I Don’t Want it All: My Frustration With the Work-Life Balance Debate

…glibly repeating “you can have it all” is simply airbrushing reality.

-Anne-Marie Slaughter

 A little back story on this post: two weeks ago, I heard this amazing interview with Anne-Marie Slaughter. Slaughter is this power-house of a woman. Amongst other things, she “is an academic, foreign policy analyst, and public commentator. She served as Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department from January 2009 until February 2011 under U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She is an international lawyer and political scientist who has taught at the University of Chicago and Harvard University.” source

And, Slaughter is also a mom. Continue reading “I Don’t Want it All: My Frustration With the Work-Life Balance Debate”

What is the Meaning of (My) Life?

A Guest post from the man behind the woman behind the blog

I recently did a post on discovering our purpose in life and about how we have a tendency to look for our purpose in our kids or our careers, when really, we need to simply apply our purpose to everything we do. You can read more about that here.

As always, my husband has the perfect perspective on life. I’ve found throughout our almost 10 years of marriage that what I need in tough situations is not for him to totally understand me and to reflect my feelings back to me, but to allow our two unique perspectives to come together to form one, well rounded outlook. This has never been more true than in the topic of finding our purpose in life.

I asked Mike to share with you his take on life, purpose and your career. He is so wise and funny and sexy. You are allowed to appreciate the wise and funny part. I’m so honored to call him my own, and to get to reap the benefits of his wisdom, character and leadership.  Continue reading “What is the Meaning of (My) Life?”

Your Kids & Your Job Are Not Your Purpose (And Other Life Lessons Learned From Play Dough)

I read a lot. As I read, nothing makes me happier than when I read two separate thoughts from two separate works from two totally different people and something just clicks. It’s that moment when everything comes together and your mind just goes from casually interested to totally blown. I had one of those moments recently when I read the following two quotes:

“Homemaking is not something that stands in the way of our deeper fulfillment; it becomes the ground that feeds it.”
-Shannon Hayes, Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture

“Let me make a distinction between career and creativity. Creativity is connected to your passion, that light inside you that drives you. That joy that comes when you do something you love. That small voice that tells you, ‘I like this. Do this again. You are good at it. Keep going.’ That is the juicy stuff that lubricates our lives and helps us feel less alone in the world…Career is different. Career is the stringing together of opportunities and jobs. Mix in public opinion and past regrets. Add a dash of future panic and a whole lot of financial uncertainty. Career is something that fools you into thinking you are in control and then takes pleasure in reminding you that you aren’t. Career is the thing that will not fill you up and never make you truly whole. Depending on your career is like eating cake for breakfast and wondering why you start crying an hour later.
-Amy Poehler, Yes Please

I’ve come to the conclusion that most of us have a seriously dysfunctional view of purpose, careers and motherhood. We view these three very unique things as one. Then, when purpose starts pulling at motherhood and motherhood starts pulling at career and we try to find purpose in our career and try to make a career out of motherhood, wow, do things get messy. And complicated. And confusing. And dissatisfying. And we just end up eating cake for breakfast and crying an hour later.

Or to use a visual analogy, it’s like my son’s recent play dough/leggo man creation. He can say that he mashed some stuff together to make it “one,” but we all know it’s just two totally separate toys that are crammed together, totally incongruous and dysfunctional. Continue reading “Your Kids & Your Job Are Not Your Purpose (And Other Life Lessons Learned From Play Dough)”