Feminists around the world are scoffing, but there I said it. Just kidding, I won’t flatter myself that much. But the hard truth is just that—we can’t do it all, ladies. And that’s okay.
Three years ago, I had it all figured out. My husband and I were both working full time, swapping childcare responsibility of our daughter like two ships passing in the night. We had started a business, and life was going a million miles a minute. It was very important to us that one of us was always home with Charlotte, with the additional help from grandma as needed, which meant that we had ONE day a week where we were off together. That time was usually spent tying up loose ends around the house or on the next landscaping endeavor.
I eventually dropped to part time (two days a week) at work in an effort to put more time into the business. Nap times were crucial productivity time, and often late nights were not spent snuggling with my husband watching a movie, but discussing the business and trying to determine ways to pay back the seemingly insurmountable debt invested.
Our second baby came along, followed by a new house requiring lots of sweat equity, and gradually the Shark Tank dreams dissipated along with the burning desire to conquer the babywearing industry. Dual naps became the exception and not the rule (we call it the ‘unicorn’ when it happens) meaning time for productivity dwindled with each passing day.
What also overtook me was a sense of “present nostalgia”. With each phase my daughters would go through, I would feel an overwhelming sense that I wanted to freeze time and savor each passing moment. I realize every parent probably feels this at some point, but at times I would literally be brought to tears with gratitude of how happy I felt to be their mother. I’m certainly not saying it was all roses and laughter. I definitely looked forward to my glass of wine many, nay, most nights and at times felt like I was not giving my 100%. And that is when it finally hit me like a ton of bricks. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be 100% of everything. You cannot be the perfectly reliable employee, the perfectly graceful spouse, the perfectly successful entrepreneur, the perfectly patient mom. Where something excels, something else will lack. I’ve been asked why I don’t just get childcare so I can focus on my business. My answer is that I am in the THICK of the best days of my life. How could I possibly justify not being completely present for my girls during their most formative years?? Three years ago, or even one or two years ago, I would've told you my husband and I had the perfect balance. But in hindsight, I was not being honest with either one of us that things were slowly coming apart at the seams.
So yes, once again, my business has been placed on the back burner and is currently on cruise control. We are very much still selling and will continue to do so. But I have learned to be honest with myself that I can’t do it all and my priority is my family. While this post may seem depressing or even downright offensive to some, my hope is that you can actually view it as an inspiration. I applaud all the parents out there who are working their proverbial fingers to the bone to create a better life for their children. But the truth of the matter is all your children really and desperately want… is you.