We Can’t “Do It All,” But We Can Do It Our Way

have it all

Like a lot of moms, I sometimes get asked “how I do it all.” 

I’ll admit our life is busy: I have 4 kids, a full-time career, keep my marriage healthy, volunteer for multiple organizations, make homemade meals, have a garden, read books and exercise, plan family vacations, make time for friends and keep an organized, clean home.

How do I do it all?

As you can see, there are MANY things missing from that list.

I don’t wear make-up and style my hair every day. I don’t keep my house updated and in-style. I don’t look fashionable or accessorize. I don’t stay up-to-date on all the trends. I don’t manage my own business. I don’t always keep up with the latest news. I don’t know how to use Snapchat (ugh, Snapchat). I don’t spend every weekend at my kids’ sporting events. I don’t give the best gifts. I don’t put together fancy dinners and cheese boards. 

And there are so many more things I could add to this “I don’t” list.

No one woman can do it all. If I combine all the things above, and then add a third and fourth woman’s “how do you…” story, you create a woman that doesn’t exist.

Because no woman can do it all.  

Our priorities are different, but neither of our priorities are wrong. I choose to walk the dog for an hour every morning instead of doing my hair and putting on make-up. You may find that admirable, but when I get to a meeting at work and see someone with their hair and make-up done and beautiful clothes on, I find THAT admirable. 

My house is clean and organized because we do few projects on our house; I just let everything go out of style. I read articles regarding child behavior instead of articles about design. I had time to make homemade waffles for breakfast because my hair is drying in a bun on top of my head. I send out Christmas cards on time every year because I don’t plan special outfits and we walk to our front steps to take the same, lazy picture. We go camping and on summer road trips because we don’t have a lake place.

Remember the things a woman is NOT doing when she appears to “do it all.” 

We need to learn from each other, because we can’t do it all. Asking for help or advice doesn’t mean that you are failing or that you are unable to do the thing you’re asking for help with. It means you recognize that people prioritize differently than you; not better, but differently. And so they have more experience, more passion, more information on that topic that is a priority to them. Use their passion to help you keep your priorities in an order that works for your family, and let them help you.

If you’re truly looking for a shift in your priorities, then you’ll have to creep out of your comfort zone.

If you want to read more, then put down the remote and show-up to the book club invite. If you want to have closer relationships with friends, then get a babysitter or skip a kid’s sporting event and show-up to dinner. If you want to host guests more or get your house clean and organized first, pick ONE of those priorities and let someone help you before you start the other.

If you try a priority-shift and you realize that you actually prefer your former methods, then go back to how you do life. The way you were “doing it all” differently than someone else was never wrong in the first place.  

Your “all” is how you define it to be. You get to decide, you get to own it, and you get to do it your way. 

And your way is the best way. 


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Erika has worked in the educational setting as a physical therapist for 17 years, after attending UND and NDSU. After recognizing difficult behaviors in her third child, she became an advanced trainer of the Nurtured Heart Approach®. Professionally, Erika is also a mentor, course-captain, and clinical instructor, and has served students in the Autism magnet program for 10 years. She recently served on the Pediatric Advisory Board for Curriculum Development at UND, and on a task force with the Department of Instruction to create the first school-based PT/OT guidelines in the state. She also is a mentor with BioGirls, leads a group of teenage boys at confirmation, leads a Girl Scout troop, and has coached baseball. For the past two Mother’s Days, Erika has hosted a Neighborhood Chalk Party, an event designed to further build relationships in neighborhoods on the principle of “it takes a village to raise a child.” She was born and raised in Hankinson, ND, and has lived in the Fargo area for over 25 years with her husband (who you may know as the radio DJ on Bob 95 FM: "Chris, John and Cori in the Morning"). Together they have four children: girl-boy-boy-girl, ages 10-16. Erika is passionate about empowering kids, preventative health, hiking, and national parks.


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