I remember growing up and thinking, “I am going to have it all.”
I had this plan, and it was all mapped out. I told myself: I’m going to have a big happy family, and a huge, successful career. I would roll up my sleeves and do it all – and do it well.
And everyday, I strive to reach this goal. Everyday, I try to give marriage, motherhood, home responsibilities, and business projects to the best of myself because deep in my gut, I feel like being successful in all these aspects is the key to making myself completely happy.
But recently I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed, and a little underwater. To tell you the truth, I’ve been floundering for the past few months trying to juggle all this stuff on my plate.
I think the girls of my generation (and this current one, too) have been brought up with powerful dreams – we have been told that we can be career women, mothers, wives, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers or Indian chiefs – anything we set our minds to. And hell, if you want to do that all at the same time, you can do that too! And you will easily be able to balance everything you want to do.
I know that I think that way – which is why recently when I found myself overwhelmed, I had a little bit of a breakdown. I wasn’t sure why I felt like I was drowning, but I knew that I was doing a half assed job at all the things I had on my plate just because I just didn’t have enough energy or time. But these are the things I want and have chosen to do, so they are supposed to make me happy. What is happening?
Part of the problem is that I see all these amazing women on social media just “doing it all” so well, and looking great at the same time. These women seem to have it all together – if so many people are able to do it, why can’t I? I was starting to look at myself as a failure because I wasn’t able to live up to this expectation I had in my mind.
In the vein of living authentically, I just wanted to put it out there that I have now realized that I cannot do it all. I mean, I could try, but I wouldn’t be able to do it all as well as I want to. Realistically, everyone has 24 hours a day, and not every day is the same. One day will inevitably be more dominated by being a hands on mom, and others will be dominated by mini emergencies like “crap, my house is falling apart”. I think the trick is to focus on the long term game – putting off your to-do list until the next week isn’t going to kill you, your business isn’t going to fail because you missed an Instagram or blog post. And it’s alright to say “no” to projects because you’re overbooked, and have to focus on the home and family. You’re still a great business woman. And on the mothering front – did your kid watch a little more TV than you’d like today because you had a deadline to meet? And did everyone eat KFC for dinner (okay maybe twice this week)? Don’t be too hard on yourself – it didn’t harm anyone, really. You’re still a great mom and wife.
Personally, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I will have to slow down my business growth for a little while during the summer months since we’re packing and moving out for our renovation, Olive being on summer break form school, and my husband finally wrapping up his MBA program in the fall. Just trying to do it all will be madness; so this, I’ve decided, will be the season I focus on family. I can pick my other stuff back up later.
And it will be okay.
And I’m going to wrap up this crazy lengthy post with a final thought: “Taking Care of Yourself is Part of Taking Care of Your Family and Business”. Oh, and also, “You can do Anything, but not Everything.”
Fine, that was two thoughts.
I hope you’re having a great day!
Photo Credit: Ryan Hung Photography