As a child absorbing the rules of the patriarchal society and coming to understand what the derogatory term “bitch” meant, I learned as a girl that I should never be too aggressive about pursing my dreams. Then the invisible load crept its way into my mind. As a Millennial, female professional, I saw women before me who felt they had to choose between a career and a family. If they were brave enough to attempt both, they became subject to “burnout.”
But I don’t think burnout is inevitable for ambitious women. I dare future generations to refuse to choose between a successful career and a family.
The Invisible Load
If you have children, you don’t need me to tell you about the invisible load; you are already well acquainted with all the things you inventory, coordinate, and project manage for your family every day. And I’m not talking about the big, obvious stuff, like homework and doctor appointments. I’m talking about the little things, like knowing where everything is on a moment’s notice. Or rotating the clothes for the kids every month to manage their growth spurts. Or making sure everyone brushes their teeth and bathes. Or washing sheets and towels, decorating for holidays, monitoring screen time while keeping track of kids’ sensory development, social development, and bedtime. It’s all the things that parents (that is, mothers) do just because it must be done.
I know when I’m carrying too much of the invisible load because I will have incredible clarity at the weirdest times, like in the shower, driving, or in the middle of the night. Things I need to do (or that I forgot to do) seem to jump up and bite me. It’s during these multi-task free moments that my brain can finally process the not-so little things.
A lot goes into being a mother, but I don’t resent it. I do, however, resent the disproportionate volume of these types of tasks that have fallen on us over decades as women entered the workforce. I don’t agree with the argument that “women are just better at it.” Rather, historically, I believe that we knew it was expected of us, so we got better at it and passed all that on to the next generation of women.
Five Pillars for Becoming an Efficiency B.I.T.C.H.™
What I know now is that efficiency, coupled with a little intention and guidance, is the secret recipe to get us off the hamster wheel. The five pillars I’ve developed for becoming an “Efficiency B.I.T.C.H.” (Bank, Inbox, Time, Connection, and Harmony) help ambitious women like you and me to have it all without doing it all. Let me explain.
- B for Bank: The way you manage your money will impact your ability to live a life you love.
- I for Inbox: Understanding how to manage and simplify your inbox (and therefore the flow of your outbox) will provide the mental and calendar clarity to chase your dreams.
- T for Time: Optimizing time by delegating, automating, and eliminating will create space for new developments both personally and professionally.
- C for Connection: Connecting with the right people and surrounding yourself with those who support your growth mindset will help you in achieving your goals.
- H for Harmony: Falling in love with your future self and dedicating time to her today will make her life better (Harmony, by the way, is the ribbon that ties everything together).
A New Feminist Era
No matter what phase of life you’re in now, there’s always room to improve. The grass is not greener on the other side, but it is greener where you water it. We ambitious women won’t let the past dictate our future, and we won’t let the women before us down by giving up now. We are the beginning of a new feminist era. We are a new kind of bitch. An Efficiency Bitch.