The Truth About Being A Mom AND Having It All (Hint: It's Not Impossible)

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Family, Self

What you need to know to make it work.

We've all heard the phrase, "You can't have your cake and eat it too", and inside we all know it's true. But that never stops us from trying to have it all

For women, this means understanding that something will have to give in our lives when we become mothers. We can try, but everywhere we turn are reminders that career + love + family + happiness = impossible.

But what if it's not impossible? What if what's actually making it hard is our misunderstanding of what it means to "have it all"?

Social scientists have long noted that the reason women weren't advancing higher in the workplace probably had to do with priorities with the family. But an article in The Atlantic from 1986, now accessible online, explains that women working was NOT a new thing — not then, not now. Women have always worked.

The influx of women into professional and industrial jobs followed the departure from farms, notes the author of the article, where women worked many different types of jobs. 

So is it REALLY true that women devalue our work, or that the quest to "have it all" and be happy is a new challenge for women? Or have we simply been trained to do it all wrong?

In our latest Ask An Expert video, relationship Expert and life coach Zoe Shaw — a licensed psychotherapist — shatters the myth that women can't have it all, and says explains how to make it work. 

It all comes down to understanding what season you're in.

Not seasons like Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer — more like the seasons of your life.

1. The Little Years.

When you have infants or young toddlers at home, your life is barely your own.

Between getting your children from place to place, entertaining them, running after them, parenting them .... it's physically draining and it's totally normal at this stage to just do the bare minimum you can for yourself.

2. The School Years.

Finally some time to yourself.

Whether it's when they're at school or when they're at their new friend's house, use those precious moments to indulge a little. Take a long bath, start a new hobby or just spend some time catching up with the things that matter most to you.

3. The Teenage Years.

Once again, your life seems to be put on hold as your children become teenagers.

Chauffeuring your children becomes a full-time job (at least until they get their licenses) and trying to deal with their teenage drama, hormones, and sass are physically AND emotionally draining.

But even as you put aside some of the hobbies you've taken up, keep up to date with others. Just around the corner is another chapter and you'll be on to new things.

4. The College Years.

Empty nest as its best.

Of course, you'll miss your kids while they're away but this is the perfect moment to rediscover who you are and go back to the passions you've let slip as a mom.

Go back to those hobbies you love and try some new ones. It's all about you now.

Your children are the center of your life, and that's what makes you a GREAT mom.

But that doesn't mean they have to take over your life.

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Underneath all the crayon, glitter, glue and mom-clothes, you're still an awesome woman who deserves to have some time to do what makes her happy.  Watch the video above for more info on how to manage all these seasons. 

Do you recognize yourself in any part of this article? Need some help? Reach out. Join Dr. Zoe Shaw's free monthly newsletterwhere you will get monthly tips and encouragement for redefining YOUR superwoman. Dr. Zoe Shaw is a licensed psychotherapist and life and relationship coach for women.

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