Can mothers have it all?
Can working mothers have it all?
Can mothers have it all?
Can mothers do it all?
I think absolutely, and there’s a bigger question here. What all do you want?
Wild+Free Life Podcast
I went on answerthepublic.com, and I asked the questions about working women, about motherhood. I wanted to know what the world’s googling about it, and I found the saddest thing, the biggest question, the one that’s asked over, and over, and over again. Do you know what the question is? I betcha you’ve asked it.
The question is, can working moms have it all?
Can mothers have it all? Can mothers do it all?
What a question. Where to start? But I just want to say, even if you don’t listen to anything else in here today, absolutely. You can have it all. You can do it all. You can be it all. Isn’t that the army’s slogan?
You can do it, but you can’t do everything. Life is about choices, so what choice are you going to make?
When I found this is what was being googled, my heart sank. I almost cried, except it was spring break and I was at a indoor playground and my kids were playing, so I knew if I cried I would attract attention.
But, my heart just sank. How is this the question?
I thought, “Of course you can. Isn’t that what you’re working for? Isn’t that why we’re doing it all?”
We want our kids to have a better life. We want to be fulfilled. We want it to make sense. And if we don’t even know if it’s possible, how are we ever going to reach the goal?
But, I remember feeling like this, too. I remember feeling like I had all the things to do on my list and the list never ended. Farming’s a lot like that, too. If your list never ends, you feel like you’re drowning. You feel like you can’t get out. And it doesn’t feel very fun, does it? And you want help. You turn to your partner, your husband, the guy that you had kids with, and you feel like you’re crying out for help. You feel like you’re down on one knee asking for help, and he doesn’t see it. He’s combative. He feels like he’s doing it all, too, and nobody’s winning.
But the thing is, it means we’re doing too much. It means we’re not prioritizing ourselves. Because when you prioritize yourself and you prioritize your self-care, you don’t feel like this. You don’t feel like you’re doing it all. And if you are doing it all, you do it joyfully because you’re doing things you really want to do. So if you’re asking the question, “Can they have it all?” yeah, absolutely. You can have it all, but you’ve got to pick. What all do you want? Do you want to have more time with your children? Do you want to have business success?
I find there’s periods of time for each one. They don’t all exist all together all the time. We’ve only got so much energy, and there’s only so many places we can put it before we burn ourselves up. I learned this lesson the really hard way. I was working my corporate job Monday to Friday, 8 to 4:30. I would come home in the early mornings. I would sit with my laptop, and I would write my stories, because storytelling is who I am. I’d write these stories, and I remember after writing them I would just feel fulfilled. I would feel purposeful. I would feel like all was right with the world. And my day started so much better when I did. But I also was tired. I was burning the oil at both ends of the candle, and that caught up to me health-wise.
In 2016, I lost my gallbladder over it, after being in pain for months after I ate things. It was a pretty hard price to pay, and digestion’s something I’ll be working on for the rest of my life, but it was because I didn’t pick my priorities. I couldn’t say my corporate job was more important than my writing or vice versa. I couldn’t prioritize time with my family over going to evening meetings. I didn’t know which way that should go. And because I was doing all the things, my self-care was at the very bottom of that list.
I was lucky if I did something once a month just for me, maybe. Some months I didn’t even get there. And I’m not talking about five minutes in my car alone, although that was nice, too. I’m talking about a day off. I’m talking about date night with my husband. It hadn’t occurred in like a year. These are the indicators that say you’re not prioritizing yourself. I don’t think it has to be complicated. In fact, I’ve come up with self-care things you can do in 10 minutes or less, because I know you’re on the go. But by taking these sacred little moments for yourself, it means that you’re a priority, and one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t give from an empty cup.
So if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not doing the best for your kids, you’re not doing the best for your husband, and you’re certainly not doing the best for the things the world needs from you, your unique talents, and skills, and abilities. So if you’re going to rewrite the list today, I say put yourself on top. If one thing I wish I would’ve learned earlier, put yourself on top. You’ve got to be okay. If you’re not okay, you can’t do all the things. It’s as simple as that.