A Word to the Wise- You Can’t Have It All

you can't have it all

The past few decades, an insidious lie has been repeated over and over again to women in our society- You can have it all!

I don’t know when this falsehood started, or why, but I’m pretty sure it began somewhere in the 1970s when women, en masse, decided to forego homemaking in order to work outside the home.

Don’t worry. This is not going to be a diatribe against working women. I myself have worked outside the home off and on, and, because of that, I know how hard it is. 

I get it.

Unfortunately, in order to encourage women in their employment endeavors, it’s become rather commonplace to hear people insinuate that it is entirely possible for women to have full time jobs, an immaculate house, plenty of family time, and, in many cases, to be able to homeschool on top of it.

I’m not here to tell you not to do any of these things. What I am going to say is this:

Something’s gotta give.

something's gotta give

“Having it all” is nothing but an illusion. No matter how hard you try, there is no such thing as a picture perfect life, a successful job, a spotless house, and the perfect family.

And you know what? It’s okay.

What it comes down to is recognizing those areas that are the most important to you, focusing on those, and learning to let go of the illusion of perfection and doing your darndest to get everything done with a smile on your face. Because no matter what you choose, compromise will have to be the name of the game.

Dreaming of being a stay-at-home mom?

As long as you don’t overschedule your days, time with the family will never be an issue. However, some issues that may arise are:

  • learning to live on one income (It can be done!)
  • alone time
  • feeling guilty because you “don’t work” (Boy, is that a lie!)


Feeling led to homeschool your kids?

As rewarding as this lifestyle is, I am going to admit that it can be exhausting. There is no better feeling than learning alongside your kids, but there will have to be lots of compromises, such as:

  • keeping a clean house (You can try, but remember that your kids are home with you all day, and it’s not a museum!)
  • feeling as if you’re constantly going all day (I practically collapse into bed every night.)
  • never being able to use the bathroom alone again…

never get to be alone in the bathroom


Striving for the picture perfect house?

I love looking through magazines like “Better Homes and Gardens.” Realistically, I know my house will never be like the ones featured there. If this is what you truly want, here are the areas that may have to be put on the backburner:

  • working full time (Unless you have a ton of energy, in which case I say, “Where can I get some?”)
  • quality time with the kids (If you spend all your free time cleaning, there won’t be much time for playing, will there?)
  • being able to comfortably homeschool (Homeschooling is messy business!)


Yearning to earn an income?

Whether you work outside the home or work from home, having it all will likely seem like a shot in the dark. Here are the areas you may have some difficulty in:

  • finding time and having the energy for household tasks like cooking and cleaning
  • fitting in family time (This is especially hard if your kids are in school.)
  • feeling guilty for not being home more


So what’s my point?

I think that, out of everyone in the world, we women are the ones who come down hardest on ourselves when we don’t live up to the expectations we’ve learned from society.

Having it all isn’t even something that should be on our radar. It’s about time that we accept our own limitations and do our best to be the greatest wives, moms, and women we can be. It’s about using the gifts we do have to honor God, live out His will, and love our families.

Because, in the end, “having it all” isn’t what will matter most. What will matter most will be where your heart was throughout not just your victories, but through your struggles.








Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

28 thoughts on “A Word to the Wise- You Can’t Have It All”

  1. I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom but it still took me a while to stop saying, “I’m just a stay-at-home-mom” when people asked me what I do. Motherhood is such a blessing and a lot of selfless work. As far as a perfect house, making memories with my kids is more important to me and I finally stopped apologizing for the clutter when guests came over.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is so true. I couldn’t agree with you more! There are decisions to be made and consequences for those decisions. Some good. Some bad. Thanks for tackling this topic! It’s important for us to have this realization when we choose to homeschool so that we don’t become completely overwhelmed trying to do it all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very true! I find I can focus really well on one or two things but the rest have got to slide… I just to keep rotating what I keep my focus on so it’s all getting done pretty well some of the time.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’ve been the working mom and the stay at home mom and I completely agree with you. I think it’s much harder to be a working mom, though. You are never fully present whether you’re at home or at work, and I always felt like I was failing terribly at both. I’m cut out to be a SAHM!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s hard living on one tiny income, but so totally worth it! And the messy house? Easy for me to ignore, since I know I have such a brief time to enjoy this period of life with my little one! Thanks for sharing this with us at #FridayFrivolity this week!

    Liked by 1 person

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