Women are expected to do it all and in the most gracious way possible… wrong. The keyword here is expected. Women should be who they want to be and not what others expect them to be. Whether you are a mother, a caregiver, a wife, a daughter, etc. women tend to be called “super women” because of the societal expectations put on them . But what if women just can’t? What if women don’t want to do it all? It’s exhausting.
The women who aren’t doing it all... it’s ok. There’s a cost for everything. If the soccer mom gets stuck in a meeting and misses the game, she’s frowned upon. If the wife working long hours doesn’t prepare dinner one night, she’s not performing at her best. These scenarios have been created throughout society as targeted signs that a woman is failing as being a woman. Just because someone identifies as a woman doesn’t mean they come with prerequisites. Everyone struggles with balancing life at some point or another. Some can energize themselves a bit more to get more done, and that’s ok. But to be shamed for NOT trying to do it all is what’s wrong with the systemic challenges impacting women across all industries and sectors. The gender expectations need to stop.
For the women trying to do it all, be prepared for some sacrifices. When people try to juggle all the glass balls in the air, one is bound to drop and shatter. There’s a cost for such a lofty goal, so be ready to pay.
So much goes through people's minds, and depending on their role, both in their personal and professional lives, mental health is one of the number one things ignored. Trying to do it all is not impossible but not possible without letting something else go. Unfortunately, to get ahead, sometimes the mental capacity is tortured and later dealt with. This is not always a healthy choice but sometimes necessary. Some would say they’ll deal with how they “feel” later about something while trying to do a million other things. In the end this only hurts the person and probably others in the process.
Mothers and caregivers already have full-time jobs. The sacrifice of having to go back to work to provide is also an uncontrollable sacrifice. Now throw in a promotion to work towards or a raise to earn, the pressure of performing knowing your child is sick at home can prevent from reaching those goals. Not having the flexibility in the workplace of being a mother or caregiver can also determine whether the job fits your needs. This may set a person back from being able to work in specific types of fields and schedules.
Trying to get ahead in life is a common thread between most people. But again, with that comes sacrifice. During the time focused on certain aspects of life, relationships tend to be left last on the priorities list. Both platonic and romantic, relationships are what unify others. It’s an important component in a person’s life and without it, it can feel isolating. Making time for any sort of relationship is better than years down the road, looking back to only realize nobody’s behind you for support.
With much talk around women, being that Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend, take time to appreciate the women around you. They get a bad rep that they are either doing too much or not enough. As a society, putting pressure to be a certain way, meet a specific standard, or working towards a societal dream should be stopped. Normalizing not doing it all and doing what you can, should be the new expectation. Better yet, take away these expectations and just let others figure out what works best for them. And whether that’s juggling work, while being a caregiver, and while making time for yourself, great. But if it’s just focusing on your career, that’s also ok.
The biggest takeaway is every person’s path will differ. Having expectations for genders should be way in the past. Today’s society does put pressure on women but in different ways. Trying to do it all can be taken negatively too. Not making time to just parent or doing things for yourself while your child needs attention creates a sense of not doing enough. It’s a lot to put on a person. Let’s normalize dropping the ball, even if they’re glass. That’s what makes us human.
Juggling between life phases can be the biggest challenge people face. How do you one day only focus on your career to then becoming a mother and having to go back to work to provide for your family? It’s ok to not be ok and that’s why there’s resources out there to help. Finding the right type of community can provide a sense of togetherness and comfort knowing others are going through similar challenges. If you’re looking for resources and a community filled with mothers and caregivers in the workforce, check out Luminary for available programs and events that uplift, up-skill, and propel others forward through all phases of both their personal and professional journeys.
A first-of-its-kind, Luminary is a membership-based global professional growth platform and collaboration hub created for women and male allies to address the systemic challenges impacting women across all industries and sectors. The ultimate career advocate, Luminary provides “real world” advice, tools, and resources to advance, build, connect, and develop through programming and networking opportunities.
With no application process, Luminary is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We invite you to come sit at our table because we are all in this together!