This video made me tear up.
She's talking about having quality, affordable childcare so that women are able to access the opportunities available to them (and I happen to agree with her). But, what struck me most was her description of feeling like a failure. That hamster wheel of doing laundry at 11PM and then continuing to work well into the night. The tiredness and always feeling behind.
This weighs heavy on my heart and is one of the reasons I left my steady, comfortable job. I often feel like I am failing--letting down my children, my husband, my friends, not taking care of my home the way I should, not dressing well enough or keeping my car clean (little and big things). But what bothers me most is the inherent feeling that with all that external failure, I am, at heart, a failure.
The tipping point for me was when I realized that the simple act of taking care of myself first could start to turn all those feelings of failure around. Don't get me wrong, I still work well into the night, I still often feel behind. But the act of self-care has started to shift my mind in the direction of feeling like all the important stuff will eventually get done and if it doesn't, well, it wasn't that important to begin with. I've started giving myself grace. I've started asking for and accepting the help of people like Senator Warren's aunt Bea.
As women, I find we expect so much of ourselves (compounded by all those societal "shoulds" --I should lean in, I should have a pinterest worthy birthday party for my child, I should have my hair done at all times, I should be at the top of my field professionally....) that we set an unrealistic, un-achievable standard. And we lose ourselves in the process. We feel guilt when we expect ourselves to do and have it all but can't quite get there.
I'm on a mission to erase some of that guilt, to point women in the direction of self-care first so that we may better serve others. I've got an exciting new project in the works aimed directly at this topic--customizing a plan for you--the women who wants it all but has the boulder of guilt in the way. The boulder of ignoring your own needs to the point where you feel like you're failing. Together, we will work to overcome those obstacles. No, I can't watch your child for you (trust me, you don't want that!) but I can develop a plan for you to start caring for yourself in a way that will open your eyes to all that is possible. I will be your accountability and your coach so that you wake up everyday feeling ready to achieve all of those goals you've set for yourself. Together, we got this!