Who says you have to do it all in order to feel proud of who you are? The women and men I train all have one thing in common.... they feel overwhelmed at times. As a matter of fact, I would say with the utmost confidence that every single person out there can relate to this.
I read an interesting article the other day from Huffington Post titled “Having It All Kinda Sucks.” In summary, it is one woman's story about being a working woman and a mom and how when she tried to do it all, she was never really able to give one thing her very best. To all the moms out there (and I can only speak for my fellow moms): we all feel like we're not doing enough. Some of us are ok with admitting we feel like failures from time to time. However, we all know those other moms who don't have that sort of humility.
I am 37, and women in my generation (for the most part) were fortunate enough to be raised to believe they could do whatever they wanted. Many women before us fought for our right to vote, work, have children, not have children, not work and stay home with our children, work and raise children at the same time, etc. The idea was that we should be the ones determining how we chose to lead our own lives. One thing the article stated that struck a chord with me was that the Women's Liberation movement was never intended to mean that women could do all of the above and at the same time, nor that we should expect that of ourselves or other women. But, leave it to a woman to interpret this as: “Hey why not take on 1,000 projects at a time?!" Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
I am not the perfect mother. I am not the perfect wife. I am not a great employee because I am too strong willed and impatient at times (that's why I am better off working for myself). My house isn't always immaculate, and sometimes I skip my workouts even though training is my livelihood. Sometimes I even sit on the couch, watch mindless tv, and eat so much that I feel like I might explode. (I'm pretty sure Whole Foods didn't intend for their large Fresh Market Salad to be single serving). But, in all honesty, I am totally ok with all of that.
I think as women we are in way too much competition with each other, and that we are way too mean and demeaning to ourselves. If I got a phone call from a girlfriend who decided to confide in me that she cheated on her "diet" or skipped a workout, or that she yelled at her kid(s) or husband, or that heaven forbid she chose to take a bubble bath and read for 40 minutes instead of do something for someone else, I would reassure her it's ok. So why be so hard on myself for doing those very same things?
I do feel guilty when I take time away from my family to do things for myself, but it is better for everyone involved when I do. I become a more patient mother, a nicer more likable wife, a more focused and driven business owner, a better friend, and I make better overall choices regarding my own health.
I believe that as women we should continue to build each other up, not knock each other down, and STOP knocking ourselves down. I am grateful that so many amazing women before me fought for me to have the option to run my own business so I can spend as much quality time with my family as I do. I am more open to reflecting on how well I am actually holding my shit together amid my chaotic lifestyle when I stop mentally and emotionally beating myself up over my so-called "failures."
I realized through observing and talking with all sorts of people that it's ok to not be perfect. Instead, find happiness in knowing you are doing the best that you can, and forgive yourself when you mess up. It's going to happen. Stand up, brush off the dirt, learn from the experience, and in the words of the Grateful Dead: keep on trucking!
The article I referred to can be found at the link below: