My mom, Kathy, returned to her full-time nursing career shortly after I was born. She was 30 years old, a wife and a mom, and loving life. And I watched her as I grew up, knowing that I wanted to be just like my mom.
So here I was, 30 years old and a full-time working mom. And about seven years into it, I finally called BS – that there is absolutely no way you can be an effective, full-time, working mom!
I had been doing awesome, feeling great in my career and professional aspect, but I was totally failing in everything else. I was an awful wife and mom, and I was failing myself; I wasn’t taking care of my physical, mental, and emotional health. And at that time I thought, I have to choose one or the other – my career, or everything else in my life. But I knew, I love to work AND I love being a wife and mom. Like, why do I have to choose one or the other? I want to have both!
So if you are questioning whether or not you’ve got to choose one or the other, I’m here to tell you that no, you do not. You can have both, you can live “The AND Life.” But it has to start with you!
I was trying to design and live my life based on other people’s definitions and expectations, or at least what I thought their expectations were. I was trying to be the type of employee and manager and leader, based upon what I thought everyone else wanted, without sharing the challenges that I was going through, without making requests. And I was doing the same thing in my relationships, in being a mom; trying to be the mom that I thought the true definition was, or what everybody expected me to be.
Once I realized that it was about me, what my definition of “The AND Life” looks like, what I wanted to have professionally, what I wanted my marriage and my parenting and my health to look like. Once I decided that I could absolutely have both, it’s only once I created the definition of what this life should look like for me did I really understand how I could have it all. And that is what you need to do.
If you are struggling with how to live this “AND Life,” if you feel you have to choose one or the other – stop today and figure out, what do you want based on your definitions? Not based upon the media, your parents, the society, your co-workers, your boss. What do you want YOUR life to look like?
Comment below, what is the one thing you want your life to look like, so that you can start living that “AND Life,” where you don’t have to choose one or the other? I want to hear from you.