Having it All

Many working parents are trying to figure out how to manage their work/life balance. Everyone is trying to figure out how to have it all. I remember after working a hard day at the office, prior to having kids, collapsing into bed and stating to my husband “I don’t know how people with kids can do, we don’t have kids and this is hard”.  After having kids, I thought I figured it out. You smash more into a day by sleeping less. After a few years of pure exhaustion, I realized that wasn’t the way to a happy life. I started to see the light when a friend told me, “You can have it all, you just have to define what all means to you”. It took awhile for the meaning of this statement to sink in but once I realized that I have the power and the right to define what I wanted, life got a lot easier.

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Permission to Say “No”

I discovered I could give myself permission to say “no” to things. That those evenings out with acquaintances that I felt I had to accept because I might upset someone, when sleep was so much more important, I had the ability not to accept the invitation. That saying “yes” every time someone asked me to contribute to a committee, to donate time to this objective or to help out at the kid’s school, was not a requirement. I had the power to choose. I could choose the things that were important to me and fit into my schedule. I could say, this is important to me but not this year. I could say, I would love to but I just don’t feel like I could give it my all because I would be overextended. I had a choice. I could prioritize what was most important and I could define what “all” looked like to me. We have choices, some choices have consequences that are difficult, but we all have choices. We need to empower ourselves to make those choices, accept them as our choices and create the life that makes us happy.