We’ve been taught all our lives that women can have it all. I call BS. We need to stop telling our daughters the same thing. Now hear me out before you start judging me and call me anti-feminist and shame me in my own blog comments.
I hear it all the time. I see it all the time and then the next thing I see and read, “I’m so anxious all the time, depressed and feel guilty about….(fill in the blank here).” Why? I am 99% sure a lot of it comes from trying to do it all. Marriage, kids, full-time job, socialness, lack of alone time or ‘self-care’…I could go on and on.
Moms alone are a group that, after having kids, begin to see that while children are a great blessing, they are a full-time job too. Lack of sleep when they are young, trying to keep your house looking like tiny homeless people don’t live there, laundry done just enough that you have clean underwear, omg the list is endless.
Now throw in leaving your kid in a full-time day care, going back to your kick-ass corporate dream job, keeping up friendships, not murdering your husband or boss and what the hell is a vacation anyway?????? See what I mean?
Of course you COULD do it all and I am sure some of you could rock it all. But it’s not for everyone. And is the stress and your mental health worth it? I know some will say that corporate America just needs to make jobs for women easier to work around children, taking care of aging parents, divorce, child-care and working from home. But I don’t think that’s really the solution.
I think that women are born needing to take on too much. Needing to prove their worth and ability to do anything and everything. And that is creating more and more depression and anxiety. We don’t need to prove our worth to anyone. But I was one of those women.
I wanted to stay home and raise my kids and not miss any milestones. But I also wanted to have a career with a big impact and I wanted a spotless house. I wanted perfect kids too. WTH? But that’s not how it worked out. I stayed home. Overwhelmed and feeling guilty because I wasn’t contributing income to the family anymore. I had post-partum depression. Then just years and years of depression and anxiety. I was a mess. The guilt was awful. And no one put the pressure on me but myself. Because I knew I could do it all and save the world. I just needed the Superwomen cape.
I struggled and ended up on medications which I still take to this day. But I realized in all of this that I was lucky. Lucky to stay home and raise two imperfect but lovable kids. My house would survive till they moved out and then it might go back to being spotless. (never happened, kids are 19 and 22). I waited till the boys were in in school then I went to work. Became an early education director in a preschool. Years later I added a social media side hustle and four years ago I started this blog. I feel like I am better at self-care, keeping up my social life and kudos to my husband for cooking and laundry while I am always working on my laptop writing or creating. It’s working for both of us but it was hell getting here.
The other day someone told me their daughter, in high school, said she wanted to just be a mom. Her mother said she was stunned. She thought all girls wanted to go to college and follow their dreams of careers and things like that. I told the mom, “I think that is fantastic. I hope you encourage her.” My thought is if she becomes a mom and then wants a career later, she can still do it. Plenty of time in her life. Hopefully she will be less likely to feel guilty and anxious.
What about the men? Well they can tell you they can multi task but frankly, they don’t. They are wired to work and protect. They are wired to compartmentalize everything. We ladies don’t. We have all the emotions and self depreciating thoughts. Guys just keep on the path. And to be honest, I don’t think they are in competition with us. They might be with each other a little but in reality, women are more competitive with each other and with men. By now you think I am crazy. And you are right. lol I just wish that we, as women, didn’t always feel compelled to do it all. That we could just relax and enjoy life without the depression and anxiety. I guess that is impossible but maybe, if we would stop pressuring our selves and enjoyed the little wins in our life, we would be more content. Less need to always be the best and do all the things. I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive to be ambitious. Not at all! But now in my midlife, I don’t feel like I have to prove myself to anyone. I am happy where I am and I’m content. I just wish I had gotten to this place in my life a long time ago.
So ladies, be happy, content, and excited. If you start to get overwhelmed, depressed or feeling guilty, do something about it. Talk to a friend, therapist, doctor or life coach. Get those feelings sorted out. LIFE IS TOO SHORT to be miserable. Never give up on living your best life! No matter what that best life looks like for you!
Peace Love and Margaritas!