Exhausted. Stressed. Guilty.
The three words I hear most often from the women I speak to who are like me - bucking social convention and bringing home the bacon for their families.
These words are often followed by sentences like:
“I thought working full time with little kids was tough - it’s got even harder as they’ve got older”
“My to do list is just endless and I’m never able to get on top of it”
“It’s the running part that I hate the most - always feeling like you should be doing something else”
We need to say enough!
We need to say enough with the running. Enough with the 3am wake ups. Enough with the pretending we’ve got it all under control when we don’t.
We deserve to have fulfilling careers without sacrificing progression for treading water, because we’ve got “flexibility.”
We deserve to be present with our children so we can soak up those little moments that we know will be fleeting.
We deserve to build a life that suits our families unique circumstances, not ones that society dictates we follow.
I’m living proof it can be done.
I run my own business full time and have held big roles in corporates for the last 10 years, moving up the ladder rapidly despite having little children at the time.
I have a stay-at-home-hubby. Contrary to the stereotype of a useless man who ‘babysits’ and nothing else, he cooks, cleans, washes, handles the kids and shoulders a large part of the mental load.
I still find time to exercise 3 times a week and even the odd Friday night wine (virtually these days) with girlfriends.
But bear in mind this hasn’t happened overnight. It’s been a journey over the last 10 years, with its share of ups and downs, that has got us to where we are today.
When I share my circumstances with other women who are also primary breadwinners, they look at me like I’ve married a unicorn.
“My man just doesn’t meet my standards.”
“His masculinity would never cope with that.”
or my favourite, which is usually said in a whisper “but then my family wouldn’t need me”.
I call B.S on these excuses. There are much deeper issues at play that are holding you back from living the life you want.
You need to cut the B.S. and change your three words from exhausted, stressed and guilty to something else that lights you up. Whether that's joy, fun, freedom, control, confidence - whatever those words are for you that make you excited to wake up feel blessed to utter every day.
Bucking social convention can be a lonely, exhausting road. But it doesn’t have to be.
If you've come this far on your own with little to no support, imagine what you could do with just a little boost?