In fact, you probably already DO or are very close, and don’t even realize it.
Listen, I’m no expert in life or advice or anything really. Well, maybe a few things. But what I CAN tell you is that it really ONLY takes 3 things to have it ALL.
My friend, Chante Franco, sent me a message a few weeks ago and asked if I thought that was possible for women to have it all. What she didn’t know is that I’d been harboring this secret for quite a while. I ,100% without a doubt, know the answer to the age old question, “Can women REALLY have it all?:.
The answer is unequivocally yes.
Not only is it yes, it’s actually sort of EASY! Still work! But not that hard, only takes effort. So before I start spilling all the beans… I want you to go grab your favorite notebook. The one you jot down your goals and notes with intentions of putting together your vision board that will never get done. Once this is over, you’ll pretty much know what you need to do to get there OR you may realize that – gasp- you’re already there and didn’t even realize it. There are only 3 steps!
Step 1: Define YOUR “All”.
Look at that sentence again…the most important word there is YOUR (you thought it was all, didn’t you?). The reason is simple- my idea of “ALL” is not the same as my sister’s, my best friend’s, my Mom’s…heck- not even my Husband’s! YOUR “ALL” is what matters here.
For some women, ALL isn’t necessarily being married. It may or may not include children. It could mean a career in Corporate America, it could mean the ability to stay home while you raise children. For some it could even be marrying rich. For others it’s to live comfortably and travel. You have to truly define yours.
I’ll share my “ALL” with you.
To me, having it all means being able to be present in each of my various roles, while having time to just be Kia. When my kids have a school function, or we want to go on a vacation, I want the ability do that without having to ask ANYONE permission. BUT- I want my own identity. When I think about WHO I am, I don’t want it to be roles… Wife, Mom, Sister, Daughter, Friend. I want to be known as funny, respected, talented- I want to be someone you WANT to be around because I bring “XYZ” to the table. Don’t get me wrong, I love those roles whole-heartedly. But I declare that I also love who I am away from those roles and that’s JUST as important. I’m not ashamed of actually liking ME.
FREEDOM while making a comfortable living is MY ALL. Well…. as free as you can get when your husband is in the Army, but I digress.
Now, as important as defining your all is… it’s just as important to identify what your ALL does NOT include. For example- I’m not the best housekeeper. Our home is not spotless, is very lived in, but is “tidy” (especially when company is on it’s way over). Have you seen that video of what a Mom looks like before company comes over? That’s me. I’d love nothing more than to have a house cleaner. (That’s on my unfinished vision board). But I’m cool with cooking, because good food is my jam. Spotless house is NOT my “ALL”, but it might be yours! This is why it’s important to not look to others to define what ALL is to you.
As your sitting there thinking about what ALL means to you, write it down. Accept that ALL this year might look different next year or 5 years ago. Things change constantly and so will this, which leads me to….
Step 2: Aim for Harmony, not Balance.
When I see someone ask another person how they “balance” it all, I can’t control myself and yell out “LIES!” and then everyone in Chick-Fil-A thinks I’m crazy. Because the truth is, if you’re trying to balance everything you have to do, you will FAIL. Sorry. I don’t like being a dream crusher. But in this case, it hurts me more than it hurts you. You will never be able to give EQUAL time to the many hats, roles, positions and titles you wear. BUT, dear friend, you can have harmony.
Aiming for harmony simply means all those roles, titles and tasks that you are doing…they’re all in agreement. Agreement of what, you ask? The agreement of where they are on the priority list TODAY. There will be days that your role of Mom will outweigh that of Work. There will be days where you just need to clean house and nothing else (or as “nothing else” as the kids will allow). There will be days where your Husband will need most of your time and attention, and deserves it. Once you release yourself from the burden of BALANCE and embrace harmony, a weight is lifted.
A life of HARMONY is so much more fun, because it’s fluid. Balance is not; balance is rigid and sounds fair on the surface. But the truth is, trying to live in balance is fair to everyone and every thing EXCEPT you. When you replace balance with harmony, you are a better person. And we all know a happy woman makes the people around her happier- kids, friends, parents, the world!
What would it take to move from a life of chasing balance to a life of increased harmony, for you? This one could take some adjustment for your family and friends, too. Prioritizing things and sticking to it means that you might not be as available WHEN they’re used to you being available. Don’t allow anyone (including yourself) to make you feel guilty for doing what you NEED to do.
Step 3: Finding Your Village
They say it takes a village to raise a child, but truly- it takes a village to do LIFE. The person that says they don’t need anyone is out of touch with reality. There is no way to have a rich (and I’m not talking monetary), fulfilled life, while raising a family without HELP. Having a few friends who you can call in your time of need to watch the kids for a couple of hours, to talk you through feeling overwhelmed, show up with chicken noodle soup, a bottle of wine or send an Amazon package to your door just to cheer you up- having this village is part of having it ALL. Being a part of others village is part of having it ALL.
If you have family around, and they’re helpful, I hope you count your Blessings in that. Military families and those that move around a lot, your village changes often. Just when you find one and start to get comfortable, it’s time to leave them and start over. This is not easy, and there is a difference in seeking out like minded new friends authentically and hanging out with whomever just to take advantage of the possibility of having a sitter when needed. The best place to find your village is by staying true to WHO you are and doing the things you LOVE.
Do you have your village? People you know and trust to help you and people that you want to help too? Not just with kids…but help you be a better YOU while you feed their spirit, as well? Now’s the time to find your village. Because if you have one, it doesn’t matter WHERE life takes you, it will always be grand.
And isn’t that what we all want? A life with great relationships, where we can nurture and be nurtured? When you know what your ALL is and you can act it out with people that you love, respect and admire, your village that makes achieving harmony the Ultimate “ALL”.
So there you have it, it IS possible.
I want to hear what your ALL is, if you’ve achieved harmony. Shout out the people in your VILLAGE! Then share this to be sure that your friends know the 3 steps! We should ALL be able to have it “ALL”.