I facilitate a networking group for women who are entrepreneurs and most of them happen to be mommas as well. One of the most common questions I have noticed that simmers on the minds of these women working the full time job of being a business owner and the full time job of being mom, is the work life balance. As an over-achiever myself, I have a long list of things that need to be completed by the time I’m thirty and if any of those things are going to happen, I need excellent time management and basically zero bumps in the road. So I turn to reading a million different pinterest articles written by moms who appear to have perfected this work life balance. They have adorable kids, successful careers, 20 trillion Instagram followers. And then there’s me.
I can’t f-ing believe this kid of mine just asked for juice AGAIN. Do I look like a damn maid to you? My hair and makeup less than on point and completely un-Instagram worthy. My laptop broken because I accidentally sat on it because my toddler covered it with all of her precious “blankys”. And in an instant, the thought creeps in that I am not doing enough or I am not doing it fast enough. I need to be mean, lean get sh*t done machine! But I am human.
Today, I’m not going to tell you my time management tricks or life hacks to make your life seem less busy. Instead, I’m here to bust a myth. I’m here to tell you the truth about a lie that you and I both have probably believed too many times. The lie that if we work hard enough we can have it all and we can have it all at the same time. The lie that we must be doing something wrong. The lie that you aren’t doing enough. The lie that you aren’t enough.
Stop the nonsense. No one has achieved this perfect work life balance because it doesn’t exist. Instead of striving for progress, we strive for photo-shopped perfection and it’s not doing us any favors. At the end of the day, we are only left to feel “less than”. Either we weren’t at home for our kids enough or we weren’t there for our jobs enough. Both paths lead to defeat. I am here to tell you, that is an exhausting way to live because I too have lived in this never ending cycle of always trying to chase something that I can never seem to catch up with.
Instead of striving for progress, we strive for photo-shopped perfection and it’s not doing us any favors.
We don’t need work-life balance, what we need is to see ourselves through a lens of grace. We need to see ourselves as worthy because of who we are, not because of what we do. We need to accept our own humanity, the depths of it and the weaknesses that come with it. We need to embrace the journey more than we crave the destination. We need to remember that sometimes the best memories are made in the messes, not in the Pinterest successes. When we rest in the fact that we are loved and that we are enough just the way we are, the stress begins to dissipate. The need to push and prove becomes less.
When our hearts are in the right place, everything else will fall into place. When we see ourselves through the lens of acceptance and grace, it will carry over to our work list & our family. At the end of your life, no one is going to remember you for how many Instagram followers you had or how many photo shopped moments you shared. They won’t praise you because you were good at checking things off on to do lists. So what are you doing today that ensures you’ll leave a good legacy behind? Are we so busy building our own empires that we fail to see the needs of others crumbling around us? People will remember not what you did, but how you made them feel.
Let love be the center of all you do. The to do lists and the family needs will always be there, but we are not immortal. This life is precious, the people in it are precious and it’s time we start treating it this way. So please, stop running the never ending race of trying to achieve perfection. I invite you instead to embrace the beautiful life we each have been given, flaws and all, and love others around you well. The rest will fall into place, I promise.
If you want more great tips for leading a simple yet meaningful life, I would highly recommend Shauna Niequists book Present over Perfect. I read A LOT of books but there was something so special and life giving about this book. It was one of those books that really pulls things into perspective and she talks a lot about our relationships with our family and our work and how to see things from a healthy perspective. Hope you enjoyed this little piece today and next up on the blog I’ll be showing you more unexpected outfits!
As always, stay fabulous!