Thursday, September 8, 2011


I know that I'm supposed to just live my life the way that works best for me. That I shouldn't worry about what other people think. I should just do the things that make my family and me happy. I shouldn't give way to outside expectations.

But there are just so many expectations.

Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
Find time for myself.
Sleep 8 hours a night.
Quality time with my spouse.
Quality time with my children.
Have meals together.
Have a social life.
Study and read daily.

When is enough enough?

I wish I could separate out what are the things that I want for myself and what are the things that I just give into because of social pressure. Because there isn't enough time in the day for everything. However, I want all these things. I want to be good at my job, to be educated and well read. I want to be healthy, to exercise and eat right and to make healthy food for my family. I want family time with my boys and I want date night with Hubster. I want time for myself and time with my friends.

But when do you say that enough is enough? And how do you decide what to let go?

I went to a Women in Medicine panel as a very young undergraduate/new mom, and I heard a speaker say that as women, we can have everything, just not all at the same time. At the time, going to school full time while juggling the new demands of parenthood, I scoffed at this idea. I was going to have it all, all right now.

Now, years later and much more tired, I'm realizing the truth in those words.

I'm just not sure what I should let slide and what I should hold on to. How do I fill the expectations, not just of society, but of myself?


  1. I hear you, sister! I sleep six hours per night, hardly ever meet friends (twice per month, I guess), gave up almost all my hobbies and, once I am up, do not stop until I collapse at night. And there are no children jet...

    Sometimes I think how nice it would be to combine some of these things - but I do not have any friends to work out with, the BF is a much faster runner (and we can't kiss while running), and the only things I manage to combine from time to time are cooking and friends - no, I do not cook friends, but we meet for cooking and enjoying our meal together, every few weeks. Apart from that - I think if we could have everything we wanted without time constraints, most things would not be precious to us at all. They are precious because we have to choose, and we choose them over others.

  2. G Damn superwoman complexes. And you've asked the impossible question. Because even when you figure out what it is you think you can let go of - if you're anything like me - you can't stop thinking about that one thing and all the consequenses of letting it go.

    Letting it go.

    Should be a mantra these days.

    I truly hope you find answers, and soon. I know exactly how hard you work and that you actually DO do it all, and I KNOW you're tired. You deserve some sort of respite.

    I just recently admitted to myself that I've lived most of my life based on other people's perceptions. I love school and learning, but I really got my degrees to prove to others that I'm eductated - that sort of thing. It's something I sorely need to get over. But it's going to take super serious work.

  3. I so agree that we can have it all . . . just not at the same time. I find that my priorities have a way of pushing themselves to the forefront. I learned a hard lesson early in life that hurt at the time but I'm now glad I went through it, because it taught me that making decisions about my own life based on what I think others want will lead to big disappointment!

  4. This is the eternal question! I'm finding as I get older, I get better at knowing what is most important to me to keep, and what I can let slide a little. But it's still a struggle.

  5. I may not be a wife or a mother, but I can totally relate to this post. When I do nothing more but go to work and come home, that's 12 hours. Add to that working out, reading, finishing my novel, all of my church responsibilities, seeing my family, and occasionally thinking about dating and there's barely time for sleeping and eating!

    I don't know why we put so much pressure on ourselves to try to have/do it all. I think we just need to figure out what matters most to us and focus on that, letting everything else fit in the cracks whenever there is room.

  6. You are one very amazing person. This is a recurring question and different focusses take turns being at the top of the list. Look UP. Everything will settle out after that