For decades, many women around the globe have been chasing their dreams to “have it all” – a meaningful home life and a successful career. As a Slavic Christian woman, being a working mom is just scratching the surface. As a young girl, I always knew the type of women I wanted to grow up to be: Strong but caring mother to her children, loving and supportive wife, a rock-star employee with unequivocal work-ethic, a role-model Christian, an encouraging, reliable and hospitable friend and don’t forget, look effortless and beautiful while doing it! So here’s the question I have been asking myself for the last few years? Where did I go wrong? It seems as if I have one area of my life under control, the others seem to spiral into utter chaos. Is it possible to have it all, or is this an impossible feet put on women and moms these days and we have all been fooled into thinking we can somehow match up to this insurmountable list of to-dos? Why must we always feel like we aren’t doing enough? Or is this just my own internal conflict and everyone else is perfectly content and feeling like they have it all figured out?
I’ve recently re-entered the corporate world and thought I’d have some of these issues sorted out, but I feel like I’m all the more frustrated.
When I was home for a few years with the kids, I thought, now I can relax, I had worked since I was 15 years old and a part of me was itching to take a break from the 9-5 hustle. I foolishly thought, I’ll be a stay-at-home mom now, a land of yoga pants and coffee outings and I won’t have the pressure of juggling work and home life. Boy, was I in for a surprise! After a few shorts months, I was feeling guilty for not accomplishing enough on a daily basis and I often felt like I was lost in a black whole, spinning around the same daily chores every day. Wait, didn’t I fold this load of laundry already? I thought I just swept the floors? Is it already time for another Costco run? How have I not found time to take up baking? All of this way ok, the hardest two things were:
1) The fact that you don’t get affirmation or some sort of acknowledgement. Wouldn’t it be great if your kids ended the day with “thank you for doing a wonderful job of parenting me today, I'm feeling healthy and more loved than yesterday!” Or every six months, they reviewed your cooking and said “wow Mom, you’ve really perfected this casserole.”? My husband was great at telling me I’m doing a wonderful job, but let’s face it, they are sort of obliged by their vows to be nice to us. J
2) I always felt guilty for not contributing to my family financially. My husband never murmured a word, he loved me being home. But internally I was conflicted, I always thought, why did I spend all that money getting a degree and that time investing in my career? I should get my ROI (return on investment) and at least contribute to our family (help pay off debt). I should be able to do it all. I should be able to be a stellar mom and work, which could really help my family out. Other women do this all the time!
Now I’m back at work and have to constantly push off the feeling of guilt that I’m not doing enough at home, or church, or taking care of my health, or … (the list goes on and on). Now the question still stands, is it truly possible to have it all? Working moms, how do you juggle it all? How did our parents do it? My mom worked and seemed to have it all together? Are we just weaker and less productive than they were? Is social media robbing us of all of our time? Household CEO’s – do you feel the same pressures when staying home, like you could have done more? Cleaned more, spent more quality time on homework, taught my kids a song to sing for the Christmas recital, etc.?
I’ve been praying for clarity in this area of my life and will continue to do so, but thought I’d lay it all out there and find out how you super-women deal with it? Or is the road of constant guilt just a way of life now... When you are home you feel guilty for now working or accomplishing more and when you are at work, you feel guilty for not being at home with your babies?