My Secret to “Doing it All”

The secret to "doing it all". You NEED to read this! From FunCheapOrFree.com

I've had a lot on my mind and heart lately. Mostly because it's been a busy month…potentially one of the busiest I've ever had in my life. And that's saying a lot. I decided to give myself 15 minutes (yeah right…45 minutes later…) to sit and write a quick post to answer a question that I seem to be getting asked more and more lately…

“How do you do it ALL?”

Brace yourself, because I feel it's finally time I share the secret I've been hiding about how I manage to have 3 successful businesses (and an additional 2 for Bubba), 4 perfect kids 5 and under (and another on the way), an abundant social life, plenty of time at the gym, a spotless house, patience for days, home cooked meals nearly every night, and a blissful home full of endless dance parties and no misbehavior or bickering. Ready for my secret?…

I don't.

I'm really sorry if this kills any pristine image you might have had of me. But it's true. I DON'T do “it all”. In fact, I hardly do “it” at all. Here's the reality of what my life is like right now…

I have 4 kids that are seem to be constantly fighting and snapping at each other, because I'm pregnant and grumpy 85% of the time and find myself snapping at them more often than usual. Amazing what kids pick up from us, eh? Even Bubba and I have been snappier at each other, again, because I started the awesome trend. I'm tired 100% of my day, mostly from being pregnant and anemic, but also from staying up until 12 or later trying to get things done (which I never seem to get anything done), being awaken at least 1x per night by at least 1 kid, and waking up way earlier than I'm ready for because my kids wake up at the crack of dawn.

I am a stay at home mom…trying to work nearly full-time hours the past few weeks. It doesn't work. I'm staying up late, or completely ignoring my house, or taking my kids to a play place with wifi so I can squeeze some work in…all the while feeling guilty about it. I'm building a huge budgeting program, 2 new websites, I've taken on a major YouTube project (info coming soon!), I've had national TV segments pop up lately (so exciting! But take SO MUCH TIME). I've missed deadline after deadline, my inbox is overflowing, I'm behind on all my projects, and sometimes I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. I know this intense workload is only for a short time, but it kind of feels like treading water while losing steam.

Dinner has been an after thought lately. I know how important it is to meal plan and some weeks I do great. But these last few weeks have been so intense, stressful, and packed, I literally can only manage to get a freezer meal in the oven, with little to no sides or veggies to go with it. Thank heavens for the freezer meals.

My house. Oh, my house. Some days I feel like it stays pretty clean, if we have a house showing or company over at some point. Other times it – literally – looks like this:

messy house

So I'm truly sorry to disappoint, and I hope this doesn't discourage anyone. But I have to be honest…

I'm not. I'm not “doing it all”.

In fact, sometimes I feel like I'm not really doing much other than adding more to my plate and making things more complicated.

BUT…

I am coping. And sometimes thriving.

I have avoided complete mental meltdowns, am accomplishing some huge goals, and have still found time to have fun. How?

Here are some of my tips for getting through the hard weeks:

  • Prioritizing

I have said no to several local TV segments, get togethers, blog events, and other things that I would normally be ALL over. Something has got to give, so I've learned to prioritize and say NO to the things that don't make the cut. Have you noticed I haven't been on Periscope lately? It's one of my favorite parts of the week, I look forward to it every Monday. But the truth is that I can't spare the 45-60 minutes it takes for me to pull one off. I know 45 minutes doesn't sound like much, but right now, every minute literally counts. So I've had to move it down on the priority list because it doesn't directly help me accomplish any of the things I'm working so hard on right now. The time will come when I can bump it back up the priority list, and I look forward to that day!

As busy as we both are, Bubba and I still make date night a priority, and we still find time to host friends and family in our home. All things are very important to us.

  • Finding time for fun

Sometimes it's hard for me to relax (literally, my shoulders are killing me). But it's important to know when to put the mop down, shut down the computer, and have a little fun. My family came to town for Thanksgiving and I ignored all responsibilities that didn't have to do with them, or the Holiday, for almost an entire week. We played games, had movie nights, and laughed a lot. Did it make this week harder and potentially more stressful? Yeah, not going to lie. But it's fine. I had fun, I needed it, and created memories with my family that are far more important than any other project I have going on.

See my family adventures at Instagram.com/Jordanfpage

See my family adventures at Instagram.com/Jordanfpage

  • Letting things go

Like this post, for example. I probably won't even be able to proof read it and it's killing me that I can't spend the typical 4-6 hours that a post normally takes. But my family and kids are top priority. So right now my house is a mess, because I took my kids to the aquarium yesterday instead of cleaning it. Yes, it's driving me nuts, especially because I just cleaned it a few days ago! But I'm headed to New York in 1 day to do a super last-minute segment for Good Morning America (surprise! yay!) and all hands are on deck to get ready for that. Though I turned down local TV segments, GMA is a huge priority for me so it's worth letting things go for.

I have a huge deadline Wednesday for a new YouTube project I've taken on so things can wait until that's done. Fancy homemade meals from scratch can wait. The decorating for Christmas can wait (as much as I hate it). The shopping can wait. The house cleaning can wait. I just won't allow drop-in visitors inside, and will close my eyes when walking through my laundry room. But once my project is submitted Wednesday, I can spend 1-2 hours focusing on my house, for that will be priority before I leave for NY, then when I get back, the top priority will be to get Christmas in full gear in the Page Household! Dreaming of my kitchen looking like it did just a few days ago…

clean house

  • Making lists like my life depended on it

I picked up a paper planner and have been using it to almost an OCD degree. I write EVERYTHING down. Where I'm supposed to be. When. Why. To do lists. Ta-Da lists. Christmas stuff. Meal planning stuff. Grocery stuff. Anything that I would normally rely on my brain for, I no longer rely on my brain for and put it on paper instead.

  • Getting help.

Again, right now my blog/work stuff is way busier than normal. My goal was NOT to be a working mom, but to have my blog on the side while my kids sleep. Right now it's much more than that, and I'm working so hard for the next month or two so I can step back considerably in the New Year and work very little from here on out. So right now, I have to accept that I need some help! I'm currently looking for a cleaning crew, and as soon as I find one, I plan to have them come regularly to help me deep clean my house.

Recently we had a college student living in our basement, working as a mother's helper in exchange for rent. It was amazingly helpful to have another set of hands to run to Costco for me so I could take my kids to the museum, or switch out the laundry for me while I was taking the kids to school, or walk our dog for us when we were out of town. Sadly, she's getting married and moved out so I don't have any extra hands. But I've had to hire sitters a few times this month as deadlines came up that couldn't be ignored. I can't do it all. And I feel like as long as I have a deadline and timeline so that this crazy phase doesn't last forever, I feel no guilt in getting help in the meantime to make sure it's all done so my life can slow down!

I can't NOT give credit to Bubba. He is SO amazingly helpful. He is extremely supportive and hands-on. Without a supportive, helpful husband, I'd be more of a mess than I already am.

  • Give myself some credit and stay positive

As women we are hard on ourselves. I think it's so easy to focus on everything we AREN'T doing, rather than celebrate what we ARE doing. I try to make lists of things I've accomplished and keep my goals in mind, the top of the list being my family. So sure, it bugs me that we don't have 2 warm sides with dinner each night. But the last few weeks, we are lucky to be eating at home at all. It would've been much easier to order pizza or take-out so I'm proud of myself for pulling out freezer meals, making super quick spaghetti or quesadillas rather than getting Wendy's each night.

Staying positive is a huge thing for me. If I find myself feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed, I just try to put a positive spin on whatever it is that's bothering me.

“I have so much to do.” The reason I have taken on extra projects is because they will allow me to work less in the future. So while it's all piling up now, in a few months it will set me up for being able to accomplish my goals, while working WAY less.

“My house is a mess.” At least we had fun today!

“Our schedules are so full right now.” It's the Holidays! How fun! There's so much going on, enjoy it because the season will be over before we know it.

  • Pray. A lot.

Christus

Picture I took over Thanksgiving break of a Christus statue at Temple Square, a religious place of great importance to me.

My ultimate priority goes to my religion and God. It's easy for me to accidentally slide that down the priority list when I have 8 days worth of laundry to catch up on. But I find that when I make an effort to keep spiritually matters as #1, I seem to have the strength to make it through another day.

So, there you have it.

I'm not exactly sure what the purpose of this post should be, whether it makes you feel better or worse. I guess all I want you to know is that

YOU are awesome, YOU are enough…and YOU are not alone.

We all get overwhelmed, even me. Especially me.

Please don't spend even one second comparing your worst to someone's best…on social media, no less! With all the editing, filters, and fanciness. You are enough, and you are doing GREAT.

Yes, I'm busy. Yes, I feel like I never get anything done. But I am super happy in spite of it. I make the conscious decision to wake up every day excited, and to love my life…or to do whatever needs to be done to make it a life I can love.

We all go through hard seasons, easy seasons, and everything in between. There are times and seasons throughout our lives, and I just so happen to be in a manic one. Thank you for your patience as I might seem a little scattered right now…because I am 🙂

So I'm sorry to disappoint, but the secret is no, I don't do it all…and YOU shouldn't expect to either. But I do what I love and what's important to me, and I hope you do too. Not all at once, and maybe not very well. But I wish that we would all choose to live with intention and intense focus, and strive to be excited to wake up tomorrow and see what it has in store for us.

…messy kitchen and all.

signature2

Comments

  1. AvatarMichelle V says

    1) THIS POST IS AWESOME. It is what every mom needs to tell each other – we post pics of the good stuff to document it and share, but nobody “has it all”, at least not all at once! 2) There is nothing wrong with Wendy’s. ? 3) I look forward to Periscope resuming but I can’t even imagine how busy you we right now. And 4) I hope you didn’t take time out of today to read this comment. Read it later. ? You rock!

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Haha you better believe I’m a Wendy’s fan! (We had lunch there yesterday, in fact…hehe) But every night is a little much. I can’t wait to get back to Periscope too, maybe I’ll scope while in NY! Thanks for reading XO

    • AvatarHeather says

      LOVE this post. I am a stay-at-home mom of 4 and you know what? I struggle a lot with feeling I am not good enough… i.e. I am not doing anything important, why can’t I blog or do something important and of value? (yes, I have a serious problem of comparing myself to others) That is what I do. I stay at home. Nothing special or important… I don’t have a degree, or blog, or sell things on etsy (which I totally could because I love to crochet & sew : ) ) I cook, I do laundry, my house is always clean, and there is usually a homecooked meal simmering in the crockpot or stovetop, and a dessert baking in the oven. I look at people who have a successful business, or blog, or job that they love and I am jealous and feel worthless almost. BUT, I have been praying about it alot lately, and you are right. We are ALL awesome and we are ALL enough. God does not call us to each live the same lives. We are all different and are on different paths. What I do is my job. My family for now is my job until God directs my paths otherwise. After all, at the end of this life what is important or what was important? God, family, and others. Thank you for this post! I think that as moms, no matter our vastly different lives and backgrounds, we all need to give ourselves a little credit and a little grace. Because yes mam we are all awesome, enough, and ok!

      • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

        This was such an impactful comment, thanks for sharing! And just for the record, YOURS is the life I would look at and compare myself to. Oh, to bake! Ugh! My poor kids 😉 Thanks for bearing your heart! XO

  2. AvatarEmily says

    You are amazing, Jordan! Thanks so much for sharing this – I so respect when people stop being social media perfect and are honest about their lives. Good luck on GMA – that’s amazing, congrats! xx

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Thanks so much! I’m super excited about the opportunity…just wish life would slow down for 2 seconds, haha 🙂 Thanks for reading XO

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      It’s a random one I found at Michaels, I think I’m going to make a similar version so I can sell it for cheaper to everyone! The concept is cool but needs some tweaking, so stay tuned!

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Cry away! Feels good to let it out once in a while, right?! 🙂 #BlessTheMesses. Thanks for reading! XO

  3. AvatarBrandi A. says

    An ellioquently written post. Something I needed to hear & remind myself of & I believe all Mamas need to hear.

    So when you get a chance… What 3 businesses do you have? How many more businesses are you adding? And how will this crazy time allow you to work less next year & the years to come?

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Thanks Brandi! Businesses: 1) My blog, 2) BombShelterBAby.com (nursing covers), and 3) Frugality Boot Camp conference which is now turning into Budget Boot Camp, an online budgeting program! I’m not adding any more businesses, just another website jordanfpage.com (not functional yet) so I can slowly shift away from blogging as often. Just shifting things to a “build it once and let it flow” kind of a thing. Fingers crossed that it works!

  4. AvatarPortia Tebandeke says

    Thank you so much for being real! I love that you mention “prioritizing” because it’s so important, but it’s so easy to get discombobulated with priorities when the busy-ness hits. I am in a busy season now too, and I am deeply encouraged by your post.

    Thank you again!
    Portia Tebandeke recently posted…The thing about moving. . .My Profile

  5. AvatarLindey says

    You are such a rockstar, Jordan! Thirty minutes ago I was literally walking through my house looking at all the cluttered crap that needs to be put somewhere. Then I remembered I forgot to put the leftovers away and the dishwasher needs loaded ( and unloaded first ). Oh yeah, that reminds me that there’s a pile of clothes on my bed needing to be put away if I want to sleep there tonight. My only saving grace is that my 8 month old is already sounds asleep and my 9 year old has showered. This post has seriously inspired me to relax for the rest of the evening and put the clothes back in a laundry basket when I’m ready to go to sleep. It can all wait for the morning. …. except for the leftovers. I do need to get up and put those away! ?
    You are such a blessing to so many people (myself included) thank you for everything you do. From the bottom on my heart ❤

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Haha YES! Save the leftovers! Though, I narrowly missed leaving an entire pan of casserole out on the counter last night, noticed around midnight. PHEW! Enjoy that precious baby…laundry baskets do a great job of holding piles 😉 Thanks for reading! XO

  6. AvatarJennifer says

    Thank you Jordan for this post. Seems like I am always running but your post has reminded me its ok to stop, sit and be still. I love seeing all the commets of other women building each other up, just what this world needs.

  7. AvatarMarissa says

    I LOVED this post, Jordan! I feel like we are besties 😉 All the time my husband will be asking me what I’m doing/watching and I say “you remember that blog that I am always talking about…?” And he’s like “oh yeah.” Hah.

    It is so true that having priorities (and saying no when you have to) is important to staying sane! I love how real you are and that you aren’t afraid to let everyone know. I love being on this journey with you! (And I have to remind myself to not compare, but you are totally my hero 😉 I’m just a few years behind you on the timeline.)
    Marissa recently posted…Baby Tips and Tricks (A Work in Progress)My Profile

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Oh my gosh, thanks Marissa! It’s an honor to be called your hero because I’m full of flaws…but I can only hope to bring a little more “real” to the online space. Thanks for warming my day! XO

  8. AvatarAnna says

    I feel like God put this in front of me this morning for a reason. If fact, I feel that way about many of your posts. This on is one of my favorites, EVER. Thank you.

  9. AvatarAlishia says

    Thanks!! It’s fantastic to read your honesty and makes me feel so much better that I can’t “do it all.”
    One quick comment- you use the term “OCD”. I know you mean no offence and aren’t trying to minimize the experience of those who actually struggle with OCD, which is a serious and debilitating mental illness, but perhaps a better word could be found for your planner love? There is a great post by Maman Loup’s Den on the use of “OCD”.
    You’re fantastic though! Keep on rocking!

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      OH such a good point!!! I’ll definitely be more sensitive, my brother struggles with it and I’ve never thought of it that way! Noted, thanks so much!

  10. AvatarDawn says

    This is a great article. I’ve been there and felt like i was an amazing starter but just didn’t finish things. It is so true about your kids, they won’t be there forever and it goes by so fast, enjoy them. They will never remember if the house is a mess. Thanks for all you do!

  11. AvatarCandice says

    So needed this!! Recently I’ve had a few people in my life completely disregard the work I do as a stay at home wife and mother. It’s a LOT to do with never enough time. We are all awesome!

  12. AvatarBrek says

    Thank you so much for this post. I so needed it. I am feeling so overwhelmed this week and it’s nice to hear that it’s ok to be behind. Thank you for keeping it real and not hiding behind a facade of perfection that so many other bloggers do. It’s nice to know there are other moms in the trenches willing to lift and empower!

  13. AvatarAustyn says

    This could not have come at a better time. I told my husband and my sister yesterday how I feel like I’m failing at everything lately. THANK YOU!

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Meant to be then! We are all in the same boat. Thanks for reading! PS Your name is ADORABLE. We have it on our baby name list and I thought I made it up; seeing it in person makes it 100x prettier! XO

  14. AvatarShonda says

    Hi, I just found your blog today when I googled Back to Mac. Anyways, I decided to click on this post to find your “secret” and found so much more. I needed to read this and feel like you were speaking directly to me in this post. Tfs!

  15. AvatarTeresa says

    My husband and i plan to start our family next year and i am transitioning my thinking from a working woman to a stay at home mom. This post is very inspirational to me. Thank you for your honesty and I love your blog. XOXO -Teresa

  16. AvatarCara says

    Hi Jordan! I loved this post 🙂 I was in Bubbas ward in Clayton. You’ve got a great guy and in laws, they are wonderful! I’m so glad Bubba got an amazing wifey! I am currently working 80-100 hours a week so I can work less later, too. The guilt of not doing all the things a stay at home mom “should” do is so hard for me. I’m afraid of missing out and regretting it later, or maybe it will pay off soon. Hopefully. Good luck in all your endeavors and I’m crossing my fingers for you that you can slow down soon and have no regrets and a super happy life! 🙂 Thanks again for your fantastic and honest post! Say hi to the hubby!

  17. AvatarKristin says

    Tears…? But then again i am preggo. Haha
    Thank you for being honest and raw. As a stay at home mama there are many days i feel defeated, but in the end its amazing to be home with my littles. Hang in there mama. You will get through it. Who needs a clean kitchen anyways! ??

  18. AvatarCaitlin says

    Thank you for this post. I’m a mom of 4 kids ages 1.5 to 7 and my husband works offshore. I’m alone half the year and run two small side businesses. My kids are in 3 schools and they vary in length so I’m constantly in the car. We’ve recently had to cut back so our monthly maid Service had to go and we are trying to eat at home more but it’s tough. I get a lot of “I don’t know how you do it?”s and I honestly tell people you just do it. You do what you know best and try your hardest. I will say when my hubby is home from the boat he is home and helps tremendously. He is a great father and husband. As for me, Each baby has made me more laid back (and I was way too type A before kids) and so that’s helped. I constantly have lists laying around my house and always have one in my head 🙂
    You’re doing a great job Jordan. Happy holidays and thanks for all the work you do.

  19. Avatarevi says

    this is probably the 500th comment to this post but I can’t NOT comment – THANK YOU so much for this post, Jordan! It was very timely, I am awaiting baby no. 3 every day, am not done with work and Christmas preparations and I am torn between “I want to get to know you. little baby” and “stay in there a little longer, there’s still so much to do” – and feeling bad about it. Reading your comment gave me hope and faith and strength. Thank you. It will all work out. Always.
    Best wishes from Austria and peaceful holidays, evi

  20. AvatarTina, Little Miss Organizef says

    Just what I needed to hear! Thanks Jordan! I have like 12 plates spinning at the moment and am out 6 from 7 days additionally to work, blogging, family. But it’s fun. And hard. And too few hours a day. So thanks for once again sharing straight out, posting a messy kitchen picture:-)

  21. AvatarBethany M. says

    Holy smokes, I needed to hear another mom talk like this tonight! I just found you through Millennial Moms on YouTube, and can’t even tell you how much I’m going to be on your site now! I’m working on simplifying life, and getting my budgeting and all that jazz under control (Yikes), so it’s perfect timing to find you! Thanks for being honest about life. It’s easy to dress things up when you’re on the internet. That picture of your kitchen made me feel like a normal human being!!! 🙂 HAHA!!! Mine looks like that right now too! Have a great week…thanks again! Looking forward to checking in here more often!

  22. AvatarLupe says

    Thanks for being so honest about having help. Sometimes I feel like Moms that I know hide that kind of stuff. No need to be ashamed to need help. You can’t help to compare yourself with others and not knowing that kind of thing makes me feel like I don’t have it all together.

  23. AvatarLaura says

    Such a great post, Jordan!

    Per usual, love your open honesty. This post is so incredibly relatable. Doing it all and being it all is such a lie. We just gotta do the best we can with what we have.

    Love that you are being intentional, letting the non essentials go and asking for help. Keep it up, Mama! XO
    Laura recently posted…10 Healthy Smoothie IdeasMy Profile

  24. AvatarCelina says

    Love you for this post! I dont know how i ended up on this page but it sure has me breathing a little better and for that I thank you. Have a great season my dear!!!! 😉

  25. AvatarAdrienne says

    Probably the best post ever written. Thanks Jordan for your honesty, tongue in cheek humour, an wisdom. We need more articles like these, I’m so sick of this picture perfect reality that we are constantly spoon-fed with by the classic and newer social-media. Life is not like this, women don’t look flawless in real life, men do not run around with shiny six-packs, kids are messy and stressful at times, and everybody is overwhelmed by chaos every now and then. But we think we are abnormal if all this happens to us.

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