Is having it all a fallacy for women?
We all know the phrase. It’s something that feels almost entrenched in us as women and passed down from our parents’ generation. What if we rebelled against it?
‘Having it all’ is something that has come up this week with a client and spurred me to write this post as I can emphasise. My clients feels they have a constant juggling and balancing act on the inside and trying to appear cool, calm and collected on the outside. They feel guilt when having to work around their kids and never feeling like they give either one is getting the best that they deserve.
Women are put under a huge amount of pressure – by society but also by ourselves. We want to feel like we are having the best of all worlds; breaking the glass ceiling, bringing up a family, keeping healthy, staying social. We strive to fit everything in and there ends up being fall out at the end of it. We end up feeling dejected and miserable, as all the plates that we’ve been juggling clatter to the floor. We end up being the losers at the end of the day.
I think having it all is a fallacy
I feel it’s unrealistic that as women we are striving towards this, at the expense of our happiness.
So what does this mean?
This doesn’t mean I think we should stop striving. Absolutely not. Having clear goals and a vision of the life that we want to lead is key to fulfilment in my eyes. To me this means not putting all this pressure on ourselves to BE EVERYTHING. It’s unrealistic for mother’s to live the life they did pre children, both from a social perspective and a work perspective.
After having my baby boy my drive and ambition didn’t go away, however the time and effort that I could spend on work reduced (I understand I am coming from a place of choice and privilege here, not everyone has that). I knew I couldn’t work all the hours and progress in the traditional sense, as well as being a good mother and a healthy and happy human. Something had to give. I am now just getting into a schedule that allows me quality time to work, exercise, sleep and spend time with my family – those are my non-negotiables. It doesn’t always easily fit in and I think that will be a constant battle and journey. I just need to stay close to my goals and my why.
What I think we should try and aim for is BALANCE. The balance is never always going to be right – the scales are going to eschew at times, in seasons of our lives and that is fine.
The advice I gave to my clients was to take a step back and think about how you want to live your life and the things you have and want to fit in. Getting really clear on what your non-negotiables are. That could be work, sleep, kids, fitness, seeing friends/family, hobbies etc. Then start looking at how you fit these in. There are only 24 hours a day and sadly there is no sign of a time machine!
Also, be kind to yourself. You are never always going to get it right, but knowing what to spend your time on and the life you are wanting to lead, means that you will always be heading in the right direction for you.
I’d love to know in the comments what your thoughts are and how you are approaching this.