Admitting you can’t do it all – when you feel like you’re failing

Admitting you can't do it all - when you feel like you're failing

As I’m writing this, it’s Saturday night. My husband is at work, the littlest two asleep, the bigger two in their beds reading. I’ve been busy all day, ‘Autumn Cleaning’ the house, sorting through things ready for a car-boot sale next week, helping the teen sort her wardrobe out, playing with the toddler, doing laundry, cooking meals, diffusing tantrums. I have a mental to-do list running that’s longer than my arm. Jobs that I ‘have’ to get done before we start homeschool/work/back to normal schedules this week. I keep adding more and more to my list.

Hunting Pinterest/my cookbooks for more Autumn-y meals for our weekly meal plans.

Finishing reorganising our playroom cum craftroom cum school room.

Sorting my whole house out ahead of said car boot.

Catching up on blog posts I need to write.

Writing all the blog posts that are swimming in my head, begging me to write them down.

Reading the pile of books I’ve had sat by my bed all summer.

Watching a movie.

Doing paperwork.

As I made dinner, I made a list of what I could do this evening once the kids were in bed. And then it took me an hour to get the toddler to bed {again} and I slightly lost the will to live.  By the time I got back downstairs, put the next load of laundry in the machine and poured myself a drink, it was already half past nine.

And I was angry. And sad. And, truthfully a little pissed off.


And then I thought about how crazy that is. I am one person. I am not a superwoman. I have four kids. Who are home 24/7. One of whom is a toddler who apparantly does not need to sleep. A husband about to start college full time, who also works shifts. No childcare or help. Oh and I work from home too. One person – who has to be a mother, a wife, a teacher, a cleaner, a cook, a nanny, a writer, a secretary, a taxi service, and proabbly a zillion other things taht I forgot right now. That’s all before I am ‘ME’ – Polly.

I decided I needed to give myself permission to not do everything. To not try to be a superwoman and do every single thing all of the time.

To leave the laundry. Or the pile of dishes. Get the kids to help out more. To worry less and just be. To spend more time playing, reading, cuddling, colouring with the kiddos. They will grow up and be gone, and then I can do all the things I want, in my own sweet time.

In our mixed up society, there is so much pressure on mums to be perfect. From losing the ‘baby weight’ the second that your baby is born, to having perfect, tidy houses whilst being the perfect hands on mum. We wake up, after being up twenty times in the night with the baby, switch on our phones to be bombarded with pictures of ‘perfect lifes’ – those IG feeds that are gorgeous – no piles of laundry, dirty dishes, kids messes or tantrums in sight. We forget that they are the highlight rolls. that behind the scenes is a mum just like us, that they just choose to capture the best bits, the bits they want to remember and treasure.

So my new mantra is to slow down. Believe I am enough.  That I am doing my best. And I am not failing.

My days are packed full, and while I may not always tick off everythign that is on my to-do list, I still accomplish a lot. And ulitmately, everything that really needs doing, gets done. The kids are loved, read to, clean, fed. Homeschooling gets done, the house is clean even if it’s not tidy. My work gets done. And we have fun throughout.

I may be out of breath. Exhausted. Breathless. But not failing.



  1. September 6, 2016 / 08:54

    You’re ace. End of.

    I have far less on my plate and have just copped out and employed some help to stop me falling into the mental abyss when the new baby comes.

    If I had one tenth of your strength, I’d man up and do it myself!

    However, that being said, I’d love to hear more stories of ‘Polly’s wild night out’ and ‘Polly’s trip to the cinema to see an 18 film’ etc. Make it happen, kid!

  2. September 6, 2016 / 16:16

    Of all the people I might associate failure with, it certainly wouldn’t be you Polly! Just having four children with you all the time is MASSIVE, not to mention everything else on top. You do an amazing job.

  3. September 7, 2016 / 12:33

    Oh lovely I constantly feel like i’m drowning and have a gazillion things to do! well done for saying you can’t do everything though as that is totally normal. you’re doing ana amazing job and you’ve spurred me on to hit the to-do list! x

  4. September 9, 2016 / 12:07

    Polly this is such a good post and I relate to it so much – I find myself getting annoyed that there is simply not enough time not he day to get everything I want to do done but then again what is the rush? I think we all just need to be easier on ourselves

    Laura x

  5. September 14, 2016 / 10:02

    This is such a true picture of my life too! It is hard to let yourself off the hook of getting everything done off the ridiculously long list, but happy cared for kids and a flow of harmony through the days most definitely are the most important things! It’s sounds to me like you are doing great!!!

  6. Katie
    September 15, 2016 / 10:36

    I love this. It felt like you were talking about me. I can totally empathise. As a result of having a similar epiphany recently I took Facebook and various other things off my phone. I unfollowed aspirational and beautiful yet stress inducing IG feeds that left me feeling a bit inadequate and that in itself has left me feeling WAY happier!

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