into the candle light. For those who don’t enjoy tuna, how about matzo, peanutbutter and apple sandwiches?

  10. You homeschool your boys??? Just that alone is super-human. I’m intrigued!
    shabbat shalom!

  11. I love this post plus all the comments! Good to know I’m not the only one with shoes that never get put away and fancy food ideas that never get made…

  12. Very honorable, appreciated, and respected post! Everyone has four walls and most offen they are very similiar on the inside. If everyone would pause at assumption because it can be a dangerous adventure. Blessed by this post, Mara! Appreciate you sooooo much.

  13. Thank you for this post. I home-schooled my autistic son for 3 years using the Son-Rise program and someone who understood my difficulty of balancing everything, especially trying to maintain a clean house recommended a website that she said changed her life: flylady.com. Maybe some women would appreciate the tips there. Meanwhile it’s good to know not everyone is superwoman! I give myself daily pep-talks that go something like this: it’s ok if your house isn’t perfect. You have twin babies, an autistic son who can wreck the whole house in 5 minutes, 3 other kids- some with other issues, a part-time job, and no help. We have to encourage ourselves!

  14. Shavua Tov and thank you for writing this. Kudos to you for your writing AND being able to do it on a Friday (since I don’t have any time to read on Friday let alone find a blog I can identify with so well). I often get comments similar to what you hear and now will know what to say. Glad I found you!

  15. Super hugs for Mara! I agree with Aliza’s comment that many of us (myself included) have an outward persona of being put-together, but in reality, we all have our challenges. All of us. And most of us are not privy to everyone else’s challenges. While I’m not for over-sharing, I don’t think any of this under-sharing is doing any of us any favors! So thank you for sharing, hugs again, and hatzlacha raba!!!!

  16. Love it, Mara! xo

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