Hear me out – before you think I’m being a Negative Nelly (is that a thing? I really don’t do idioms), I don’t mean that in a bad way.
Let me tell you a secret – my house is a mess. Some days I have dishes piled up to the ceiling, the amount of dust that accumulates each day is unfathomable. I literally only ever tidy if I have a friend coming over and even then I just move the bulk of the mess into my secret mess room (AKA my bedroom).
This is not my house. But yeah… this.
I also almost never get properly dressed. Most days I have a shower and then just work in a fresh pair PJs (I think my neighbours think I’m either terminally ill or terminally lazy) because it’s more comfortable and who has time for all the washing? I think of washing clothes as an achievement, not a regular chore and as I’m writing this, I just accidentally ripped a hole in my INSIDE OUT t-shirt.
Some days I forget to eat. My poor husband comes home from his 9-5 job to feed his gibbering mess of a wife. Then I go back to work.
To see me at an event or a meeting, you wouldn’t have a clue about any of this. I spend a long time getting ready and I’m the absolute image of professionalism. Maybe I come across as the woman who has it all. All you’d have to do is step inside my house to know that isn’t true!
This is not my secret mess room. But yeah… also this.
So why is half of my life such a big old mess?
Because I work. I work damn hard. Arguably I work harder than most 9-5ers because I can’t have an off day or my blog won’t run, I’ll miss deadlines and I won’t get paid. I work because I’m paid but that’s just half of my professional life.
I also work hours after most people have long since switched off their screens because I have even bigger dreams, like taking this blog all the way to its full potential and bringing you kick-ass content every day, like writing a novel with the story I’ve always wanted to tell, and I will never forgive myself if I don’t at least try to get all of this done. Having lost a parent at a relatively young age I know how short life can be – that drives me to really finish the things I find the most important – you never know when you’re going to run out of time.
My life is messy because I love my husband, friends and family. I also have a lot of them (friends and family, that is – just the one husband for now) and connecting and spending time with them is a top priority, at the expense of things like washing and cleaning.
Not this. This is just gross.
Could I have it all? Sure. I could have a sparkling house and an orderly life. It’d be nice to know where my stuff is instead of having to root through piles of crap to find it. But then I’d have to give up things like sleep – and seeing as how I’ve already all but given up meal times I’d burn out pretty fast that way.
If I ever manage to procreate I have no idea what will have to go out of the window to accommodate the new arrival. Washing, perhaps?
So no, I can’t have it all. Not really. So what’s the solution?
Letting go of the guilt. That friend I have with the perfect house and not a hair out of place? She probably doesn’t spend all day writing articles, press releases, novel chapters, organising and styling photoshoots, organising major events, managing suppliers and juggling four nuisance cats (cute, but nuisances nonetheless).
We can’t all be good at everything (even if we pretend to be), we can’t be on top of everything the whole time so let’s stop trying so damn hard and beating ourselves up when we fail. And let’s stop pretending – let’s stop pretending we have every aspect of our lives together. You don’t need to pretend you have a hot date every week when really you’re cleaning out your fridge. You don’t need to make people think you have a booming professional life when you’re in between jobs. We can’t all do everything all of the time. Say it again – we can’t all do everything all of the time.
So today is the day that I’m finally going to hire a weekly cleaner, budget be damned, and accept that a housewife I am not. And I never will be. I have other stuff to do. Then I’m going to give myself a big pat on the back for everything I DID achieve today and stop being so fricking hard on myself.
Who’s with me?