The Myth of Having It All: Sabotages Work/Life Balance
Make Your Partner A True Partner
With half of all marriages ending in divorce, it’s important to know that relationships, where responsibilities are negotiated and shared, are twice as likely to survive.
In dual income households, statistics tell us that women still do twice the housework and three times the childcare. This can be a double-edged sword if women are constrained by the myths of Perfection and Having It All. If the family must always be presented as perfect and without flaws, it will be tough for anyone but her to be in charge of these responsibilities. She will constantly be teetering on the brink of an imperfection disaster. Or worse, possibly not having it all to show and display for her neighbors and colleagues. These myths keep women focused on outward, meaningless appearances instead of the joy of messy, silly, make-fun-the-priority family life.
In Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection, she talks about the years her family had less income and relied more on the family’s sewing and other creative talents when she was growing up. She remembered those years as warm, comfortable, full of family gatherings and filled with wonder. Each family member’s creative expressions were displayed throughout the house. Later, her Dad found a higher paying job and her family moved up the social ladder to a new city and a new house. The family also began to conform to the social norms of the new middle-class society they joined. Gone were home-made curtains and clothes. In with the store bought stoic furniture and rooms that were never used, but looked very proper. The things that were most lost in those tidy unused rooms were the gatherings of love and shared expression of the family’s creative adventures together.
Write your own “by-laws” and keep the house according to your family’s particular needs and lifestyle. Who will remember how creativity, vulnerability, and courage were fostered in your home? Your children or your neighbors? Forget about Having It All and fill your home with heartfelt treasures, compassion, and connection.
Celebrate a Partnership
Let your husband make mistakes bathing, dressing, feeding the kids and doing the laundry. Laugh about it rather than criticize. Studies show that children perform better across the board when they have fathers who actively participate in their day-to-day lives. Involved dads raise happier, healthier, and more successful children. Moreover, kids benefit when that involvement goes beyond the traditional paternal role. When parents have 50/50 partnerships, children grow up with more egalitarian views and can envision more possibilities for themselves. Telling your kids, “you can do anything” is not nearly as effective as showing them they can!
Sit down together on Sunday and compare schedules to determine who should be tasked with various activities and chores based upon the weekly demands, rather than what makes you look like the perfect-super-hero-mom. Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to take on yet another task. Embrace the mess. Let the material things that cause financial strain go. Seek out the fun in ordinary ways. Let love and joy be the new normal.
Partners who are true partners have less stress and more time for relaxation and intimacy. And that makes everyone happy.
Do you feel like the your confidence is sagging? You could be suffering from another myth, the myth of perfection. Read all about it and learn how accomplishments create confidence.