No, You Can't Have it All

I recently read this post on and I could relate to everything the author said. Tired of monotony? Check. Feeling like a servant? Yup. Everybody wants something from you? Only always. There's no paycheck and there's no title? Pretty much. No sick days or time off? Ha.Facing the realization that a stay-at-home mom is a role that our society doesn't understand or value? For sure.

Again, I sympathize. I really, really do. Been there, done that. No criticism or shaming here. I think it's actually a good thing, wrestling with and being honest about these feelings, because sometimes we need to take a step back and take a good hard look at who we are and what we are doing and just reevaluate. Mix things up, make changes, prioritize.


I also think it's really important not to wallow. Not to let ourselves be dragged down. I haven't read the book mentioned in her post and I'm not going to. I'm not opposed to reading things that challenge my priorities or decisions, but those things should cause us to take stock of our lives, make peace with ourselves, and then move on. They shouldn't cause us to be depressed and pessimistic! I mean, you already have a passel of kiddos and you've made your decision so why read something that makes you feel like a complete and utter failure?

But really, I don't need to read the book to get down about what I do, if that's where I really want to go. I can find negative opinions and attitudes in about a million places, if I have a mind. But so could anyone.

I think the article writer hit the nail on the head when she identified a big issue with this mindset that seems to so easily overwhelm so many women: having it all.

This idea has been peddled specifically to women, courtesy of the Women's Lib movement, for the past 50ish years. To our detriment. Listen, you can do anything, yes, but you can't do everything. And certainly not all at once.

Nobody can.

I can't believe I actually have to say this, but here is the truth: neither SAHMs nor WOHMs have it all. Women can't have it all. Men can't have it all. Nobody, in any walk of life, can have it all. It's a ridiculous Western notion that needs to die and needs to die quickly. It's a dangerous idea that is born squarely from greed and our human self-serving "look at me, notice me, applaud me" mentality. And it does nobody any good.

"Having it all" only serves to dilute our passions so that everything we do is mediocre. We become filled with anxious, nervous and defensive thoughts and are dragged down from viscous patterns of over thinking and second guessing. It forces women into a frantic, overly-busy way of life because they would feel "less" if they asked for help, subbed something out, put something on the back burner, or just plain said "no." I don't care who you are or what you're doing, this will not lead to a peaceful joyful life. Instead, it leads to burnout and frustration.

If it seems like I've been mulling this over a lot, it's because I have. I thought it was interesting that my book club read and discussed two very similar books this past year.



The protagonists in both books were faced with circumstances that forced them to step back and take a good hard look at their lives. Both reevaluated and recognized that they were focusing on the wrong things. All good things, but not the best things. Both women chose to slow down their lives and focus on what really mattered to them. What stood out to me, though, is that one protagonist was a SAHM and the other was a WOHM. Both were distracted. Both had overwhelmingly packed schedules. Both were focused with doing and not on being. Their priorities were centered around doing things instead of relating to people and had so many things on their plate they were suffocating. My takeaway was that anyone can be distracted from what is really important to them without even realizing it's happening.

We need to immerse ourselves in that fast-fading knowledge that our value and worth does not come from what we do, how much we earn, or who we know; it comes from our relationship with Jesus Christ. It's about living fully within the blend of the life and limitations that have been given to us and the choices we make. It's about realizing that we will never be fully complete or whole this side of heaven. There will always be yearning. Yearning to be seen, to be known, to stand for something, to make a real difference that lasts. These are good things, but they can be destructive if they try to find fulfillment in the wrong avenues.

This is where it all goes wrong. SAHMs shouldn't find their value and their worth in raising their children,keeping an immaculate house, or volunteering on a million committees. WOHMs shouldn't find their value and worth in jobs, titles, or pay.  Looking for our value in good things will always let us down. These things will crack and weather and break and disappoint when we put them under so much pressure. We need to find our value in the Best Thing.

Do you want to make a difference in this world? Do you want to be someone who impacts others? Find the source of your worth and value and rest in that. Put Him first and let everything you do flow from that decision. Make your choices and embrace them knowing that, even though it won't be perfect and we won't have it all, God pours out his grace on us. Do everything you find to do, big or small, in the home or out, no matter the season of your life, with excellence. Connect with the people around you. Stop focusing on everything you don't do and instead find enjoyment and see the value in what you do, no matter how big or small the world deems it.

Just don't try to make it a placeholder for something it was never meant to be.



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