STYLE

Can You Ever Have It All?

16/03/2011 11:50 | Updated 22 May 2015

Yes you can have it all ladies, but here's the newsflash... you can't do it all. So, stop trying and – where you can afford to – start delegating.

For some reason, because so many of our mothers' generation cooked, cleaned, ironed, and often held down a job outside of the home too, there's this residual idea that we should be able to do all those things as well. If a woman wants a career, she may still be expected to juggle all the other household tasks or she might be judged to be copping out and failing the sisterhood.

But is a successful career really a privilege to which a woman is entitled only if she can keep all the other plates spinning at the same time? I don't think so.

At the moment I've got at least five different projects on the go, plus I'm a mum and I have a relationship with Kris to enjoy. I sometimes do 12 hour days on set with The X Factor or working on Project D, so when I get home there is no way I have time to clean the house and/or cook nutritionally balanced meals from scratch. Nor do I have the energy.

I always remind myself not to feel guilty when I don't do one of these day-to-day tasks. I'm telling you, if I was a man running a company and four other projects with the number of working hours that entails, I would never be expected to clean the house, cook a meal, do my laundry and iron my shirts. So why should I put pressure on myself to be a superwoman?

Male friends of mine in senior positions will always enlist help where it is needed without a second thought. I wonder if any other women sometimes feel - like I do - that they should be doing it all?

One way to get your head around it is this: if it costs you less than you earn to farm out certain household jobs and you don't have the time or energy to do it - let the numbers do the talking and think about hiring a cook or cleaner, and slow down!

Before you think I'm just using work as a convenient way to get out of doing the household chores, you should know that I'm not averse to rolling up my sleeves and getting down and dirty with a duster.

Sunday mornings used to be my cleaning time and I'd spend four hours scrubbing down to a toothbrush, boogying away to music in the background. I was quite obsessive and always had a handy wipe in one hand and pink Marigolds on, so my friend's nicknamed me Monica, after the character from Friends. At the moment I simply don't have the time to do all this cleaning, so having a cleaner isn't a luxury to me, it's a sanity saver.

Likewise, I love cooking and find it a great relaxer and de-stresser, but at the moment it's a treat when have the time to cook a special meal, not something I can do on a day-to-day basis. I'm teaching myself not to feel ashamed for picking up a quiche and salad from the local deli or a ready meal from the local supermarket.

I know buying prepared meals doesn't come cheap but there are all sorts of cost-effective shortcuts you can take to buy yourself a little 'me time'. Beans on toast for dinner once in a while isn't going to ruin your health and who's going to notice if you clean the house once a fortnight instead of once a week? Have a cooking day and freeze meals ahead of time - sometimes it is just about being organised.

It's all about valuing yourself. Whether you can afford a little extra help around the house or just choose to take a few shortcuts here and there I say it's time we started patting ourselves on the back and congratulating ourselves for letting go and ditching the demanding daily jobs that keep that To Do list full.

Goodbye guilt, hello mental, emotional and physical wellbeing!!!

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