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happy friday + not doing it all…

Oh Joy Dotty Wall

Oh Joy Dotty Wall

Last week, I had a conversation with an acquaintance on Facebook over her frustration of seeing so many handmade Valentine's Day cards that moms were making for their kids' classmates at school. She wondered how they had time to do that on top of everything else, and she felt it would make her look lazy if she just bought some simple cards at a store instead. I couldn't help but feel like I was one of those moms she was referencing as I had just posted a photo of the cards I helped Ruby make for her class. I had to respond to her to remind her she wasn't being lazy and also to tell her something really important…

No one is doing it all, and we are all "lazy" in some way. It just depends on what you care to spend your time on and what you don't. You can ask my husband when's the last time I made a homemade dinner. We get take-out or delivery more than I care to admit because after waking up at 6:30am, getting two kids up and fed, dropping one off a school, working a full day at the studio, and then trying to be home at a reasonable time to nurse my baby so that I don't have to pump yet another bottle of milk…whipping up dinner from scratch every night is just not something I want to do.

Believe me, I feel guilty about my lack of cooking all the time. As women, we feel insecure for the things we don't do or cannot do, but we need to start feeling secure about the things we're really good at. I like helping my kid make cards because I'm a designer and that's what I do for a living—I make things and I'm pretty damn good at it.

I hope you all have a great weekend not doing it all but, instead, just doing the things that matter most to you!

83 comments

  1. So true, Joy. Whenever you do something that takes time and energy, there’s a trade-off. We only have a finite amount of hours in a day… and at some point, we need to sleep! I make dinner every night, but then end up neglecting laundry, etc. Find what’s important to you and prioritize that, and everything else will just work itself out somehow. It always does!

  2. Amen! It really upset me last week when some people wanted to mention choking hazards on the cute balloons. I think ruby’s classmates are old enough to know not to eat them ? I wish people would be more joyful and find whimsy in life rather than be critical. 😉 And yes! you are so damn good at it joy! Can’t wait to see new products this year ! ❤️❤️❤️

  3. This is such a great post! Sometimes it’s hard to see the bigger picture, especially when comparing ourselves to others. You never know what someone is truly going through until you really know them as a whole, and everyone has their trade offs! No one can do everything all the time 🙂

  4. Completely agree! I am also a designer and love to make handmade items. This year I really didn’t have the time and my kiddo saw Sophia the 1st Valentines at Target. She said “I want those, mommy”. I said “done”. I also decided this week to hire someone to clean my house once a month because that is something I am so not good at and hate the heavy duty cleaning. I feel great about it because I know I have more time to do the things I love to do like cook for my family.

  5. I agree with this whole post, and would also like to add (to all moms) that the people in your own “tribe” already know all that you do every day and respect you for it. Everyone else can suck it.

  6. This has been an important lesson I’ve been learning lately. Oftentimes, it’s so easy to get bogged down what we’re not and what we don’t do. Thank you for reminding us to focus on what we are and what we’re accomplishing.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  7. This has been an important lesson I’ve been learning lately. Oftentimes, it’s so easy to get bogged down what we’re not and what we don’t do. Thank you for reminding us to focus on what we are and what we’re accomplishing.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  8. This has been an important lesson I’ve been learning lately. Oftentimes, it’s so easy to get bogged down what we’re not and what we don’t do. Thank you for reminding us to focus on what we are and what we’re accomplishing.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  9. This has been an important lesson I’ve been learning lately. Oftentimes, it’s so easy to get bogged down what we’re not and what we don’t do. Thank you for reminding us to focus on what we are and what we’re accomplishing.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  10. This has been an important lesson I’ve been learning lately. Oftentimes, it’s so easy to get bogged down what we’re not and what we don’t do. Thank you for reminding us to focus on what we are and what we’re accomplishing.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  11. This has been an important lesson I’ve been learning lately. Oftentimes, it’s so easy to get bogged down what we’re not and what we don’t do. Thank you for reminding us to focus on what we are and what we’re accomplishing.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  12. This has been an important lesson I’ve been learning lately. Oftentimes, it’s so easy to get bogged down what we’re not and what we don’t do. Thank you for reminding us to focus on what we are and what we’re accomplishing.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  13. This has been an important lesson I’ve been learning lately. Oftentimes, it’s so easy to get bogged down what we’re not and what we don’t do. Thank you for reminding us to focus on what we are and what we’re accomplishing.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  14. This has been an important lesson I’ve been learning lately. Oftentimes, it’s so easy to get bogged down what we’re not and what we don’t do. Thank you for reminding us to focus on what we are and what we’re accomplishing.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  15. This has been an important lesson I’ve been learning lately. Oftentimes, it’s so easy to get bogged down what we’re not and what we don’t do. Thank you for reminding us to focus on what we are and what we’re accomplishing.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  16. I love this so much and it’s something I’m trying to keep in mind as we get closer to welcoming our first babe this summer. I recently read an article that mentioned something like, ‘there is no such thing as balance, just your priorities, and those can change day to day’ and I feel like this is a great example of that idea in real life.

  17. This is such a great message to send – thank you! People (my parents included) often think that because I post a lot of recipes on my blog that we eat like kings every night. And truthfully, some nights we really do! But when it comes down to it some nights I am making a full spread and the other nights we are either ordering take-out or I am last-minute sautéing hot dogs in a skillet of melted butter. NO ONE is doing it all, at the very least not all the time.

  18. This is a really really nice reminder that we can’t always see into other’s lives and know what they’re not doing that we are or vice versa.
    Also, the guilt goes both ways. I end up feeling guilty when I hear the “what’s wrong with store-bought” arguments. This year we made valentines, and (humblebrag) they were super cute. But I got self-conscious because another mother made a comment about “it’s so not worth it to pinterest up valentines when the kids are happy with the ones at the store.” That seems to be a common sentiment in defense of the people that make things for parties or whatever. Like Joy, I have design and paper goods in my blood. But more than that, I wanted my daughter to participate in making something for her friends. It was about her experience, not me needing to show off. I didn’t care if they turned out ugly, it was for her to make and give to her friends, and I loved how proud and excited she was.
    So it kind of bums me out when people get so defensive about it that they need to belittle any effort whatsoever. I also get takeout more than I like, and I would never go to someone’s house and talk about how it’s not worth it to cook a homemade meal when everyone likes takeout just as much!

  19. Love this. I made my toddlers valentine’s as well. It’s easier for me to cut a bunch of hearts out than to bundle my lil baby up and drive to a store. Love the perspective.

  20. I think this is also so poignant for blog readers! It’s so tempting to read successful bloggers (such as yourself 😉 and think, “How does she do it all, and why can’t I seem to do the same?” This post was a good reminder that everyones strengths are different, no one can do it all, and social media is incredibly deceiving, haha.

  21. I’m also a designer and mother, and I think I’m mostly over the whole comparison thing, but it isn’t easy. I think it’s especially hard in the days of pinterest and facebook not to compare what you’re doing with what everyone else is up to online. I appreciate how you’ve expressed your feelings on the topic. Everyone’s busy, it’s all a crazy balance so do the things you like and are good at, and pay somebody else to do the rest!

  22. Thanks for sharing this! I think looking at pretty shiny things online can inspire us but also bring on the guilt. It’s great to remember that we don’t see the whole picture and we all have different skills and priorites. A bit of honesty really helps doesn’t it!

  23. I agree with you 1,000 %. We can’t feel guilty about everything that we don’t do. Better to keep in mind of all the things that we do instead. Thanks for reminder 🙂

  24. really enjoyed reading this post, very true, personal, and easy to relate. and sometimes we just all need to be reminded 🙂 have a great weekend!

  25. Thanks! Millions of thanks! I am feeling quilty almost everyday and tell myself that I cannot make a balanced life btw work, home, kid, husband and myself. Try to do everything but cannot make them all. Don’t you feel quilty that you don’t cook healty homemade food? I do, and I don’t know how I can or will make myself feel better about all these things that I cannot finalize at the end of the day. Therefore, I am always in a hurry)). Still find time to read your blog though:))

  26. I love this! Gosh your first name is so appropriate! Cut the crap out of your life and just keep opting for joy whenever you can! Life is too short. Have a great weekend and thank you for this very good reminder! x

  27. So simple and honest. Thank you! Your honesty, vulnerability and rad design skills are why you’re one of my favorite people to follow. This makes me feel better. Live and follow your strengths and be honest about where you are “lazy,” which is bull by the way. No hard working mama is lazy, tired and overwhelmed, yes, but not lazy. Bring a good mom is doing your best, playing to your strengths and not being afraid to ask for help and admitting that you do, not laziness. Thank you! PS your preschool post is also one of my favs. You’re good at this stuff (for what it’s wirth)!

  28. This was a sweet post. I totally feel you about pumping! It’s really useful to have a pump but pumping gets old really quickly! Ugh! I always wish Japan had more takeout options like in America. You can get really good food to go these days! In Japan the only takeout is pretty much fried stuff!

  29. This is such an awesome reminder. I feel like with social media we are also reminded of “everything” everyone else is doing and it can make us feel pretty inferior. To quote Ron Swanson, “It’s better to do one thing full assed than two things half-assed.”
    Hope you have an awesome weekend!
    maggie
    http://www.shopean.etsy.com

  30. I don’t have a kid but I loved this post. I sometimes look at mom’s on Instagram and all the crafty, amazing things they do and I can’t help but think that I might not have time to do that when I’m a mom and how guilty I would feel. I feel like that and I don’t even have kids!!

  31. PREACH sister! Thank you for this. It really is easy to fall into the trap of believing that everyone else is “doing it all.” But like you said, everyone is lazy in some way and we choose the to do the things that we care about the most. Makes absolute sense and is a reminder I think I needed to hear today. Thank you, Joy! 🙂
    xo Melyssa
    The Nectar Collective

  32. Wow, I really needed this. I am also going through this phase (hopefully) where I feel useless because I can’t manage to cook dinner because I have a 5-month-old baby and still trying to get the hang of handling housework and caring for my child. Thanks!

  33. Joy, this is the best parenting tip you ever shared, and thanks for this. Bloggers give people false impression that their lives are perfect, and people like to compare themselves with others. This is very silly as we tend to only see the strength and the best of other people or their lives. We never know the weakness of that person or what’s going on in the whole picture of their lives. Comparison is what makes people frustrated.

  34. You’ve hit the nail on the head there, Joy, thanks so much for such great words of comfort for the weekend! I’m often to be found feeling like your friend and never really put two and two together – we really can’t all do it all! So there’s no point in comparing. What we can do is do what we love well and not worry the other bits 🙂 xx

  35. Thank you, I think as women we try way to hard to measure up to Suzzie, Jane, etc.. And not just be who God called us to be. My passion is to love other right where they are and to help them for be what their happy healthy life is. I can cook but don’t have time most nights. I don’t keep my house perfect lol so far from it. One day I will be able too o afford a cook and cleaner so I can do what I LOVE.

  36. I think it’s also important to note that women in our society are expected to do SO MUCH, especially in regards to housework. A lot of the time women are already handling two jobs-your “real” job and then the housework. And you know what? It sounds like you’re kicking ass at it all! Plus, a bit of takeout never hurt anyone 😉

  37. The kind of “women on women” crime that you’re describing is definitely something that’s been on my heart as well, Joy. I love that you were self-aware enough to ask yourself if you might be one of those moms that she was talking about, and then to point out the fact that every mother has their strengths and weaknesses.
    I wrote about a similar topic on my blog titled “I’m Right, You’re Wrong” – a common phrase many mothers like to say to one another. I’d love it if you could check it out if you find a spare moment in your hectic life 🙂 http://memeandsheshe.com/im-right-youre-wrong/.
    Thanks for your honest post!

  38. Thanks for taking the time to read it, Joy! I really appreciate it!
    Amy Poehler’s book is pretty awesome…although I think I enjoyed Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” more…and Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” is a great read too 🙂

  39. Thanks Daniela!
    Also, I know what you mean about the impression people get from bloggers, and I don’t think bloggers ever try to claim that their life is perfect. It’s just that as it the case with social sharing, we show only a certain part of our lives publicly and oftentimes, those are the “prettier” moments…as some of the messier moments are also private too. I think if we all can feel a bit more confident in who we are and what we’re good at, seeing other people kick butt in what they’re good at won’t make us feel so bad. I am guilty of it too, but I try and remember what my strengths are and own it!
    Joy

  40. It totally is a phase and you will get the hang of it soon! I felt super useless in the first few months of being a mother to two kids and had a hard time wrapping my head around how to juggle it all. It gets better, and you start to just figure out what works best for you and your family. And when you can be a little less hard on yourself, that helps too! It’s a constant struggle for me, but it helped a lot once I accepted that I didn’t have to do it all and my family would still love me the same 😉
    Joy

  41. Try not to feel guilty. Once you can be a little easier on yourself, it will help you feel like you can manage everything in the best way possible for you and your family. Everyone will still love you the same whether you cook a homemade meal or not!
    Joy

  42. Thank you very much. It certainly is true and with a little bit of planning and knowing whats up next… planning can be a good friend. Taking time to do the things that are important to you is very true. Thanks Joy and I wish everyone peace. 😀

  43. My daughter’s preschool draws names and then each friend makes ONE very special valentine for that person. (My daughter drew one with pickles on it because the little boy she drew
    always has pickles in his lunch.) It was actually something they mentioned when we were touring the school that really impressed me and all I could think was “WHY THE HECK DOESNT EVERY SCHOOL DO THIS?” Maybe this is a reminder that not only do we need to simplify things for ourselves but also, when presented with the opportunity, make things simple for those around us too.

  44. Perfectly stated! I am also an artist/ designer and mom of three boys. I can relate to this on so many levels! Thanks for sharing!

  45. Such a simple but meaningful post. Very well said! I don’t know why we must make life into one big competition, when it’s already difficult enough as it is, just being! I can’t speak for the men, but I wish us women would acknowledge the accomplishments we achieve rather than judging or comparing ourselves to each other so often. Great thought to carry with us through the week, thanks! xx

  46. Love this idea! My first thought on reading this post, being a Brit, was “what they give valentines cards out to everyone in the class over there?!” I often wonder how you all find the time to do so much over there with the amount of effort everyone seems to make in coming up with original designs for fancy dress, giving so many bespoke gifts etc. We don’t do valentines cards in school unless it’s to someone we actually have a crush on haha! I think we are just a bit lazy and even then… I’m sure we buy most things and only make stuff for those really special people in our lives! Is that so bad? 😉

  47. Lovely sentiments Joy :). I’m not a mom, but I totally understand that sense that you are not doing all you should be. Just reminding yourself to do the things that make you FEEL amazing, and forgetting the rest, that is truly beautiful, and I feel, most productive.

  48. You could not have put this any better! I have friend moms that ask me in what time I do my crafting and how they could never do anything by hand like me… My response is that I craft when my husband carves out time on Saturdays and takes all the kids out of the house so I can craft. I only craft for pure joy, to give something special to a family member or friends, but never to impress anybody.
    We need to stop judging each other whether we stay home or not, or if we feed our kids organic or not, blah, blah. As mothers, I think we all need to be supportive and give grace to each other. Being a mother, or homemaker, or career woman, or both is a team effort. No one has it all together 😉
    Thank you for your transparency and honesty!
    Ursula

  49. This is a very wise take on the topic, we are good at certain things and we are not, so lets not get stressed about it. Everyone has their induvidual style of doing things… some people can do it all… super moms, others can not do it all but thats fine as long as they take care of the family which ever way they do that… its not good to come under pressure, lets just get adept at managing tasks, its a challenge not a burden or test and all can do well in their own way this way… at home lets not bring comparison and competition but relaxing, peace, love and freedom… that will be good.

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