A few years ago, I had a huge girl crush on a blogger who was effortlessly beautiful. Not only was she stunning, but she also had a gorgeous home, a fleet of model children and a successful business of her own. I would follow her daily happenings with awe. While my day's accomplishments had been a Tesco run with fuzzy hair and consuming half a pack of Custard Creams for breakfast. Watching her left me feeling like a chubby freshman sitting on the bleachers of life while this sexy senior paraded by on the shoulders of the football team.
Then, as life does, we got shoved together to work on a project. I was so excited. We met and she was charming. In fact, everything about her life was even cooler in person. Instagram filters hadn't made things look better than real life. Her real life was actually absurdly cool.
BUT.... when we were together, there was a mention of a nanny. One that worked full-time at their house and I was shocked.
I wasn't shocked that they had a nanny, but I was shocked that in such detailed documentation of their life, it had never been mentioned. In this "intimate" window to their daily lives, this extra person had never been mentioned, included in photos or discussed. Suddenly, the invisible cloud of "less-than-you" was lifted from it's perch over me and a new feeling of "more-tied-up-than-you" settled.
You see, it wasn't that a beautiful life isn't possible. I just think, with tiny kids, it's not really possible to do alone. Maybe you're some amazing superhero that can make do it all... but I'm not. And there was something freeing for me when I learned that it took another woman an entire work week to help sustain the gorgeous life they were living. Someone else was making breakfast, sorting socks, prepping dinner, buying Christmas presents. Someone else was doing all the grubby things that get in the way of me taking time to get cleaned up, feel inspired and with enough energy to be charming.
And that's fine. In fact, that's awesome. Lucky her! Isn't that combination of gorgeous personal life/successful career the dream so many have?
It's been a few years, I still think about that moment when I realized they had a nanny a lot. For a while, Viola came everywhere with me for work. She was little. It was easy, but now she's bigger and Harrison is here. It's just not possible for Tyler & I to both work with our kids around, so we have someone that has been helping out a couple of days each week to make it happen.
It frees me up to do my job better, and I come home without looming to-do's waiting for me to tackle once the kids go to sleep. Now that my semester is coming to a close and our need for a nanny goes away for a while, life can go back to a less-organized version of itself One that involves lazier mornings, bigger laundry piles, daily Peppa Pig... and big cuddly piles of us around the house all day every day. Because that's all I'm capable of doing by myself, if I'm being honest.
Anyway, the point of all this? I don't know. I guess I just feel that this space can look pretty really easily, and that's not fair. Sometimes we forget what we edit out and we underestimate how people can perceive the lives we live. I just don't want to be someone that makes other people doubt themselves, because the truth is- I don't think we can have it all. I can't have a career and be with my kids all the time. And that's fine. Life is full of give and take. So yes, some days I get to dress up in clothes that are (nearly) clean and be free from the mundane tasks that can accompany being at home with kids. But it's only because someone else is supporting me to do so by picking up my slack on the home front.
So that's the deal. For some reason, I like being candid with you guys when I can about how life works for us. And because I never want to make anyone feel bad... especially for something that isn't even true!
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On that note... Hiring people to help with kids is a strange thing that I'm learning about as we go. Has anyone else been down this path before? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Wisdom is needed/appreciated- thank you in advance for sharing your experiences below.
*image by Ashel Parsons for Aspiring Kennedy