I’m a Woman, and I Don’t Want It All
As a matter of fact, can you take some of your crap back, please?
I think there has been a misunderstanding.
Somewhere along the line, I can’t tell you when, women were told us this piece of horseshit they call “Women can have it all!” I think it was meant to be empowering. So we ran out and grabbed everything we could. If it was out there, we wanted it. Why? Because we could have it! I feel like it’s was a trap.
I can tell you. I don’t feel empowered. I feel tired.
I’ve had it all. In 2014, I was a mother, a wife, a vice president at a huge national management firm, and a trustee on the board of an international organization. I balanced our finances, knocked down walls in the house, installed tile, made stuff for school projects and sewed buttons on shirts. I had all of it. I did all of it. And you know what? It fucking sucked.
I did much more work than my male counterparts because I had to take on more just to show I was deserving of having it all. What respect they were just given, I have to fight tooth and nail for. Because I wanted it! Because I could have it all! I think men just looked at us and said, “You wanted it all? Okay. Have it!” Dump!
I worked too much. I gained and lost the same fifteen pounds about 4 times. I drank more than I needed to and slept less than I should. I cried in my car. A lot.
Having it all is like wearing spandex. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Women are burned out by having it all. We’ve become overachievers. We’re busy. Busy, busy, busy. We push ourselves too far. Because really, while we’re out trying to smash the patriarchy of our workplaces, expectations of us as wives or mothers don’t decrease.
That freaking PTA committee is still going to blow up our phone regardless of the meeting we had last night that lasted until 10pm.
But we feel obligated to do it because we can do everything because we can have it all! We martyr ourselves and over extend ourselves.
I have always been driven and loved the idea of being successful. But, in the back of my head I think I was always driven not by the need to succeed but rather the need to prove myself. I wanted to have it all because I wanted to prove I could handle it. You know what? I don’t care. I don’t think I care if you think I can handle it.
So, I don’t want it all. What I want is my time back. This is my version of women’s liberation. I’m giving you your shit back.
I may not have it all. But, you know what? I have the ability to say no. Johnny needs cupcakes for his class party? No. You need someone to cover for Dave’s 3pm meeting? No. Someone needs to work on the Christmas Party this year? No.
I’m liberating myself, as a woman, from all of it.