Today I want to bust a belief. A misconception. Something I feel holds us as empowered women back vs. elevate us further.
Who’s heard some variation of the phrase “You can do it all. Career, family, it’s the modern world” ?
I have. And I believed it and instilled it in me. Because absolutely I wanted it all. And who the hell was going to tell me I couldn’t.
But two kids came, a career and blossoming business, student loans, mortgage, dirty dishes, you know.. life happened. And before I knew it I was trying to get ready for work and my kid smeared his greasy avocado hands all over my leg. Thanks C.
I’ve embraced this belief that perfection is impossible. When you strive for perfection, when you strive to “do it all” you will inevitably fall. And then beat yourself up, which often leads to a whole host of other self-harm behaviors (I’m notorious for eating a whole pint of B&J and hiding it in the garbage).
We live in this world where “mommy wars” are showing up everywhere -in schools, our FB feed, magazines.. bottle vs. breast, cloth vs. disposable, co-sleeping or crib, work FT v. SAHM v. WAHM.. It’s so much pressure ((not to mention acronyms to keep up with)). As a full-time working mom of two, I need to know that my progress is more important than perfection. The act of trying to balance everything and portray this “I got it all together, I make having a career and family look good” is exhausting. But if we can make small shifts in how we think about this responsibility imagine the shift in how we feel and manage the work. If we are striving for perfection, every mishap at home or in our professional life will sound like “I’m a failure”. If we are striving for progress a mistake sounds like “I wish things happened differently; let me ask my [friend, co-worker, partner] to help out” -or- “Maybe this is a sign I need to slow down.” When my actions are being led with these thoughts my work improves in all domains of my life. Maybe this means hiring someone to help with the cleaning at home, not taking on the extra project at the expense of being swallowed in stress, or ::gasp:: leaving the dirty dishes in the sink all night.
I can’t do it all and I sure as hell don’t want to.