Last Thursday I had a bit of a breakdown. In my defence, it had been a long day, I’d worked a 12-hour shift and was probably feeling a bit over emotional. I was browsing on Facebook after work and spotted a message on my Burlesque troupe forum. In a nutshell, it was commenting on people’s attendance or lack there of.
Now, I’m sure this comment wasn’t aimed at me. Or at least, not just me. However, I am aware that I’ve been missing A LOT of classes lately. So, whether or not I was supposed to take these comments personally, take them personally I did. Very personally. It made me start to doubt if I still belonged in my Burlesque class or whether it was time for me to call it a day. I’m not going to lie – it left me a little heartbroken and I spent the rest of the evening sobbing.
Before I knew it, I was having a full on identity crisis and doubting every aspect of my life.
The problem as I see it, is this. Modern day women are encouraged to believe we can have it all. Why choose between a career and a family when you can do both? Why not run for President, write a novel or own your own company? We are superwomen who can hold down a job, raise a family, be a social butterfly – all while baking a cake and sewing new clothes for the kids from the bedroom curtains.
But can we really? Or eventually, does something have to give?
I am definitely guilty of trying to take on too much. I want to be able to go to work, be a domestic goddess, build my blog into something really special, enjoy my many, many hobbies and still have time to rest and relax when I get the chance.
The difficulty only really starts when I start to feel like I’m not succeeding at any of these things. By trying to spread myself too thin, I am in fact failing to fully commit to any of the things I say are important to me I spend most of my time at work wishing I was at home doing housework. At home, I don’t feel like I pull my weight and leave a trail of destruction in my wake. I don’t spend nearly enough time on my blog to nurture it like I should. My dance classes are skipped because I have to deal with more pressing obligations. And I have lists and lists of projects and to-dos that I never seem to get started. (Don’t even ask me about the Christmas cross-stitch that I started 6 years ago and haven’t finished yet.)
By taking on too much, I also neglect the people close to me. I learnt the hard way that relationships fail if you don’t give them plenty of time and attention. I certainly never want that to happen again. And my two beautiful girls are growing every day. Their lives are literally flashing before my eyes and I have a horrible vision of myself looking back in 15 years and wondering if I really appreciated them while they were young.
So can you really have it all? From my experience I’d have to say no. And that goes for both women and men. You can certainly try, but I think more often than not you will find something gets pushed to the bottom of the list, before it eventually gets forgotten altogether.
I’m desperately trying to get to grips with some serious adjustments in my life. I’ve gone from being a single woman, with marital support and co-parenting (which is fab – I don’t care what people say!) to being a woman reconciling her marriage, living on one salary and trying to raise two, increasingly demanding, children. It’s really hard to find the right balance and I know that some sacrifices will probably have to be made. It’s just a case of trying to work out what is most important and which aspects of my life I can’t live without.
I just hope everyone can be patient and bear with me until I figure it out.