A few years ago I wrote a blog post about having it all. This is like the age old question for women since before time. Hey, let’s play a quick game of never have I ever.
Never have I ever heard anyone ask a man… “Hey are you ever worried about not being able to have it all? You know, the kids, wife, great career and still make time for yourself?”
No, because that’s a question best saved for us women. Why, I don’t know, I just chalk it up to that’s the society we live in. What prompted this week’s topic? Glad you asked.
I don’t watch tv much but one night I sat down to watch Netflix and came across a show called Workin’ Moms and now I’m hooked! I don’t remember any of their names but I know them by story lines and let me tell you… I see a part of myself in each of them!
In a nutshell the show is about a group of new moms that have to go back to work. Each episode starts off in a Mommy and Me class where they talk about everything from boobs to work. One mom has 2 kids one of which is in elementary school and has been flashing boys in the class. This mom has her own business and finds out she’s pregnant and can’t help but feel disappointed and stressed out because she JUST had a baby. Another woman is a first time mom, works in the corporate world full of men and wants to career wise be one of the guys. There’re some other pretty interesting moms but I’ll leave you with those 2 since this is not about tv moms but about US moms.
I relate to these women because I struggle a lot with trying to have it all. So, little back story about me I’m a make-up artist, clothing designer, I have this snazzy little Podcast and I have a blog or 2. I do all these things because I need to find an outlet. I need to find what makes me happy, to find purpose and to be quite honest I'm sorry but working 9 to 5 for someone that doesn't give a fuck about me or my family just doesn't set well with me.
I've had some pretty interesting jobs and I've been managed by some shitty people. I remember working for one particular job and my child care provider called me to tell me one of my kids got sick and they took her to the hospital. I honestly had to decide… OK stay at work so I could make money to pay the bills or go to the hospital with my child. I chose to go the hospital. I’m sure this would have been a no brainer for most moms but this was at time when I was a single mom of FIVE and I had no help financially.
During my 6 month review my manager told me “Samantha, your attendance is pretty good but you did have to leave earlier that one day and just for future consideration can we please try to schedule out our emergencies?” I'm sorry?!? But what?!?! How can you schedule an emergency?! Because if emergencies were planned that no longer makes it an emergency! Is it me or is it ironic I worked for a health care company at the time?
Anyway, we have spouses. We have kids. We have careers. We have our hopes, our dreams and we have ourselves. And NO our hopes and dreams do not get to be bunched up into that category of self-love or self-care because no you still have to take care of yourself aside from all the other shit that you have to do. So no we don't get the luxury of putting together self-love self-care hopes and dreams personal goals into one cute little tight nifty bow.
Now when I first wrote this blog post that this Podcast episode is based on it was back in 2014 and it was shortly after Shonda Rhimes gave a commencement speech at Dartmouth. She spoke about being a single mother and a successful writer of very popular shows. She made a statement about how she responds when people ask her “how do you do it all?” and her answer was honest… she doesn't. If she’s succeeding in one area of her life she's failing in another and I know this scenario all too well because I have been there and kind of there now.
It's October so it's breast cancer awareness month and as a clothing designer I have volunteered my time and my designs to do a runway show for breast cancer awareness month and celebrating breast cancer survivors and reflecting on those no longer with us. So I’m focused on that. I have a job. I have 2 kids ages 5 and 8 that are home schooled and I have 2 older kids that have recently moved back home and then I have 3 teenage girls so needless to say I've got a lot of shit going on. At any given time I'm falling short somewhere.
7 kids, a husband, dog and a fish… that is what I signed up for when I decided to be a mom but when I decided to be a mom I didn't sign away my rights to live life! I didn’t sign away my rights to give up my hopes and dreams and just watch them turn to ash and fade away! I refuse to! So the question is… Can we have it all? I damn sure for one believe that I can have it all and I'm not going to stop trying until I have the life that I want and I don't think that you moms should give up on the things that you want either.
I've heard too many times parents giving up on things they've always dreamed of doing their whole lives. They had kids and then that guilt kicked in, you know that mom guilt and they just think “Oh I can't do it anymore. I'm going to wait till Billy and Suzy are grown and out of the house.”
Don't wait for little Billy and Susie to move out the house because you don’t know when or if they will ever leave!!!
Do what makes you happy now! You're living life now so be happy in the present.
If you all have listened to my Podcast or read my blog for any amount of time you will know that I am a sucker for a quote. Well this time I’ve got a whole damn poem by Langston Hughes. You ready for this?
What happens to a dream deferred, does it dry up like a raisin in the Sun or fester like a sore and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat or crust and sugar over like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load or does it explode?
Now I don't know about you but I don't like the thought of my dreams festering like a sore and it running or smelling like rotten meat. That is not for me!
In all seriousness moms, some of my proudest moments are when I've accomplished something and my kids being witness to the hard work and dedication it took to pull it off. I'll never forget when after years of being afraid and finally getting out of my own way, I launched my clothing line. It was during fashion week in Arizona and it felt like when the opportunity came I didn't have a choice, I couldn't say noeven though I was 6 months pregnant with kid #6. I busted my ass and walked down the runway with my youngest son in my stomach and it made me proud and I realized at that moment being a mom didn’t have to stop me from doing anything!!
Ever since then my kids have told their friends about me and when they have special events like homecoming, they wear my designs and nothing in the whole world makes me more proud. It takes work, it takes a lot of work but we can have it all. We absolutely can have it all and we should never give up. We should never stop striving for greatness.
It doesn't matter what your all means. Your all means something different from what my all means. Your all doesn't have to look like mine or anyone else’s! You're all might be being a stay-at-home mom and making money from home so you can be with the kids and you could help the household financially. Your all could be owning your own business, owning a house and no car payments, being debt free. Whatever it is it’s no one’s damn business.
Alright so this week's minor tip for a major impact in your life… What is your idea of having it all? Think about that for a minute. Maybe you already know. I'm sure someone out there doesn't even have to think about this! Three things just came to mind but for those of you that aren't sure think about it.
Can we have it all? I feel like the answer is yes but there's something that holds us back from thinking that we deserve it all. That something is fear. Would you agree? What is your idea of having it all? What does it look like? This week I want you to take time and really put thought into it. Paint that picture and ask yourself what does my having it all look like? Write this question down and post it somewhere and sit with this thought and I hope that it leads you somewhere. I'll bet it leads you somewhere amazing.
Until next time, take care of you.