Can you do it all?

If you follow this blog, by now you know that I write from my own experiences as an ambitious career loving wife and mother who is on her way to the top. My aim is to share with women how we can stay on this journey. I really do not need to share with you the statistics on the number of females on corporate boards or heading corporations and why these statistics are not good for all involved.

My work responsibilities involve a lot of travelling. Just as well because I love visiting new places and meeting new people. Exposure is good for personal growth and the ability to function in a multicultural environment enhances one’s career prospects. Each time I am in a different country i always post my location on Facebook. I have observed that I get different reactions from different people. And this brings me to my topic for today, doing it all.

As working women, we try to be there for our children and do as much as possible for them. We try to attend every meeting at work and put in the same hours as our male counterparts. We try to be there for our friends like good friends should and we even try to be the best daughter in laws! I don’t know how and when this started but I it’s something that working women struggle with because they are trying to do it all. We actually try to be superwomen!

Each time I travel I can assure you there is a female friend who asks me who I have left my 18 months old daughter with, who is cooking for my husband and who is doing x and who is doing y…. Somewhere along the way working mothers are trying to match exactly what their non-working counterparts do. Make all the meals, attend every school sporting event and in our culture every family wedding and funeral. So here is my confession, I am not superwoman and I am not doing it all. I am not even trying to do it all. My husband is perfectly capable of looking after my daughter when I travel. Because we both work, we can afford a nanny. But most of all thank God for extended family because they are all available to help and making sure I give the illusion that I am ‘doing it all’

So what is the lessons here? If you try to do it all, you will burn out and set yourself up for frustration. In my previous article ‘finding my balance’  I encouraged women to delegate to capable others. I cannot over emphasis this point. Let’s get the conversation going and share as women how we are managing and men how we are supporting our wives to get to the top.

If I wasn’t afraid…

This statement was said a few weeks back during a training I attended. The full statement was “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid“. Let’s have an honest discussion on this statement as it pertains to our careers. I have had some weeks to think this through and here is a part of my list. The key take out after writing this is to take action and deal with these fears. They are definitely a hindrance on the journey to the top! (In case you forgot, this is what this blog is about)

1. If I wasn’t afraid I would speak out more. Often I have thought of something during a meeting, kept it to myself only to have the next person say my exact thoughts and this turns out to be the “million dollar idea ”

2. If I wasn’t afraid I would not be too modest about my contribution to the company. Many times i have downplayed my contribution and treated it as if it was nothing yet I know I have worked extremely hard and the company has benefited from my efforts.

3. If I wasn’t afraid I would ask for more opportunities to be visible to the people that matter.  I work hard and I would like those that matter to see my work and know what I am capable of.

4. If I wasn’t afraid …

I am sure by now you have an idea of how to do this. It’s not really about my own fears. It’s about your own fears and how you plan to work through them in order to advance your career.

Have a successful week ahead and stay on the journey. I always appreciate your feedback. Thank you for your comments and for being part of my journey.