Article written by Rachael Amarante
How do you do it all?
When people would ask me this question I would smile and nod, feeling proud that it appeared I was achieving the impossible. But what I really wanted to say was, “Oh no. I’m not doing it all. There’s actually a massive tornado behind me.”
My tired, tear-filled eyes were constantly thinking, planning, organizing, managing – not only for the company I helped run, but in my home and for my four children. This had nothing to do with my partner’s support, the demands of my job or the laundry list of mothering tasks. It was the core belief that to find success and happiness I had to constantly do more, and do it perfectly. At the time I wore my “doing it all” status as a badge of honor and used the external validation as a reason to press on.
Can we do it all? Yes, we can. I fully believe that a woman can conquer and achieve anything. But the women who do so while maintaining their joy and happiness, have a massive tribe standing next to them. In the 80s and 90s more and more mothers went to work fulltime out of the home. But they didn’t necessarily take on less in the home. They continued the housework, took care of the children, bought the groceries, and took care of the marriage.
That is five full-time jobs. As the children of this generation, we are stuck somewhere in the middle. We value the importance of caring for our families and raising good humans. Yet our need to grow professionally, bring in an income, and define ourselves outside of motherhood is equally important. No matter the path, most mothers feel an internal battle that we are not enough. We are not home enough; we are not away enough.
Our society has created a culture of women who base our success on the external endorsement of our work. Whether it be our homes, our bodies, the businesses we choose or the way we raise our children. We take that information and judge ourselves to the highest expectations. No wonder we never feel as though we’re enough. In the meantime, we forget how to listen to our own voice. The gut feelings and the signs we need to steer us are masked with external ideas of what our lives SHOULD look like.
In one of Brene Brown’s TED talks she said: “You either walk inside your story and own it, or you walk on the outside and hustle for your worthiness.” You can listen to entire conversation here. But without owning our life and listening to our voice, we continuously find ourselves needing to do it all in order to achieve the idea of perfection. This way, we will forever hustle for our worthiness. Instead, what we need to realize is that our worthiness has been inside of us all along.
When we see a woman “doing it all” it shouldn’t be deemed as a feather in her sunhat, but a symbol of a white flag of defeat. Please don’t ask me how I do it all or how I balance my work and my home. Instead, we should be asking each other if our souls feel alive in the work we do.
“Do you have the support you need to reach your goals and conquer the world?”
“If you do, amazing. Let’s celebrate that. If not, I have a couple resources for you.”
Let’s normalize that conversation. Our world needs more women prioritizing their joy, asking for help, and managing out what they can. And once they figure that out, it would be great if they could share how they did it. #theresroomforeveryone
3 Actionable Ways to Stop Doing It All:
- Meditate. I was terrible at meditating and found that the conventional, structured ways didn’t work for me. So instead, I meditate once a day by sitting down, closing my eyes and asking my wise self what she needs from me. And then I listen. I receive the signs I need to move about my day because I ask for them.
- Break down your To Do list. A good friend of mine saw my to do list once and was appalled. Between the house, the kids, my business, the vacation, my lists were long and unruly. So, she instructed me to separate my list into four quadrants. Label them Home, Family, Business, Me. When you are completing the tasks, try and rotate from one quadrant to another. For me, it brings a feeling of fulfillment and balance. Plus, it’s much prettier.
- Dance in the rain. My kids always wonder why I like the rain so much. It’s pretty simple. To me, the rain symbolizes stillness. A rebirth and often times a reevaluation of my priorities for the day. But I never miss the opportunity to stand out in the rain and dance. It washes away worry and reminds me of how small we all are. It stops me from doing it all.
For us to redefine the need to do it all in our society, we must begin with how we view it in our own lives. Slowing down and assessing what brings our souls joy allows us to make better decisions. We can more accurately choose what things to commit to and which to say “no” to. We can acknowledge the need for help before we burnout. We respect the women in our lives who do this for themselves and continuously support their decisions.
Then we have the power to redefine what “doing it all” looks like.
Hi. I’m Rachael; a mother of four young boys and the creator of The Awakening Motherhood Project. I share simple, actionable ways to find joy and confidence in the chaos of our lives- recipes, tips, and ways to conquer the hard stuff in motherhood. Our behaviors and relationships with ourselves, our food and our communities mold the way our children view the world. It is not meant to be daunting, or another pressure added to our plates. It is a powerful privilege to create the future. We can do that together.