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Career and Family: Why It's So Hard to Have Both

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 12:51pm | by Guest Contributor

There is a saying that a lot of us have heard, but it's kind of still somewhat unclear as to whether or not it's a myth: "You can't have it all." And when you're a woman and you hear that statement, oftentimes, it's in the context of trying to balance having a thriving career and a happily family life.

Why Is It So Hard to Have Both

There is absolutely no way around the fact that trying to balance a family with a career is very challenging (on some days, downright exhausting). A big part of that is due to the fact that when it comes to our professional world, there tend to be a lot of demands that are placed on us; especially as women. Then, when it comes to our home life, as a wife and mother, there are also all of expectations (and sometimes assumptions) that are made as well. Seemingly, if something goes wrong or needs to be done, no problem, "Mom will do it." And usually, this is a "unanimous resolve" without our vote. So, our day goes from working hard all day at the office to coming home and, in many ways, working even harder at home.

How to Bring a Balance

Another saying that fits really well into the context of this article is, "You can't burn the candle at both ends." And honestly, you really can't. One of the best ways for a career woman to also feel successful as a wife and mother is to actually let her own self off of the hook. In other words, Superwoman is a cartoon figure, someone with super powers who isn't even real. Therefore, you don't have to be "all things to all people". You simply need to do your best. Your best consists of being realistic. Your best consists of planning out a schedule. And, your best consists of sometimes saying "no". Yes, one of the hardest things for a woman to do, sometimes, is to say "no" but it's not only good for your own peace of mind, but it also helps others to learn how to do some things on their own; things that they might not consider doing without the push of, "Why don't you try doing that yourself? I'll bet you can." When you know what you can do and what you can't, automatically, therein lies a balance.

Make You a Priority

When you want to know more about the business world, you might attend a seminar or take out a subscription to a business school journal. When you want to become a better parent, you may take some parenting classes or read some blogs. So, what do you do when you want to be a better you? No one can be of good to others if they are not first good to themselves. When it comes to scheduling manicures and pedicures, facials and massages, you definitely should not feel bad for making that a priority in your life. The calmer, relaxed and more centered that you feel, the better off you will be for others. And in many ways, even in spite of all of life's demands and challenges, because you are at peace, things won't seem quite so hard.

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