A few nights ago around 9PM Jordan snapped this photo of me finally sitting down (my glass of wine was just outside the shot) right after we got Mars to finally go to bed. He said, "Laur, stay right there, the lighting is so good on your face." I actually don't love this photo – I had taught three classes, was half asleep, and my smile was not genuine. I wanted to just stick my tongue out at him and scream.
At the risk of oversharing, I have had a few very difficult weeks. I like to think of myself as a pretty positive, even-keeled person, but the last month has thrown me into total overwhelm mode. I would love to tell you that I have been riding it out gracefully, but I really haven’t. I have not been myself. I’ve been cranky, pessimistic, aloof, and questioning every part of my life.
I put off writing this post because I didn’t want to spread my Negative Nelly vibes across the Internet and into the studios, so I internalized it (I’m really good at that), and then I decided to just do it because I think there is something to be said for sharing my current struggle with you. I would be upset if, from reading the blog or what you read about me, you gathered that I am an invulnerable health and fitness guru who always has it together. Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful life and I can usually juggle a zillion balls in the air, but I am having a messy moment.
I'm struggling with running a company and caring for a child. And I have to tell you that doing it all is totally overrated. I'll be honest, guys, I'm spent. I feel like I need to go to rehab for exhaustion. My life — both work and personal — has changed so much over the past year and the juggle has become more difficult. I've since taken on more staff (salaries to pay), I'm expanding Lithe, and have a few large projects in the future (greater expectations on myself), and I have a child who needs and wants me, but also makes me feel torn.
We currently have a part-time nanny and Mars is in school part-time, so I'm basically a very part-time stay-at-home mom with two full-time businesses. I love having the ability to work from home and be with Mars when he's home but it doesn't really work out, so for the past three-and-a-half years, I worked around the clock, all day, in the evenings while Mars was in bed, on the weekends, and whenever he napped. And now he no longer naps, so things (and stress) started to pile up in every area of my life.
My days are crazy. I teach, train teachers, blog, shoot content for Lithe, FHH, and Lithe Foods, and cook meals for my family. I take Mars to school, soccer, art, and to the playground while checking in with my teams, managing projects and people, developing product, planning, programming, streamlining Lithe, and responding to a gazillion emails (and feeling guilty for being on the phone around him and also feeling guilty for not being there for my staff as much as I should/could).
Sometimes I feel like I may explode over this constant battle of being pulled in a zillion different directions. And I hate the constant combination of being stretched so thin while feeling guilty. I feel guilty that I have to leave work to pick up Mars, I feel guilty when I can't put more time into something at work, I feel guilty when I have to leave Mars, and I feel guilty when I get snippy (or go completely internal) with Jordan because I'm taking my stress out on him. I love my job, I know myself well, and I know that I need (and want) to work, and that my creative brain really thrives when doing so many things. I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I also know that my son will only be little for so long and I want to spend more time with him.
Why am I telling you this? Because people ask me all. the. time how I do it all. I say that I have a stellar team, I try my best, and I pick my battles. There are so many moving parts and I've had incredible success and some amazing failures, but mostly I am a work in progress. I'm still figuring it all out. Oftentimes I find myself pushing and working so hard that I forget to be present. This whole working while parenting experience has made me reevaluate my life. I know that it's okay not to always be okay and right now it feels really good to slow down, be mindful, appreciate idleness, and live in the moment. I hope that my struggle with the juggle helps some of you working (and non-working) moms (and non-moms) out there. We're all in this together!
While writing this I was inspired (via my friend January) by the Hopewell quilts article in Mother Mag.
Image of Lauren via Jordan