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Shannon Guyton
Contributing Writer

How Does She Do It All? Well, She Doesn’t

I came across a post by Liz over at Mom-101 about  the myth of “doing it all”, and with the demands of all the roles I play: mom, wife, employee, daughter, friend, neighbor, Girl Scout leader, football team mom, I often get the same question as Liz: “How do you do it?” If I’ve ever given the impression that I have things under control, I apologize! There is no one super mom who can handle everything with 100% thoroughness, and anyone who acts like they do (and makes the rest of us feel like crap) has a scary closet somewhere, I promise.

Here’s my liberating list of what I don’t do and what I choose to do instead:


  • Clean up the house every day. Or every other day. Or once a week. Just this weekend I panicked when a friend asked to go inside to use the bathroom. “Be careful in there!!!” I yelled.
  • Cook. I take about every kitchen shortcut possible. My favorite cookbook is called Desperation Dinners. Enough said.
  • Wash my car (or the dog) nearly enough.
  • Wash out my humidifier or the inside of my sonic toothbrush until there’s an entire eco system growing.
  • Tell my husband I miss him and plan a monthly date night to reconnect.
  • Talk to my friends on the phone. But I text them frequently.
  • Offer to host play dates or sleepovers.
  • Put away my clean clothes.
  • Work out regularly.
  • Wear makeup on most days.
  • Wrap presents nicely or remember to include gift receipts.


  • Make sure we all eat together and talk about our day.
  • Snuggle and read to the kids every night.
  • Volunteer the kids’ school. I volunteer once at the beginning of the year to get the lay of the class, and I do attend most school performances.
  • Give my dog tons of kisses every day and keep the car’s guts safely serviced.
  • Brush my teeth every day.
  • Snuggle with my husband.
  • Attend every doctor’s appointment. But I don’t organize them and let my husband know when he needs to cover one.
  • Know who my kids are friends with and why they like them.
  • Have clean clothes.
  • Go for family hikes or take the kids swimming.
  • Spend 30 minutes a day reading.
  • Wash my face.
  • Remember birthdays and put thought into the presents I buy.

I don’t do it all, but I do a whole lot. And for me, I’m there for what matters most.

What things do you not do to make room for the most important stuff?

Photo: Robert Daly / Getty Images
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