Yep. I said it. I, as a woman, can not have it all. I can not do it all. I can’t run a household, be a 100% mamma, have a successful career and be an 100% wife/partner all at once. Feminist come at me.
It’s just not fucking possible to do all those things on a day to day basis.
Right now it’s approaching Christmas. Elves are popping up on shelves everywhere. Beautiful, handmade advent calendars. “December 1” boxes overflowing with Christmas crafts to be completed throughout the month.
I have provided none of those things for my kids.
I think it’s vital to note that all of the above examples were from different women…but when we see all these achievements pop up on our Facebook news feed somehow they merge and we suddenly feel like EVERY OTHER MUM IS ACHIEVING ALL THOSE THINGS.
A) they are NOT; and,
B) even if they were it does not mean you NOT doing them makes you any less of a fantastic, outstanding mamma.
There is a lot of ‘women can do anything’ and ‘women can have it all’ sentiment flying around these days…and I think the idea behind it is right and good but somehow the message that your gender should never hold you back morphed into ‘women can do anything and therefore should do everything.’
And #sorrynotsorry but NO. No person, man or woman, can be everything all at once. We have to make a choice to sacrifice some aspect of our lives in order to give that attention elsewhere. You could try doing it all but I guarantee you will do a crap job.
We all only have 100% of ourselves to give. If you give equal attention to 10 different tasks/roles, logic says each task will only get 10% of you.
However if you focus on one main ‘role’ at a time, say 60%, and two other ‘roles’, that’s 20% each…, well you are going to be achieving loads more aren’t you?
I’m not sure when it happened or how but suddenly it’s become unfashionable to “just” be a stay at home mum…. It’s become the norm to expect working mammas to still provide home made, organic baby food for their children…. We, as a society, expect that a woman can be a wife, career woman and mother, all at once and all successfully.
I call bullshit. This is an incredibly unfair and unreasonable expectation. I certainly accept that some women may feel they can achieve all three simultaneously – maybe they can – but that makes them the exception, not the rule.
And what is so wrong with a woman wanting to focus on her career, or her relationship, or her children? Why do we look down on a woman who clearly advocates that one area of her life is her priority, whatever area that may be?
Why, for example, is it suddenly uncool to be a stay at home mum who doesn’t also do some kind of work?
Why does the mean parent club frown on the working mamma who doesn’t participate in the whole Elf on a Shelf bullshit, get that promotion and show up at every activity on their child’s calendar?
Do I sound annoyed? I do, don’t I – well I guess because I am. I think parenthood is just so absolutely hard enough…navigating these uncharted waters with precious, highly impressionable pure little hearts and minds relying totally on us to also be their guide and teacher….well that’s a hugely important and stressful task. Adding to that stress by making mothers feel like they are somehow a failure if they aren’t ticking every available box is just unnecessary and cruel and infuriating.
I’m proud to say I am a stay at home mother and right now, my priority is my kids. Not my career. Not my ‘post baby body’.
There are many facets to me and my day but I have a clear priority and for now, everything else is secondary. And I refuse to apologise for that. This isn’t about equality and women’s rights – it’s about being realistic and not setting ourselves absolutely impossible standards to reach.
Women can be anything they want to be and I want my little girl to grow up knowing she has unlimited potential. But I also want her to know that being anything is so different to being everything, and she never has to take it all on herself.