On Having it All

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  March 27, 2013 — 16 Comments

I’ve seen a couple of posts around the internet here and there lately about Pinterest and blogs and how women today, especially moms, are expected to do it all. Great career, happy kids, clean and stylishly decorated house, adorable homemade crafts, rocking body, perfect marriage, etc. This kind of thing has always been perpetuated in magazines but I think it’s harder to ignore on the internet because behind all those blog posts and genius pins are real women, and if I can do it then you should be able to do it too, right? In fact if you’re not churning out five blog posts a week about your adorable family and all your crafty projects and the gourmet dinner you cooked for your ├╝ber-successful husband last night you might just be sucking at life.

Spoiler alert–I’m not doing it. I don’t have it all. I’m pretty honest about that here on the blog but in case you’ve been too busy beating yourself up to notice, most of my projects don’t go as planned, I barely maintain a basic level of home cleanliness, my personal hygiene leaves something to be desired, and I could stand to lose a few pounds. I am so very lucky to have a wonderful husband and an amazing little baby and at the same time our family is far from “perfect.” I question whether I’m a good mother, whether I nag Nick too much, why some of his friends’ wives don’t like me. I struggle with depression and in fact just recently started taking an anti-depressant again (it’s working!). I haven’t really done too many projects lately because I’ve been busy and Nick wants me to cut back on my spending a bit, but the reason I enjoy crafts and DIY so much is not only because I’m cheap or I want to show off on my blog, but because it’s seriously, seriously good for my mental health.

why did she make things (570x570)

amy rubin flett

I enjoy making things the way some folks enjoy running (bleh!). I feel the same way about writing, which makes blogging about crafts and DIY projects a pretty perfect hobby for me. I’m not sure I would enjoy being a mostly stay at home mom as much without it. Nick’s not perfect either, but it’s not my place to share his flaws with the masses. And as for Jack, it’s not easy being a baby and some days are better than others. Sometimes he’s clingy and cries for no reason and bites me while nursing. And sometimes he gives me the sweetest smiles and cuddles and cracks me up with his silly self. It’s all so worth it but so, so hard sometimes.

So don’t beat yourself up, because we’re all fighting some sort of battle. But do try to find something that makes you as happy as creating and blogging make me. Maybe that’s exercise, maybe it’s chocolate. Maybe it’s reality TV. Maybe it’s spending time outside or having a glass of wine with a good friend or keeping your home impeccably clean. It doesn’t have to be pin-worthy. It just has to make you happy.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


16 responses to On Having it All

  1. A to the MEN! Haha I have a post in my draft box waiting to be finished that is very similiar to this! Couldn’t have said it any better. The internet…friend or foe? It inspires me, but leaves me feeling bleh sometimes!

  2. Well said, Charlotte. Thanks so much for the reminder to not think I need to do it all, be it all … that being myself and doing what I enjoy at a schedule that works for me is OK.

  3. I’ll keep up the running for you, if you keep up the craftiness. No matter what, there never seems to be enough time in the day, and whether we know it or not, we make choices on how we spend our time. We may as well spend it well. I love my little etsy shop, I love running, and I love making my home a place I love to be, and I have a blog, but I love it less than all of those things. No real point to this post, but cheers to you and everyone else doing the best they can and choosing to be happy!

  4. Thank you so much for these words Charlotte! You made my day!

  5. I love your honesty and perspective, Charlotte. I think we all need the reminder that life can be wonderful without being perfect.

  6. Charlotte, I’m glad you wrote this post. One of the things that often troubles me about other blogs is the perception (real or imagined) of judginess: I’m a better parent because I breastfed my child until he was in preschool, feed her only organic food, handpainted the walls of his nursery with Classic Pooh images, spend every second with her, never allow myself to be cross, [fill in blank with oneupsmanship trait of the week]. It’s troubling to me because 1) I know it can’t all be true and 2) women need each other’s support – not their criticism, even if it is only implied. Working mom, stay-at-home mom, crafty mom, barely-keep-my-home livable mom, we need each other’s support. I enjoy your blog because it is refreshingly free of all that. I admire your home projects (even though there is very little chance I will ever take one on myself), but I read your blog because it is cheerful and non-judge-y and funny. And for the record, I think you do a great job of juggling your many responsibilities and talents, and keeping your eye on the prize of having a life that is rich in many ways. Carry on!

  7. Best thing I’ve read all day. Thank you!

  8. I really enjoyed your blog today. It is really realistic and helps make me happy.

  9. Charlotte,
    I really enjoyed this post today. As a relatively new blogger I sometime get caught up in sharing all the perfect things and forget to tell people when I mess up or something doesn’t go as planned. Thanks for the reminder that people want that too. Also that people and I need to remember I am not perfect.


  10. Very well said! Thanks!!

  11. armygirlforlife March 28, 2013 at 2:17 am

    I NEVER, EVER comment on blogs and rarely even comment on FB…..but today…I want to take the time to say a HEARTFELT and SINCERE thank you…for your honesty and for sharing with the masses. A friend of mine (Emily also married to Nick) and they’re also from Louisiana…introduced me to your blog more than a year ago. I should send her a thank you note. For many years, I’ve struggled with “super mom syndrome”…juggling my career as an active duty soldier, a wife and mommy, and my “happy place” is any and all things pertaining to beautiful interiors…and today’s post was dead-on…luv it… and thanks again!!

  12. Oh, I loved this post.

  13. Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap March 30, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Thank you all for your comments! I’m so glad to hear that it resonated with you. Thank you for reading!

  14. I just was given a link to your blog when I asked a friend, “Aren’t there any blogs out there that aren’t all perfect all the time like YHL? (Love YHL, don’t get me wrong, but you know.) I come to your blog and I see this, and it’s like the angels are singing. THIS is the type of honesty and sincerity I’ve been looking for in a blogger. So often we readers are feeling like muck about our homes and our lives after filling our senses with design blogs. We need blogs like yours to help us keep our bearings!

    Also, I have to say, I own the exact same peacock that is over your fireplace in your office! I got it off of Craigslist for $20 and I get compliments on him all the time. I love your eclectic decorating style and know I can learn a lot from you! Thanks!

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap April 2, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Oh Erin, thank you so much for your comment! I love YHL too and I think they try hard to be honest about their flaws but somehow it just makes them more adorable! And how funny that we have the same peacock! I actually know someone else who has one too! Thank you so much for reading and I hope you stick around!

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