“I’m just afraid I’m not doing enough as a mother—and maybe I’m not even doing it right at all.”
A young working mom, her eyes misty and tired from little sleep, quietly shared that with me. And I’ve had a version of this conversation with too many women recently. But I’ve been there, too.
To these tired and stressed mothers, and other caregivers, I have one message: Please, be kinder to yourself. Would you allow others to talk to you the way you talk to yourself?
Be it taking care of your children or an aging parent, you have taken on the responsibilities of essentially two jobs. Banish the mean girl sitting on your shoulder, whispering you should have done this or you should have done that. Yes, you could have, but something else was more important on that day, or that week.
There is no one right answer on how to do career and motherhood—on how to “have it all.” But you can do both, and you can do both well.
How you do it depends on unique factors: what you want, your situation, your home life and the kind of job you have. There are no universal fix-alls. With that caveat, here is what has worked for me and the things I wish I had known sooner.
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