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Giving up her expectations; why this woman can’t have it all

Written by Leslie Means

Written By:  Leslie Means

I sat my pregnant body down on the shower floor.  As the warm water rolled over my limbs, I began to etch words into the soap-scum filled wall.

“I love you!” and “Wash me” were the sentences I left for my husband to discover.  After a few minutes of relaxation, two thoughts came to mind;

  1. “I really need to clean my nasty shower.”
  2. “Now that I’ve sat down, how am I going to get up?”

I finally emerged from the water, combed my hair to look “good enough,” kissed my sleeping husband and baby girl and headed for my career as a local television talk-show host.

At that point, viewers didn’t have high hopes for my image.

The on air portion of my gig began at 9:00 a.m.  Every weekday I connected with the stay at home moms and every weekday I secretly envied them. 

“I bet they have clean showers,” I thought to myself.

When Gracie was born, I left the television world, took a part-time job with better hours and ended the life I knew.  Viewers responded with, “You’ll never regret time spent with your girls.”  Even though the decision frightened me, I knew they were right. 

At first, it was perfect.  My days at home were full of kid adventures and I even found time to make an occasional meal and clean my showers. 

But eventually, I realized something was missing.  I longed for the creative part of my being and began to work on more freelance projects, which in turn made me busier than ever before.

That’s when the guilt crept up again.

This week, that guilt slapped me in my face.  I tried to juggle too many things at one time.  Instead of feeling productive I felt mediocre on every project I tried to accomplish.  And that’s when it hit me.   

I don’t think I can do it all.

Just as I was feeling that guilt; my husband sent me an article written by a woman titled, “Why women still can’t have it all.”

I think the author wrote that just for me. 

A year ago, I would have laughed at her words.  “Women can’t have it all?  Of course we can.” 

But now, after trying to juggle “it all” I realize I can’t.  Something has to give.  Something will always be “mediocre” as it’s just not possible. 

This morning, I sat down in my shower to have a few moments to think.  I recalled my long to do list for the day, and mentally prepped myself for something to be mediocre. 

“Should I cave and get the standard birthday cake for my Gracie’s 2nd birthday, or will I make her that Elmo cake like I had planned.  Will I wait to return that phone call, will I make my deadlines, will I buy groceries, will I go swimming with my girls as promised?”  Numerous items popped into my head, but they all seemed too important to let go. 

And then I looked over at my soap scum filled shower wall, and etched a smiley face into the corner.  “Today, the shower will once again remain unclean,” I told myself.  “Today, I will try to let go of the high expectations I’ve allowed myself to create and learn to be OK with the fact that some things will always be mediocre.  

Read more from Leslie online at The Kearney Hub.

What do you think?  Can women have it all?  Anyone have tips to help Leslie clean her nasty shower? 🙂

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About the author

Leslie Means

Leslie is the co-founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well.

She is married to a very patient man. Together they have two pretty fantastic little girls ages 8 and 6 and one little dude born March 2017!

When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

4 Comments

  • Les,
    If you don’t sit in your shower, you won’t need to clean it. 🙂 And if you go swimming, then you won’t need to shower. 🙂

  • I have been meaning to read that same article that your husband sent you, but I haven’t had time yet. Something always has to give. There are just not enough hours in the day. I read a quote from the singer Fergie who said she has realized that a woman can have it all, just not at the same time. I think that is so true. My house used to be really clean and organized, and then I started writing. For a while I was wondering why my house felt so disorganized and why I seemed to have no time for it. But, I’m now doing something I have always wanted to do. Just in a disorganized house. 🙂

    • Yes! So true, Kathy! What I didn’t add – (and should have added) is that as long as the mediocre things are the things that stay mediocre – I suppose I’m good with it. I don’t want to give up time with my family, or my writing – or anyof the important moments of my day. No one knows my shower is nasty – (well, now they do) and I think I’m OK with letting housework get put off for a moment. 😉 Maybe I just need to hire a house cleaner!!