Having it all. It seems to be on the minds and lips of everyone these days, especially women.
Is it possible for women to be, do and have it all? This debate will likely never end. At least not in my lifetime.
Interestingly enough, the concept of "Be, Do, Have" was a topic of conversation at the seventh-annual Women in the World Summit.
In a conversation moderated by CBS This Morning's co-anchor, Norah O'Donnell, author and New America CEO, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi, discussed a variety of important workplace issues effecting women, including the lack of quality childcare services, family leave policies and the importance of supportive relationships among women colleagues.
Just as the thought-provoking conversation was concluding, O'Donnell posed a question that caused Slaughter to chuckle just a bit: "Can you have it all?" she asked.
Slaughter proceeds to make it known that she prefers not to use the term "have it all" any longer because it "feeds an elitist narrative."
I beg to differ.
I believe the narrative is dictated by the individual, as opposed to it being viewed as a collective way of thinking. But "having it all" does require something major, and that's a little four-letter word most women tend to avoid.
If you're a woman who wants to have it all, here's how to make it happen:
1. Ask For Help
Yes, that's the four-letter word. Help. Women tend not to ask for help because they think it makes them look weak, or like they're not really Super Woman. The reality is this - we are not.
Super Woman is a fictional character with super powers. As phenomenal as we are, we are and always will be, human beings.
One of our greatest super powers is our wisdom and knowing that asking for and getting help is one of the secrets to having it all.
Yes, absent a reliable support system of friends and family with whom you can barter, it may cost money, and yes, you have to actually step up and ask for it. But it's the only way to truly have a shot at having it all.
Because the truth is while you can be, do and have it all, you can't do it all by yourself. As soon as you own up to that, you can embrace the idea of engaging help to remove tasks from your life that can be delegated to someone else.
This includes things like housework, shuttling kids around or walking the dog. Of course, do those things if you love them and they light you up inside.
But my guess is there are a lot of other things you would rather be doing with that time, such as working on your own business or advancing your career.
Asking for and accepting help provides you with the opportunity to have the mental and energetic capacity to go after the things you want for yourself and your family.
And don't be afraid to get your husband involved more. As Slaughter mentioned during her interview, your husband's contributions will generally match what you expect of him. So expect more from him and he'll likely deliver.
Now that's not true in every case, but I think it goes a long way to involve your husband more in taking care of the kids and the household, so you can focus on the things that you also find value in.
After all, motherhood is not where dreams go to die.
2. Make Self-Care A Priority
When you're taking on a whole new level in your life and trying to be, do and have it all, taking care of yourself is a number one priority. That means eating right, moving your body, getting enough sleep and finding ways to relax on a regular basis.
You won't be able to handle all that you want to be, do and have, if you're not taking care of yourself.
Having it all requires far too much energy for a half-cared-for version of you.
I know it can be difficult, but you won't have anything to give anyone else if you're running on empty.
3. Create Your Own Definition of "All"
By far the most important part of "having it all" is defining what that means for you. It will be different for everyone and that's OK.
Define what it means for you and then live by that. Don't worry about what "having it all" means for someone else. Focus on you.
When you look at having it all from this perspective, it really shows you what's possible.
Can we be, do and have it all? Absolutely. Will there be hiccups along the way that may require us to alter our plans temporarily? Without a doubt.
But don't throw in the towel. Never, ever give up what you set your head and heart out to achieve.
Women have every right to go after what it is that they want to be. They're not just limited to being the Moms they're expected to be.
Note: You can watch the seventh-annual Women In the World Summit replay here.
About the Author: Jacqueline Miller is a Mom Life Strategist who helps women reconnect with their dreams, guilt-free, while still being great Moms, and she's the author of the Amazon bestselling book, It's Not Me, It's My Inner Me: 10 Steps to Getting Unstuck and Empowered and co-author of #1 Amazon bestselling book, Chocolate & Diamonds for the Woman's Soul: Timeless Treasures to Warm the Heart. If you're a Mom who is guilty of placing herself last on the list, check out my freebie: Welcome to Your Journey Back To You: 25 Days of Self-Love