Can Mothers Ever Have it All?
“Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.”
- Sharon Jaynes
Can mothers have it all? Let me cut to the chase. The short answer is no. No, you cannot have it all, at least, not all at once, and definitely not without a tribe to support you.
Now, the long answer is, maybe...
Let me explain.
The insta-world in which we live will have you believe that you must always be a well put-together, meal prepping, fitness fanatic with a perfect body who is an independently wealthy entrepreneur that spends all day drinking organic smoothies and doing Pinterest crafts with your perpetually clean, well-behaved, child-models while loads of passive income flood your bank account until your picture-perfect husband comes home with his usual gift of roses, wine and lingerie (you know, just because).
Okay, no! Just…no. That is literally NO ONE’S life. Also, that isn’t necessarily everyone’s definition of “having it all” either.
So, what does it really mean? The question itself is subjective depending upon who you are, how you were raised, what you value, and what you think is important. To a working mother, having it all means something completely different than it does to a stay-at-home mom. Having it all to a woman in India means something completely different than it does to somebody from the States, and so on.
Also, the other question that we need to ask ourselves is, “does anyone really have it all?” From the fit-bodied, stay-at-home insta-mommies, to the executive, jet-setting mega-moms, you can bet your bottom that they are struggling with something. Probably even a lot of somethings. Of course, you would never know that because people don’t post their LOADS of dirty laundry. Rather, they post their (one pair) Jimmy Choo’s from several different angles, after a fresh pedicure no less.
Suffice to say, social media has given people license to project the picture of their life they want the world to see. As such, we have entered a whole new realm of comparison that our ancestors never encountered. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy,” and this newfound social reality has robbed so many of us of just that – the joy we would otherwise experience in our lives were we not being subliminally told that we are not enough, over and over again.
In addition, these women who seem to have it all most likely have a support group in place to help them get it done. I’m talking parents, spouses, partners, friends, associates, assistants, extended family, etc. who have stepped in to pick up the slack. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child,” is very real. Personally, I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have those people in my life who are willing to help when I need it. And believe me, I need it often.
In addition, your “all” might just be something that you experience at different periods throughout your lifetime. No one ever said you have to have it all at the same time. Maybe you find incredible success after your children are older, or maybe you find time to travel the world in your retirement. In other words, you don’t have to give up on your goals, just prioritize them differently. And above all, don’t let the smoke and mirrors known as social media make you feel as though you are less-than simply because your reality doesn’t measure up to the façade of someone else’s feed.
Life is lived in stages. Mother's can have it all, just not all at once.