Ladies, I have news, and it’s not pretty. Best you sit down. And while you’re at it, pour yourself a stiff drink. Ready? Okay, here goes.
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot have it all. Nope. Just can’t. In fact, I’m calling “bullshit” on the whole “having it all” illusion. So quit beating yourself up about it, okay?
Now, before you “of course you can bloody have it all” types get your cranky pants on, give me a minute to explain. I’ve done the research. I’ve tried, bloody hard. I have spent years attempting to be the perfect wife / mother / businesswoman / person (not to mention friend, sister and daughter), and I don’t believe it’s possible to excel in all of these areas, at the same time. To feel like you are doing a good job at everything.
Please explain how you can be an attentive mother who crafts, paints and takes their kid to the park while at the same time being a super successful businesswoman and a loving, supportive wife (who puts out). Because if you have the answer, let me know. I’m dying to hear.
Best I clarify something. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to be all of those things. Sure, be a mum and a wife and a career woman. Go right ahead. I certainly have no plans of giving up my child / husband / businesses any time soon. But what I am challenging is the notion that we can be some kind of superwoman who manages to juggle all three roles (and more) with ease and a Mrs Cleaver from Leave it Beaver type smile on her dial, 24/7. It’s not easy. In my experience, it’s bloody near impossible to juggle it all and retain a little thing called your sanity.
I have a challenge for you. Go grab your Twister board. Now, get five of your friends together, liquor them up with Tequila shots, and give this a go … attempt to play Twister while roller-skating on an ice rink with both arms tied behind your backs and a blindfold on while the instructions are being read by someone from Russia (and you don’t speak Russian). That, dear friends, is how I feel most days. (Disclaimer – I am not liquored up every day, just some days, when required, for medicinal purposes.)
Before you go all ‘feminist’ on me, I’m a big fan of women. I am one. I am also a big fan of women being able to do and be whatever they want to do and be. Power to us. But, having struggled along for several years, I’ve decided to stand up and let the world know that I am buggered.
My house is a mess, always. My son doesn’t get the love and attention he deserves, but I do try. My husband is either ignored or barked at, lucky him. And I desperately need more hours in the day to focus on our fledgling little businesses, as the “must make money and fast” pressure is on.
Then there’s my personal well-being. I am knackered. Exhausted. Cranky. Bitter. Overwhelmed. Terrified. Guilt-ridden. And I know I am not alone.
I am not telling you this so you feel sorry for me. I am telling you because I want YOU to feel normal and less alone, as I’m betting a good gaggle of you feel the same way. I want YOU to see that, while you probably think that you’re the only one struggling, you’re not.
One thing we have learnt doing our Alli & Genine tour is that well, frankly, we are pretty much all full of shit. We all pretend, to a certain extent, that we have it all together. Yep, sure, I’m happy! Life’s perfect! Bullshit. When we dig a little deeper during our presentations, most ladies confess that they are afraid to tell the truth – because they feel like failures. Oh dear … what have we done to ourselves? Far too much pressure, ladies!
We will all keep trying to “have it all”, I guarantee it. Me included. Perhaps we just need to redefine what “having it all” means and be a little more realistic about our expectations?
So, this post is not about being negative or “glass half full”. It’s about calling it like it is. Tough. Real. Challenging.
Let’s all commit to being kinder to ourselves. Don’t beat yourself up over not being perfect. Instead, give yourself a pat on the back for all the good stuff you do, each and every day. All we can do is our best, and that has to be good enough.
Now, about that drink …