Feeling the pressure to have it all
I’m living a lie. I can’t afford my life. I mean, I can. But I can’t. Do you know what I mean? I feel like I’m living a brunch-eating, nice-car-driving, fresh-hair-wearing, latte-drinking, big, fat, dirty lie. Because the truth is: I haven’t the time or the money to do or have it all! Most of us are the same and yet we don’t love to talk about it. Fear not, here I am!
I have thought about this a lot. Those who know me have heard me ramble on about ‘our generation’, ‘that generation’ etc. I’m continually analysing, assuming and pondering the differences that exist across the generations. Truth be told, I don’t even know the difference between baby boomers, gen Y, X, Z. But what I do know, is that times are a changin’.
At the moment I’m in a season of life where being a mother kind of defines me and so everything I think about centers around it one way or another. But don’t tune out, stay with me, this time it’s not just about being a mum! Hooray!
Feelin the pressure
I don’t know when it started, but for as long as I can remember I’ve felt driven to succeed in all areas of life, like most people I assume? Family, career, study, friendships, sport and finance; I have always felt the pressure (I don’t know where from?) to excel in all of these areas. It’s the pressure to be the perfect Mumspo, Wifespo, Fitspo, Friendspo, Workspo and Inspo. And social media is clearly not helping.
I’ve recently realised that a lot of us define success incorrectly. Most don’t want to admit it, but so many of us are caught up in the white picket fence dream, the big house, careers, cars, kids, good schools and of course the latte/brunch life all whilst being fit, thin, well-dressed and generally fabulous.
Fun fact, there is a stupid percentage (the number is irrelevant, just believe me, it’s high!) of mortgages which are interest only. This means, that people are buying houses they cannot afford and so they simply pay the interest only with the hope of selling their house for mega bucks… and of course that no one notices they’re living beyond their means.
But it doesn’t stop there. Not only do we have mortgages on houses that are too expensive for our wages, we also fall into the pressures to have even more than owning the roof over our head. We are surrounded by influences which lead us to believe that we have to have it all and we have to have it now.
And so we have credit cards, interest free finance, high percentage loans which allow us to buy furniture we can’t afford and we’ll pay for it later. You get my drift and you get I’m generalising, I know not everyone lives this way but you have to admit, many of us do.
How did we even get here?
Back in the day, plenty of women popped out 6-10 kids and they went to ground for at least 10-15 years and they raised their kids, got them through school, fought tooth and nail to get food on the dinner table each day and then resurfaced sometime in their forties and reconnected with their friends. And this was totally acceptable.
No one expected you to brunch. There were no smashed avocado, quinoa and latte expectations. There was no time and there was no money! There were children everywhere, there was no maternity or family pay, husbands weren’t around, they were working to save up for the one roast chicken that Nanna Betty split across her family of 10. SUVs were for the millionaires, sharing a bedroom with one or two siblings was the norm and toddlers didn’t need to go to cafes for babycinos. Mind you, I can’t wait to go to a café with my daughter for her first babycino. Wait! What am I saying?! See what I mean? Who said babycinos were a thing?
Fast forward 50+ years and things could not be more opposite. I’m currently concerned that my five bedroom house might not be big enough for my family of well, three. When I first fell pregnant I immediately thought I would need to buy an SUV since I’ll be driving around one whole baby. Then I thought, why? There’s nothing wrong with my hatchback. I don’t really need to buy brand new furniture for my nursery, there’s nothing wrong with second hand.
Easing the pressure
And so I’ve been thinking, is it time to take the pressure off ourselves and each other to constantly ‘keep up’ with, well, whoever it is that we are trying to keep up with? Could there be a time where it’s acceptable for me to say no? I’ll pass on brunch, I can’t justify the spending, I don’t have time to find a clean pair of vomit-free jeans, let’s have a coffee on the couch while the kids trash the place and I’ll wear my fat pants?
Could we just ease up on the excessive gifts we continually buy for one another and one another’s children? If we changed the way we socialise, could it open up more opportunities for us in the future? An opportunity to save and buy things we can actually afford without debt. Time to spend on quality relationships with our family and friends.
Okay I better run, I’m late for brunch.
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Kendall lives and works for health and fitness. She believes that eating right and moving your body equals a healthy mind. She also believes that cheese deserves its own food group.