Lies I have believed Part III

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This will be the last of my lies series.  I went with the top three. I am sure I will have more lies to uncover later. The third lie I have believed is that I can have it all. I am not superwoman.  There may be some of you out there that are.  I, however, am not so I can not do it all. If I am exceptional at my full time job, my family gets what is left over. If my family is being the center, I can’t work full-time well. If I go all out and work and parent effectively, my relationship falters and I don’t sleep enough.

This is a lie that my mother’s generation told me. They said that you can be a mom, keep a clean house, have a successful marriage and climb the corporate ladder. They told us that we could be anything we set our mind to.  I understand that women wanted more than keeping a man’s house and raising his kids. I get that men didn’t love their wives like Christ loves the church. I know that men used the word submission as a sword that meant giving them all that they wanted. I get that women felt unappreciated and unloved. I totally understand the want for more. I want more as well.

Here are some facts for you, there are only 24 hours a day. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women spend on average 2.8 hours a day keeping house. If you work a full-time job that is 8.5 hours spent on the job site. The average commute in my neck of the woods is .75 hours each way. In order to be a good parent, I need to spend at least 20 min a day reading to my youngest and no less than half an hour helping the oldest with homework. Preparing food will take another .75 hours a day according to the USDA. So we haven’t added sleep and we are at 14.38 hours. My children need to be healthy so I need to keep them active for 1 hour a day. What kind of parent would I be if I didn’t join them plus I need the exercise. So 15.38 hours gone. My kids need to eat so I have to grocery shop that takes 8 minutes out of the day. Plus a good family eats together at a table another half hour gone. Doctors recommend 8 hours of sleep. We also need at least 20 minutes of time with our spouse to just keep in touch. I have already totaled up 24.34 hours. I don’t know if you notice, that is more time than there is in a day. Meaning there is no time to relax, there is no time for a hobby.

I am not saying I want to put women back a few decades. I am just asking we get real with ourselves. We can’t be good at everything we do. We have to make choices. I am making the choices that are right for my family. You should do what is right for yours. I will say that maybe we need to give ourselves and other women a break. We need to be honest and tell ourselves that having it all comes at a price. For me that price was out of control anxiety, a marriage in distress and a family that got my daily left-overs. The price I pay for less anxiety, a marriage that is improving and happier kids, is the fact I don’t work full time and that shows in our bank account. For me it is worth it. It might not be for you.  Let’s just stop believing the lies!

8 responses »

  1. You’re right, we can’t do it all. My theory is that if I’m going to be working full-time as a parent (and I am) I will need to outsource a few things in order to keep the required balls in the air. Cleaning – don’t have time for it, hired a cleaner. Grocery shopping – order online and have it delivered. Cooking – occasionally order in. It doesn’t solve everything, but it does allow for more family/spouse time!

    • When I worked full-time I had a housekeeper. I know what is right for me isn’t right for everyone. There certainly is no shame in paying for services to make life more full with the things you find most important!

  2. It feel good to hear someone else say this. My husband and I both new life as a kid with working parents and mine were divorced. We agreed a plan to have me at home for any kids before we even got married. When we had our first child, my dh only made about $25,000 a year in a high cost of living area but we sacrificed to have time for each other and our kids and it has been worth it every step of the way.

    • It is certainly something that took me a while to come to. It is hard on one income as compared but we have satellite and internet. So we are clearly doing fine. I don’t even stress about all that time and money spent on college because I used my GI Bill. It is nice to know that there are others out there.

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