The Rudest Question, Asked

Friday, February 18, 2011

According to Tina Fey, the rudest question you can ask a working mother is “How do you juggle it all?”

Well, here I am … being straight up insolent and asking, well, how do you?

I’m not sure when things started to ramp up for me, I just know that we’re here now—on full-speed GO! It can all be boiled down to a case of Doing Too Much. But knowing that, of course, does nothing to help my situation.

I’m feeling stretched to the max like a rubber band, while juggling 15 important and fragile balls. And I don’t want to even consider what dropping one of those balls might look like.

So, I’m doing what I usually do when I’m trying to design a strategy: I start by listening. I’m asking other people—WAHMs, SAHMs, working parents, dads at home, co-parents, single parents, newbies, vets—treading water along with me, how are they staying afloat?

The floor is yours, friends. Share some intel. How are you doing it all?

  • 1
    sarah w. says:

    ha! i was thinking this very thought this morning.

    i would LOVE to start a family but scared of how my husband and i will get it all done and with what means.

    i think this is a question that most people don’t like asking but i’m happy you did! :) thank you!

    • 1.1

      Sarah, so, so glad you’re reading this blog! Very wise to gather information beforehand. Don’t be scared, be open to the fact that there will be things you don’t know, things you’ll learn the hard way, and things that will surprise and warm your heart all at the same time. Parenthood is layered, but it’s good. And I think asking folks about their stories on parenting/motherhood doesn’t make us rude, instead it helps us become more perceptive and compassionate. Good luck!

  • 2
    Briana says:

    I’m a working Mom with a 6 year old and 3 year old. I do what I can. I find being organized helps alot. We shop on Saturday and cook meals for the week that afternoon. I pack my lunch the night before. Special dates and events are added to my calendar so I know they are coming up. If you are married, ask your husband to do some of the work, too. It isn’t only Mom’s responsibility to get the work done. Does my husband fold clothes to my liking or dust as well as I do? No, but at least it’s getting done. Just let it go. For me, spending time with my kids on the week end is the only real time I have with them. Is having a spotless house more important than time with my kids. No it’s not. I’ve become more focussed since having kids. When I’m at work – I am THERE! I work hard for 8 hours then come home and hang with the family. Do I feel like a working Mom can have it all – no I don’t. Family or work will suffer. Sometimes I can’t go to that work function because I don’t have a sitter; sometimes I can’t make the school assembly at 11:00 a.m. because I work. Either way, take one day at a time and do what feels right to you. Don’t forget to make some time for you, too. That is very important.

    • 2.1

      Briana! Thanks, lady. This is great stuff, especially the part about making time for yourself. It’s important, as you said, but so easy to skip over. I also like that you’re keeping it real—something will get the shorter end of things. Plus, having it all? What does that even mean, right?

      The letting things go aspect is key to balance, I say. I know I’ve had to remind myself that there’s more than one way to do things. For ex., the laundry—is it more important that it gets folded my way or simply that it gets folded? Exactly. :-)

  • 3

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  • 4
    devon says:

    you don’t! As a working mother of a 4yo & 6mo, I will tell you that it won’t all get done. Dishes, cleaning, laundry… your standards will slip. What did I do before my son was born? I bought everyone enough socks & underwear to last 3 weeks!
    You will be tired and sometimes cranky… but it will be OK. Especially if you give yourself a break, both a actual break but also a break as in a “pass” for not getting it all done.