This blog post is the fourth installment of a collaborative 5-part series entitled The Mother Within. Start at the beginning here.
Perhaps you are career woman turned mother, and you are wondering how those women on TV make it seem like you really can have it all. I’m here to tell you that you too can have it all; you just can’t have it all at once.
Let’s pretend for a moment that you have unlimited resources and hire nannies for your children. You can hire assistants to handle all those classroom parties and responsibilities. You are making enough money to pay for all of it, but your time and availability are limited because you have to work. You have the finances to support your children, but you are starved for time with them. Your career has a price, and the guilt for being absent can be overwhelming.
Perhaps you are that mom who had high career aspirations, a college degree, and a great career path. But once you became a mother, you shifted your priorities to afford time with your children. You have time for your children’s activities, homework and to tend to them through sickness, but you feel starved for career passion or fulfillment in what you are doing now.
Just breathe, Momma.
Moms (and Dads) with older children can tell you there are “seasons” to parenthood. To everything there is a season … I’ve made 6 figures and gave it all up to have kids, not knowing it would mean giving up my big house and trading it to birth a medically fragile kid. Talk about a stark difference – I was traveling every week to fancy resorts planning vacations, and later I traded it all in not knowing the trade would be for living in a hospital weeks on end. And I still wouldn’t trade it back. Because this season in life is refining me into the person I would have wanted to become.
If you are feeling defeated, I’m here to encourage you. I understand your season. Keep your chin up. Your children need you and see you working. They don’t know the details of what you do day in and day out at your job. When the daily grind doesn’t feel rewarding, it might be healthy to compartmentalize. Sometimes work is just work and we find balance, and our happiness and passion outside of that.
Everything is a trade off. Everything is balance. If your comparison is social media, you are doing it wrong.
Don’t feel like you are alone, the secret is this:
Nobody has it all figured out.
Nobody feels fulfilled in every single aspect of their life. You have to be willing to find concessions you can live with. We can aspire to many things but not EVERY thing.
Part of finding joy is learning to adjust your expectations and decide what defines “success” for you. Many of you are trading power, wealth, and stature to invest in your children.
- Are you raising the next scientist who will find a medical breakthrough?
- Are you raising the soldier who will save his countrymen in battle to protect our freedom?
- Are you raising the next president of the our country?
- Are you raising compassionate children who will staff the next wave of American Red Cross workers?
- Are you raising the next missionary who will bring clean water where there has never been any?
It’s all a season Ladies … You can have it all, just never all at once!!
Keep dreaming about your next chapter in life and if you feel stuck just focus on the good you are investing in your children for the NOW. Each of you inspires someone else. You do others well by sharing your stories on social media and with your friends. Let that define your success if only for a little while. You are making a difference to someone reading.