By Abby Glaser
Client Advocate, Encompass Connection Center
If you are a woman who grew up from the 60’s to the 80’s you probably had people in your life telling you (regularly!) that you can have it all! A marriage, a successful career, children, a lovely house and a 401K! What no one most likely told you…how to do it?
As a wife, mother of five and full time worker, the most frequent question I get from other women is “How do you do it all?!” How to nurture a healthy relationship, raise spectacular children and crush it professionally? (They don’t say that, this is my interpretation of what they are really asking!) I have learned a lot of lessons in my 20 years of marriage and parenting, mostly what not to do!
Here’s three tips for having it all!
Spoiler Alert: You can’t! You are humanly incapable of giving 100% of yourself to all of the things that need you. It’s impossible. That means you have to prioritize which things deserve the bulk of your attention and which things don’t…and then structure your life accordingly. Which brings me to my first tip:
1. Lower your expectations! When you are old and in the retirement home, are you going to look back and wish your house had been cleaner? Probably not. But you are very likely to look back and wish you had spent more time with your loved ones? Set realistic expectations for yourself and don’t be afraid to make it a family affair! Perfection is never the goal, contentment is!
And while we’re talking about realistic expectations:
2. Avoid the (toxic) comparison game! You’ve probably heard it before but social media now gives us a 24/7 view of other’s lives…but remember it’s their “highlight reel”! It’s easy to look at social media and think everyone else has it together. Newsflash: they aren’t posting their overflowing laundry, the fight with their spouse, their misbehaving child or the project at work that they bombed. Theodore Roosevelt famously said “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Don’t let someone’s highlight reel make you feel like your life doesn’t add up!
3. Practice gratefulness! It is easy in the chaos and stress of juggling work and home life to lose sight of our blessings. We can feel frustrated that our evenings are filled with soccer practices, or we can be thankful that we have healthy kids who can play sports! As an added bonus: research shows that gratitude is good for your health and your relationships! https://www.happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/
So really we can have it all, we just can’t do it all all the time!
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.