There's a myth going around, that some women have figured out how to ‘do it all'.

You know the ones I'm talking about:

  • Successful career
  • Screen-free kids
  • Organic meals from scratch
  • Bento box lunches
  • Volunteering for the PTA
  • Attending charity events
  • Perfectly spotless house

The rest of us are running around like crazy trying to figure out how the heck they do it!

Well.. today I'm going to let you in on a little secret. They don't.

And the more I bring this topic up with the women I know with ‘big' careers, the more I discover that they all get a ton of help and no one is talking about it.

Some of them have parents or other family who help. Some have partners who stay home and take care of this stuff (yep, these women are the breadwinners and dad is at home). Some of them hire cleaners, nannies, personal assistants… or order pre-made meals and drop off their laundry.

The help is different for each, but one thing is the same:

 

None of them is doing it all themselves. And I think we need to talk about this!!

Because if you're not in the loop, you've been left to believe that you should be able to do it all. And ladies, it's a load of horseshit.

Not only that, by trying to do it all you're putting yourself at a disadvantage professionally, because while your male peers are putting 80-100% effort into work, you have 43 things on today's ‘to do' list.

Can you HAVE it all? A great career, kids, and a life you love?

Abso-freaking-lutely.

Can you DO it all?

No way. There simply aren't enough hours in the day!

Part of the reason I feel so strongly that we open up this discussion is that I hear women asking themselves if leadership is even worth it. The added stress. The expectations. Can they really do it all?

And I think it's such a shame because if we can embrace this idea, we won't have to ask ourselves whether we can really follow our professional dreams or not. We won't have to choose. And we'll gain the competitive advantage that our male peers have had for so long.

 

So… why is no one talking about this?

Simple. Fear, guilt, and shame.

Fear we are going to make someone else feel bad who may not have the resources we have. Which is legitimate, because we never want to make others feel bad. Fear we'll be judged, because let's be honest, some of the mums at school drop-off can be a little judgy.

There's also guilt that we have more help than others have. As women, we're so conditioned to put others first that we can feel really bad about this.

And the shame… oh man, this one is real. Shame that we feel because we haven't been able to figure out how to ‘do it all'. Shame that we feel from others because we're never the ones who volunteer for the field trip and the moms at playgroup know the nanny better than they know us.

But even if we are keeping this to ourselves in an effort not to make others feel bad, guess what? We're still making them feel bad!

Because they don't know we have help, so they assume we've figured out the secret and they haven't.

And the truth is, we haven't figured anything out, other than how great it is to have a bi-weekly house cleaner.

The message I want to send is not that you need to start outsourcing all of your domestic chores, although I've come to believe that outsourcing as many as you can handle financially is the best possible investment when your kids are young and you're ambitious…

But the message is much bigger than that.

The message is that we need to let go of the illusion that anyone is doing it all. We need to give ourselves a break and let go of the perfection.

Maybe that looks like hiring a cleaner, or maybe it looks like:

  • Grabbing grocery store cookies for the bake sale
  • Swinging by McDonald’s after soccer practice
  • Making a birthday cake from a box mix
  • Giving the kids KD for dinner
  • Letting the laundry pile up

And not beating yourself up about any of these things.

Until next time friends… ✌️💜

Katy