Something I passionately believe is that in each woman’s lifetime, she is given seasons, just as the year has seasons with each one in which to accomplish certain priorities for a particular season. Identity. Motherhood. Travel. Worldly success. Family. Education. All of these are goals or accomplishments that can take on higher or lesser importance depending on the stage of life one is in, though there is some overlapping.
Why is it so many try to have it all, do it all NOW? Is this a result of our ‘instant’ society? Why do we think we should be able to have it all and do it all?
I think if more people would accept that life is essentially seasonal, they could enjoy and live more fully in whatever season they are in. We marry, have children (sometimes in the reverse order), pursue a career and/or work to attain a certain standard of living, finding themselves, and/or return to college. All at the same time– in our twenties and thirties. Everyone we know is on this track and seem to be thriving on it (but in reality cracks appear and eventually break). I remember feeling judged as lazy for not following this norm. My husband felt the pressure of carrying the financial burden of the family when most, if not all, other men shared it with their wives while enjoying the benefits of more toys and leisure.
But . . . burnout, disillusionment, stress, and broken marriages increase. The family breaks down. Society suffers. Goals of finding one’s identity, mothering children, traveling, enjoying financial freedom, being recognized as a success, obtaining an education, and loving a family can all be accomplished– but, instead of over a period of a decade– in a lifetime.
More people would, ironically, be more successful in their lifetime if they develop patience and trust that this can and will happen. Negative and postive examples of people all around us who are living their lives in one camp or the other can instill fear and foreboding or inspiration and impetus if we dare to look. This lifestyle can’t be insured by Allstate or Metropolitan Life. There is always risk. But, like the stock market as we look at it historically, it can be counted on to pay dividends to almost all who stick with it.