Monday, October 25, 2010

How I don't do it all and can live with that.


We went to the pumpkin patch this weekend.  There was a sea of pumpkins and happy children in cute little black and orange fall costumes.  Their smiling parents followed them around with cameras to capture the momentous event.

Then you had our family.  We looked like we just dragged ourselves out of a trash-bag full of unsold rejects from a garage sale.  That is actually not my husband in the photo, he was taking the picture.  ;-)

A wise man once told me that it was true that women could do everything. But he stared in my eyes and then said "But not at the same time". This wise man was my husband.

I get emails and comments all of the time asking me how I have time to do it all. After all, I blog here,
run a small home business, am a full-time mom to two little boys (one of which I homeschool), entertain and feed a husband, feed and care for my menagerie of assorted pets, clean and run a house and tend to a large yard.  Yes, I am like most women out there!

So how does she do it all you might ask... Well, please let me assure you I don't do it all, especially at the same time.

I wear plenty of hats. Some days (quite rare unfortunately) I am SuperMaid and my house is spotless. I vacuum, dust, sweep, mop, scrub, and polish.  However, my blog is neglected and my kids are sitting in front of the television watching Man vs. Wild dvr repeats.

Some days I am SuperMom.  I homeschool Duke while not threatening to smack Imp for biting my leg under the table, cook three amazing nutritious meals, read a dozen classic kid's books out-loud until I lose my voice, and bring the kids to the park so they can release some of that excess energy. Heck, I even organize an art project involving more than just drawing a picture with scented markers.  And I am sweet all day, never raising my voice and showing incredible patience. "Oh, don't worry about spilling that fingernail polish all over the carpet.  I know it was an accident.  Who knew you would trip over your brother while he was using scissors to cut a hole in the wall-to-wall carpet.  A hole that shows me that our padding is getting thin and needs to be replaced.   Good job boys!". 

However, my husband comes home from a long day at work to a messy house and I throw both boys in his arms with my last bit of energy and tell him I am exhausted and he needs to put them to bed while I nap in front of the TV.

Sometimes I am SuperWife. I put on some makeup and pants or a skirt that doesn't have elastic on the waist and pull my hair out of the ponytail or bun. I put the kids to bed early BEFORE he gets home and prepare a wonderful adult dinner (where you don't have to cut anyone's food or mop up milk) and serve it with candlelight and wine on the front porch.

However, to get the kids to bed early I had to threaten to give away their puppy and also told them no more icecream or bread for the rest of the week if they make a peep. I also threw in a few screaming fits like "What in heavens exploded in your bedroom?" and "if you hit your brother on his personal area one more time you are getting spanked" and "For goodness sake, can't you urinate in the toilet without hitting the walls on both sides?".

There are days I am SuperWorker. I plug away and get a few posts for my blog done, a few actions written, design a blog or two, catch up on all of my emails, and even read a few of my favorite blogs. Meanwhile, it is 5PM, the morning dishes are still in the sink soaking, the kids have been playing with their markers and blocks in their room for hours, the dog is sitting dejected because no one came out to play with her and my husband comes home to a sandwich he has to make himself, after he ate a sandwich for lunch he made himself with moldy bread he found in the back of the pantry.

Most days I am nothing resembling anything Super. I am like most women out there, trying to balance life and not run over the dog while backing out of the garage.

I have priorities and I try to put the kids and my husband first, but life doesn't always work out as well as I would like. My house is never really clean the way it was BC (before children). My husband and I hardly ever go out on real dates, hoping that the 18 years of amazing dating BC we had will help us make it until the kids are responsible enough to leave with a sitter.

And I also realize that I can't do it all at once, especially if I want to do it well. I have to let some things slide or I will get totally overwhelmed.

I struggled for years BC trying to figure out what I would do when I "grew-up". Suddenly I was in my mid-thirties, happily married, but no real amazing high-powered career. I felt that I had not lived up to my potential but I knew if I wanted to have kids I better start thinking about it and put the career aspirations on hold.

I had the two boys and my life totally changed. I started thinking about my obituary.  Yes, there are many late nights when you have a newborn on your breast and you sit there in a daze thinking about how dead people seem very rested.

Did I want "Rita was a famous scientist who discovered a new enzyme"? Did I want "Rita was a businesswoman who made tons of money"?  Did I want "Rita was the cleanest women alive and sewed her own designer clothing"? Sure, those things are nice, but I realized a simple "Rita was a loving wife, mother, sister and daughter and will be missed" would mean everything to me.

So back to my messy imperfect life. I don't do it all and I have learned to live with it.


Thanks Mom (my mother was along and offered to take this lovely family photograph),  so you couldn't tell me that I had a mustache?  And what is it with my boys? And why does everyone look mad in this photo except for me?  If you watch Raising Hope they had an episode dedicated to that.  Family photo after family photo, there was smiling Mom surrounded by a sea of unhappy family faces.

To have one family  photo that would not haunt my dreams would be really nice.  :-)

And why are my favorite photos always the snapshots and not the carefully composed images?

84 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I laughed.... and cried :) You are so talent and loving and it shows through your sincerity! Cheers to all the moms on making it quality instead of quantity!

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  2. I love your blog, I really do! But even more so, I love you! In a totally non-creepy way of coarse. You hit the nail on the head. I was starting to feel like I was the only one who couldn't do it all, not at the same time at least. Thanks for being awesome!

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  3. Okay, this is my favorite post of yours so far... and that includes all the actions unwrapped! (Which I just love!) I love how you talk about this very subject I think about now and then myself, because I don't do as much as you and I can't keep up. Balance is great; accepting it's not all going to be done is great too. That has allowed me to relax and let the dishes go tonight and enjoy my book/blog reading/etc. ;)

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  4. You have no idea how much I needed that, and thanks for a good laugh =)

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  5. Rita, whatever you're doing, keep on doin' it. I Love Love Love your free actions and I'd be happy if you provided half the amazing stuff you provided via your blog. :)

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  6. This is one of the best posts I've ever read! Very funny and very real. Maybe I don't need to throw in the towel after all. Thanks for such a great post!

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  7. Totally hit home. Definitely feeling the balance is off in my life. Always good to know I'm not alone in the struggle!

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  8. Huge thank you to my friend Jeneanne for sharing this with me. This blog hits very close to home for me as well. Its nice to know that as a mom we all are so similar and I am feeling a little more normal today. :)

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  9. Thanks for another wonderful post!! This sounds so much like me, it's scary :) I start many projects & enjoy many hobbies, but I'm always letting something slide (usually the cleaning, LOL). Your husband is a wise man! You can't do it all perfectly all the time!
    I love that you stay home with your boys, but still have hobbies that you enjoy. I also stay home with my boys... 4 of them!!! Your Imp reminds me of my Owen... I think it's the hair :)

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  10. Hi Rita - I have been a long time reader of your blog and love all that you do! I love the actions, your personal posts and just everything that you share with us! While I haven't had children yet, I certainly hope I can be even just a quarter of what you are to your family and I would be happy! Thank you for sharing your life with us all!

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  11. Oh, how I remember those days! My five children are all grown now (yes, they really do grow up!), and you know what? It's still kind of like this. Every day is a new focus and a different "Me". Thanks for a wonderful real-life post. Keep smiling, you're doing great. :)

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  12. Wow! That made me cry because that's totally my life too! It's so nice to hear other mom's have a life just like mine. I'm ok, too, with not having it all done. I still need lots of help just getting some of it done. But most times I feel like it's not enough. Especially when hubby comes home and is disappointed in the disarray. Or the fact that my 4 year old spends more time on the iPad than I do. The boy knows how to get to the Apps and practically knows my mom's password! I keep using the excuse that he's learning and I'm being productive, but is that really what we all need? Thanks for reminding me we're human!

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  13. You made me laugh so much! I love hearing women be honest about the reality of our lives, instead of pretending to have it all and do it all at once. I struggle to "balance" and am learning as I grow up that what that really means is each day you choose to prioritize, and hope that over time it all gets done.

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  14. thank you. i think i said every last word you just wrote in my prayers last night.

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  15. Loved this blog post.Inspired me a lot for a writing class I am taking at the moment.

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  16. Because snapshots show the people we are and not the people we're trying to be? :-)

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  17. I can totally feel for you! lol! You are doing great..so it looks and seems! Go girl power!

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  18. I love this post. Intimately we all have the same amount of time. It's up to us to use it how we choose. Sometimes it's easier, sometimes it's harder!

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  19. Love it! I feel like this could be the story of my life too!

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  20. Bless you!! My children (whom I homeschooled while running a home daycare) are grown now & both are expecting babies of their own. Somebody forgot to tell me that you can remain insanely busy even after your children leave the nest . . . the joy is in knowing that whatever you choose to do TODAY, you'll do it with all the best God has given you. I, for one, appreciate all the little things (and not so little things) you do to help the rest of us : )

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  21. Such a great post! I think it should required reading for all moms!

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  22. So nice to know that I am not alone! I loved it all and the boys urinating in the toilet and not on the walls really made me giggle because I am forever fussing about that as well! :)

    Thanks for all of your wonderful actions - they are my faves!

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  23. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!

    So what were your kids doing while you wrote it? ;-)

    You are just adorable in your grungy clothes.

    Too bad I am all the way in San Antonio - I think we need a photographer exchange to take family portraits of each other's families. It's too much to do your own family.

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  24. Oh my-you hit the nail on the head with this one! I really need to lighten up on myself! Always feel like I need to do it all VERY well - no wonder I'm always cranky. As for the family portraits - oh I would love one of my family, seeing how I take portraits for other families - why, why, why, don't I have a beautiful one of me and my guys hanging up? Well, they hate my camera and hate to pose, so they always look, well, mad or unhappy, just like you said. Funny!

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  25. My favorite post from you! All mothers can relate, even vintage ones!

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  26. I am so glad I'm not the only one who deals with all this! Wonderful post!

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  27. I love that so many of you feel the same way, overwhelmed yet contented. ;-)

    I have been wanting to write this post for some time. I didn't want anyone to think I am some SuperWoman because that would be a complete inaccurate picture of my life. :-)

    But once I figured out I couldn't do it all, or at least do it all well, I was able to relax and just enjoy my family. At least on most days. ;-)

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  28. I laughed, I cried, I smiled and shook my head....I needed this more than ever. All of us try to be the all around super mom, but in reality just being mom is all that is needed. Hugs to all moms out there!

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  29. Oh THANK YOU Rita! I think this is the most helpful post you have ever written (for me anyways)! Ever since I started reading your blog I've wondered just how the heck you have time to do everything you do, and I've felt really under-accomplished with everything I do, knowing there are so many talented women out there doing everything I do and more...and handling it like pros. Thank you for being real and honest and as usual you are a complete inspiration. Thank you for this post. It is exactly what I needed today! :) You are the best!

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  30. I LOVE this post and am forwarding it on to my daughter, who has a "Danger Baby" and a 3 1/2 year old with an unhealthy attraction to reptiles...

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  31. Oh Rita!! This post had me just cracking up a hundred times. I love your blog, your actions and more than ever I love you... haha that sounds weird but this post is fabulous... how well I relate to everything you said. Especially about the snapshot part at the end. The photographer gets jipped -- big time. :)

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  32. This post made me laugh so hard I almost snorted my homemade squash soup through my nose (I was super chef yesterday). It also made me cry. Thank you so much.

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  33. Thanks for keeping it real! I want to hang this on my fridge as a reminder that it's ok to NOT be everything to everyone all the time!
    I cracked up at the mustache photo!!! Everytime my hubby takes a picture of me, my air is doing something weird and he never lets me know about it, lol!

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  34. If I lived near you, I would come take your family photo! You are such a sweetie! Thanks so much for all you do hear!

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  35. Rita - So so funny! I've also got two busy boys, (2 and 4)so totally get the "do not hit your brother there" and all that. I may forward your post to my hubby . .

    Your site is one of my favorite blogs as I have learned so much from you. I thank you!

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  36. A good friend from HS with 9 kids posted this on fb with raving reviews; I am really glad I clicked on it. From a fellow blogger who also tells it like it is but hasn't totally seen the light like you by trying not to "do it all now" =] thank you. You may count another follower among the legions to your blog. ♥

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  37. Thank you for posting that today! I needed it. I needed the reminder that while I can do everything, I can't do it all at once.

    Hug your hubby for the words of wisdom.

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  38. Rita,
    Good to hear that you are a mortal like the rest of us. :o)
    I do enjoy your blog and think that you are absolutely a good writer.

    All the best,

    Charlotte Wilson

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  39. Thanks so much for sharing this! I just posted a link to it on my blog "No Such Thing as Perfect."

    http://beingperfectlyhonest.blogspot.com

    Tomi Ann

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  40. I could relate to everything you said. The hardest part for me is that I feel like all of the Mom's that I personally know ARE perfect. They all seem to have it together while I seem to be always in the shadows. By the way, I am 40 years old and have four children. When will I stop comparing myself to everyone else?

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  41. Thank you so much for sharing this! It made me smile, laugh, & cry! It helps to know that I'm not alone. Thanks for your inspiration & hard work!

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  42. I REALLY needed to hear this. Thank you so much for your honesty :) Thanks for making me not feel like a failure because I can't be perfect at everything at the same time... THANK YOU! <3

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  43. Thanks so much for this post! I totally needed to hear that :)

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  44. I loved reading your post! So true for so many of us out there! Your still amazing no matter what hat your wearing that day! TFS!!!

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  45. Thanks for being so honest. I always feel like I am not Super like all the rest of the moms out there, but you are right when it is all said and done all that matters is that we loved with all of our hearts. Your post made my day.

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  46. Thank you SO much for this. I came from kevinandamanda.com. Reading this made me laugh and cry. I constantly struggle with doing everything, and I'm not even a mum yet! I have a home business, a house and man to look after and a long-term illness and I beat myself up for not being perfect. Not any more!

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  47. This was the first time I've visited your blog, on recommendation from www.kevinandamanda.com. As a stay-at-home mom, also with a small home business, I could totally relate. Was refreshing to hear such an honest reflection from someone who shares the same struggles!

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  48. I love Man vs Wild! Great post-- Me standing in the kitchen--realizing I will not be able to do the second step in PW's cinnamon rolls before we run off to a football banquet--identifying with you sooo completely!

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  49. Thank you for that! This is the first time I have seen your blog - it was featured on the Kevin and Amanda blog facebook page. But I'm so glad I read it. From someone who always feels like I NEED to do it all and end up feeling overwhelmed a lot, I can now tell myself that it's okay if something isn't finished right away or put off until tomorrow. So thanks again for putting that so eliquently.

    -Amber

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  50. Seriously, these are the best comments ever. I love reading them and realize I am not alone!!!

    And yes, we LOVE Man Vs. Wild. I have a bit of a crush on Bear and my boys learn so much from watching. The other day Duke was trying to make a fire in the middle of the field with some sticks and hay. He was doing a pretty good job, but I told him fires in the middle of a dry hay field are not a good idea. ;-)

    And Pioneer Woman's recipes have saved my marriage a few times. Those cinnamon rolls are the BEST!

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  51. WOW...I stumbled onto your blog through Kevin & Amanda on facebook. It couldn't have come on a better day for me! I laughed and cried as I realized that we don't have to always be SUPER all the time and to add humor in trying to do it all, makes it easier to handle! Thank you...I am feeling better already!

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  52. You just summed up my life these days!! I have often wondered what I was doing wrong and why other people seemed to have it so together. I guess I just happened to see those people on one of their "super" something days! Thanks so much for your honest and insightful post! I love your blog and all that you share.

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  53. I love your blog and I love this post! Thank you!

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  54. Amen Sistah! Can I just take most of that and use it for journaling on my own scrapbook layout? I will change the names and everything. ;)

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  55. Thanks for this...passing it on.

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  56. I loved it! Thanks for writing it. I loved the obituary part the most. Hey, at least you are really thin and pretty and you are talented and have an amazing blog/business! You go girl!

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  57. LOVE the candor. You go girl!

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  58. I so needed to read this today. I am at my full time job stressing about picking up my three daughters that I raise completely on my own and the 12 friends they are having over this evening for a Halloween party. There is never enough time, energy or money but there is plenty of love. Whenever someone asks me how I do it all I say "I don't." The first thing I did when I started having kids....stopped mating socks. True story. They all go in a bucket in the laundry room and the kids have to shuffle through them everyday to find a match. I craftily use that precious time to, you know, do things like go pee by myself. Great post!

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  59. Rita, you are a blessing! Your Elements actions, tutorials, etc. have been the biggest help to me. I've learned in leaps and bounds because of them and I have needed that! And today, thanks for "keepin' it real!" I needed THAT too.

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  60. Thanks for this post. Real... and so funny.

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  61. Thank you for this wonderful reminder! I laughed and teared up a bit and it was so good to hear. I am a mom of 5 year old twins, a 4 year old and a 2 year old; will be homeschooling the twins next year, currently starting up a photography business and trying to keep husband and kids at the forefront. Thank you for the reminder that each day is different!

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  62. Thank you for your wonderful words! I laughed so hard I cried. Those were all such good things for me to hear. I love your blog and all the things you do. Thanks so much!

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  63. Loved this post. I could totally relate. Love the end about the family photos. That is so true!

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  64. This was, by far, the best blog post I have read in a while. Thank you for that. And it's nice to see, from all of the comments, that I'm not alone.

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  65. Just now took a moment to get to know you better. What a wonderful post!

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  66. I've been reading your blog for awhile and using your freebies as well...thankyou! But what I really wanted to say is that this post is sooooo very encouraging! I think I try to do it all at the same time way too often and go to bed frustrated very often. thankyou for your honesty!

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  67. Awesome post Rita. Thanks for the reminder today!! :)

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  68. I have downloaded several of your wonderful "freebies" and I have been following your blog...I was just browsing through some of your posts (while having my morning coffee) and I love this post! It really made me wonder...what do I want in my obituary - I can honestly say I have never thought of it that way before!!! You are an inspiration and keep up the good work!! I plan on making a donation sometime soon - because I have downloaded several of your great textures and actions. Keep up the good work...in all the areas of your life! God bless!!!

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  69. Thank you so much for the reminder and encouragement. You wrote exactly what I needed to hear. I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one that feels like she just can't do it all. And thank you for your actions. Love them!

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  70. wow... i came across this post and i was scanning through your site (which i am SO thankful for!) you seriously brought tears to my eyes and i just want you to know how much you have helped me fulfill my life dreams in attempting to do it all (or not)! keep up the amazing work rita!!!! xoxo

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  71. Love this post, it sounds like a conversation my husband and I just had.

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  72. oh my gracious - I had tears of laughter running down my face reading this post. so very true!

    I have a 2 & 4 year old...we run a business from home...and it seems like there is always a never-ending list of to-do's.

    balance has to be one of the hardest things of all!

    thanks for sharing :)

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  73. I am visiting your blog from "Grammy's Sweet Nothings" and was thoroughly entertained with your funny and thoughtful post about motherhood.
    Anita

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  74. I LOVE this. Thank you for putting it so perfectly, accurately, wit-ily (is that a word?) and affectionately. I loved your positive tone and approachable perspective. No excuses, no complaining, just... true life. :) Thank you for sharing!

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  75. You made me feel so much better about being me :D great and thoughtful post and more than anything else, much appreciated :)

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  76. I just happened to stumble across this after staying up until 2am to make a photobook for my amazing mother...only to get up at 2:30 and 5:30 before my full time job with my youngest breastfeeding baby. The timing couldn't be more perfect as all of the dishes from yesterday were in the sink, the 4 year old crying over not getting his halloween costume, and the single motherhood I experience every night while my husband works an opposite schedule. However, my incredible mother who helps me do it all is worth and stay sane is worth the sleep deprivation.

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  77. Thank you for posting this. I needed to read it today...and wish I would have read it a long time ago.

    I am not typing this quote up and putting it on my fridge...and possibly taping it to the top of my computer:

    "A wise man once told me that it was true that women could do everything, but not at the same time."

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  78. Two words: Thank you.
    Although I am bawling right now, I'm smiling too! Very encouraging words to someone who is just starting off as a stay-at-home mom and future home-schooler...
    Thank you!!!

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  79. Thank you, thank you, this post literally made my day! I laughed so hard reading it and could really relate to some of your points! Continue doing what your doing as it really inspires work-at-home moms like myself out there :)

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  80. I know you wrote this what was probably about a million years ago now - but I wanted to thank you for writing it. I couldn't help laughing out loud and thinking how parallel our lives probably really are. It also gave me a little hope and reassurance that I'm not the only one in the boat. :)

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  81. I know this is an old post - but thank you! I SO needed this today. I laughed and smiled, you and your blog are so fantastic!!!

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  82. When you wrote this, I'll bet you didn't realize just how many Mom's out there would "need" to read this & would relate. Thank you!!! This was truly just what I needed to hear. :)

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