Ever had another woman ask you, “How do you do it all?”
How do you answer that question? For many of us, we don’t. Even though people might think we’ve got it all figured out, we know the truth. Things fall through the cracks. Mistakes are made. We’re not Wonder Woman.
Or maybe it’s that we need to redefine her. And that’s what my dear friend Nicole from Moments That Define Life is here to talk about.
I am the eternal optimist. I believe we can all get what we want in life if we genuinely put our hearts and souls into the pursuit. I also believe it has never been a better time to be a woman, nor harder.
I have been told I am like Wonder Woman. I even donned the costume this past Halloween because we were in the thick of a deployment and I needed to give myself a bit of a pep talk via a black wig and an ill-fitting costume. My three daughters were also super heroes. We attempted to own our journey as a military family with a piece of our heart across the world fighting the good fight. It worked for the night, but beneath the surface, our cracks were still there.
The truth is, Wonder Woman is a complete farce.
I can’t do it all. WE can’t do it all. The pressure and expectation to do so is one that steals joy and works against our ultimate goal of feeling fulfilled in our lives as women, mothers and partners.
It has taken me a good while to realize that I cannot possibly do it all and do it well. I’ve finally come to a place that I am ok with compromise when it comes to how each day plays out. I refuse to break my sanity because I feel the need to fit an unrealistic mold of ‘doing it all’.
What I can tell you is that I give it my best each day. And, when I don’t, I allow myself that day. Sometimes, it’s ok to collapse from the overwhelming nature of being a mother, a driven individual, and a committed spouse.
It’s kind of a big job.
For a bit of context, let’s take a glance into my life. I am a mother to three lovely ladies – an 8-year-old who is just discovering the extremes of her emotions and twins who are 4 and have yet to give up their tantrums. I’m a wife to a military guy who goes away for pretty lengthy stretches, leaving me pulling single-mom duty for longer than I’d like, and I work as the Blog Coordinator for a fantastic company.
More often than not, I celebrate the little things instead of focusing on what I didn’t get done. I work hard not to compare myself to others because I can’t possibly know how the inner workings of their day really go. I try (sometimes in vain) not to judge myself when I don’t make all the pieces and parts of my life work well. Because there are days, and even weeks, when life feels, quite simply, too much to manage.
Facebook is the highlight reel, folks. When you see someone showing only the good, you have to remember that there is another half of their life you aren’t seeing. When you are invited over to someone’s home, they put on their best face and make it all pretty. Pop by my place uninvited and well; just ask some of my closest friends – it isn’t pretty. As I type this, my Christmas tree is still up. I have managed to get the tree bare, but it is not down.
Truth be told, I’m starting to judge myself a bit on that one…
But I digress.
You can’t have it all, and do it all well. Priorities have to be set, schedules need to be made, and strategies should be put into place to help you meet your goals while cultivating and maintaining the most important relationships in your life. It’s important to give yourself credit where credit is due, and know that balance, in the truest sense of the word, is elusive.
The real Wonder Woman, the one that I envision, is strong and capable, but she is also tired, realistic and allows herself a reprieve as needed. The real Wonder Woman asks for help when she’s failing to make it on her own. The real Wonder Woman knows when to say no, when to scale back, and when to make one thing a priority over another.
The real Wonder Woman doesn’t strive for balance all the time. She strives for joy within the chaos that is daily life – understanding that part of her journey is going easy on herself from time to time and celebrating those small victories as well as the big ones.
Nicole is a mom to three, Milspouse, and blogs over at Moments that Define Life. When she’s not doing those things, she’s working as the Blog Coordinator at EverydayFamily while drinking far too much coffee.