I started writing a very eloquent introduction to this post but I realized that I was probably not really doing the topic justice as currently I’m struggling like a mug to have it all! So originally, I was saying that I’ve gotten into many debates about this. We see it play out often in narratives like Being Mary Jane and Scandal where women seemingly have it all professionally but can’t seem to find a lasting relationship to save their lives. Or you’re the mom in Love & Basketball who gave up all her hopes and dreams of being a caterer to take care of the family. And it leaves many women asking, is it possible to have it all?
Well one thing that I know for sure is that it will not be EASY! Not one bit. I am a bit of an optimist in general in life so I want to tell the people who say women can’t have it all to kick rocks. But living it every day, I know that it is indeed a struggle! I work a 9 to 6 job, I work a 24 hour passion and in between I have to find the time to maintain a household, however junkie and to show the love of my life some much needed love, attention and affection. I don’t even know how my lovelies with children do it!
But every day, I watch through social media goggles as many of my colleagues also do the same dance and they have little people involved which is a whole other beast in itself! But it’s possible! Women are magic darnit and somehow we have this propensity to be everything to everyone all at the same time. It doesn’t mean we aren’t exhausted and over extending, but we manage and we do the darn thing. I will never let someone tell me that I can’t have everything that’s important to me flourish.
But to whom much is given, much is required right? So to have it all, we have to GIVE a lot! So what are some of my tips to maintaining and doing your best to have it all?
- It’s okay to take a night off. Sometimes my significant other needs my attention, period. He doesn’t need me peering over my computer screen, half listening to his stresses, challenges, and/or triumphs. He needs my undivided attention. And so sometimes I simply close my laptop and pray I can either stay up really late to finish, or I say, “Tomorrow is another day.”
- Take advantage of the time you do have alone. So! That means that when he is busy working or in the studio, I can’t take that time to sit around watching ratchet TV. Though sometimes I have to do that when he’s not around as well. But nonetheless, whether it’s kids, your man, or whatever, take advantage when they are napping, away, or at the grandparents for the night. That time is invaluable.
- Remembering to take time to yourself! THIS! So many of us just forget this. We have to do it. We have to literally schedule the time in to say, I am not doing any business for this block of time, but I am going to get a manicure, a message, I’m going to sit in the park, something that is just about you! It helps you maintain an essential balance.
- Prioritizing. I want it all. I want the house, the car, the career, the confidence, but I have at times stopped to evaluate what’s most important to me. For me, having all that without someone to share it with would be a misstep in my life. If that’s not the case for you and material things are your priority, fine, work it honey, climb the corporate ladder. But I have resolved that if it came down to the “things” I wanted and my family and friends and their love, I would choose them over and over and over.
- Getting Organized! I am SOOOOOOO working on this part. The more organized you are about your business, the more space you can free up in your life for the people that are important to you. I’m not there yet, but the rest of this year and next, I am really focusing on being ahead of the curve so that I can fit in drinks with the girls or shopping with my mom and date night without feeling terrible that there is important work I am putting to the side.
Finding the work/life balance is full of compromise. And some of us, I am learning, are just so DARN selfish! In order to have it all, you have to be flexible, you have to be willing to give. You have to know that it’s hard as CRAP! And you may say, “Well, maybe you’re not all the way where you want to be yet because of that,” and I say to that, oh well. If I never write another book, speak at another engagement or finally buy that BMW X6, I know that I am well loved by family, by friends, and by my significant other and that is a feeling I wouldn’t trade for the world. What’s important to you? That’s what you have to figure out and well juggling how all those pieces fit together is something God simply equipped us for. Women, we’re magic.
How do you find the balance between work and family life? Or do you struggle as well? Let's talk about it in the comments.