With six kids, a full-time job, a mortgage and so many other balls to juggle, I was caught by surprise the other day when a friend asked, ‘What does it feel like to have it all?’ In fact, I almost fell off my chair. Except that I was standing. But it practically called for me to sit down and then fall off my chair. I didn’t know what to say, so I shrugged it off with a laugh. Have it all? Was she mad?! No one has it all.
Later that evening, under the disapproving glare of my two year old heiress, I bent over to pick up individual strands of spaghetti she’d dropped on the floor when she had refused my help at dinner, insisting she knew how to use a fork. So, there I was, under the table gathering spaghetti, hoping she wouldn’t pull my hair, when I had an epiphany. Taking a deep breath, I wondered appreciatively, ‘Maybe I do have it all?’
What comes to mind when you think about someone having it all? I mean, we’re all different, and having it all means having a whole lot of different things to a whole lot of different people.
If you’re anything like me, having it all involves (in no particular order):
- being a great mum
- maintaining relationships with friends and family
- maintaining health and exercise
- landing great jobs
- looking for new job opportunities
- working hard
- playing hard
- spending some time relaxing
- keeping on top of bills and savings
- celebrating milestones
- renovating my house
- sustaining my relationship with my husband (with fantastic sex!)
- making sure my hair is done!
What I end up with some weeks are:
- relationships that are hanging by a thread
- half-drunk smoothies
- being late for deadlines
- forgetting to hand in proposals
- children in my bed at 3AM with coughs and colds
- not enough sleep
- no time for dates with my husband (and just the intention of having fantastic sex!)
- wondering, ‘Who, on earth, am I?’
But maybe, just maybe, what we end up with – that list right there – IS having it all. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s relentless. Not everything goes to plan, fits into our schedule or even gets so much as a glance some days. But I’m starting to think now, when you’re so busy that things are falling to pieces, that’s when you do, actually, have it all.
Sometimes we screw up. Sometimes we forget our kid’s date of birth at the doctor’s office, or to buy bread for lunches. Sometimes we rush our kids out of the car and off to school so we can get to work on time, or we leave a work meeting because our kid is unwell and needs to be collected early from school (yes, #sometimesitsabitshit).
And that’s absolutely OK. Because, if you want it all, and I mean ALL OF IT, and if you have it all, and I mean ALL OF IT, then it’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be a matter of just having it all, you’re going to have to go deep down in the trenches and, with every bit of strength and will you have, fight your way through.
But hey, mama, you’ve totally got this! Charge at it guns a-blazing because, you know what? You absolutely Have. It. All. You may not have realised it, but only because you don’t have time to see it! Luckily, we have our beautiful, supportive friends to remind us. So, here’s my reminder to you, ‘Yes, mama, you HAVE IT ALL!’
Written by Krechelle Carter. Mum of six children, six and under; freelance writer for publications such as Kidspot and Woman’s Day; blogger; and creator of the Eight at Home community. Strong believer in following your dreams and balancing it all… most of the time! Find her @eightathome on Instagram or Facebook.