Family Matters: ‘I don’t seem to have the time to do anything well’

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Q: “I’m one of those women who thought I could ‘have it all’ after having kids – but I’m just exhausted. How can you have a satisfying life when you don’t have enough time to do anything well?”

A: Life coach Erica Sosna, author of Your Life Plan (Capstone, £10.99, published March 7), says: “I think this ‘you can have it all’ concept is risky. Firstly, it says that where you are and what you’re doing isn’t good enough and that if you can expand, grow, and put more on your plate then you should do.

“I disagree. I think if modern life choices have afforded us anything, it’s the right to know when is enough, to find out what really matters to us, and to choose accordingly.

“So how can you address the need to be a great parent and a career superstar?

“Start by being grateful for what already works – do you have enough to eat? Do you have people around you who support and love you? A healthy child? Great – celebrate those things. Then begin to look at how and when you know you’ve done enough.

“Define what successful ‘enough’ looks like. Good enough parent? Kind enough partner? Is there a time you can see when you will ever reach your end goal?

Maybe the process of getting there is ongoing – so if you have a lifetime to get it right, you can relax.

“Know what matters to you. Celebrities may think it’s fine to leave their kiddies with the nanny, you may not. At the end of the day, your choices about time and priorities come down to your values. What do you most value in life? Freedom? Adventure? Stability?

“Once you know what matters most to you, the right choices to make that line up will become clear.”