Welcome to fall: the busiest season of the year. There’s just so much to do: catch up on all the work you’ve been slacking off from all summer, tie up the loose ends of your summer fling, sample pumpkin spice everything… the list is endless. And here I am giving you yet another thing to do, as if you have the time to read books on top of planning the perfect Halloween costume. But hear me out: reading these four books might actually help you feel less busy.
These books all question the very thing that’s making you feel so stressed out in the first place: the assumption that women have to “do it all” to be successful. We expect ourselves to have it all together, and then get mad at ourselves for failing to do the impossible. Which is exhausting, and totally unnecessary. Because here’s the truth: you are already doing your best.
So be a little proud of yourself today for everything you’ve done. And then take some time to focus on the things that you actually want from your life. Just because women can be mothers and career-women now (which is awesome) doesn’t mean that you have to be if it’s not what you want. So stop what you’re doing (those scary emails will wait for you, I promise), run yourself a bubble bath, and read these novels about finding the right balance for you. Because if you do, you’ll find life isn’t so scary and hectic after all.
The Balance Project by Susie Schnall
In The Balance Project, Lucy Cooper has always been a loyal assistant to her boss Katherine, a high-powered mother of two with a rich husband and a multi-billion dollar business. But Katherine's life isn't as balanced as she wants the world to think, and she's willing to sabotage Lucy to keep herself afloat. Instead of lashing out, author Susie Schnall offers some helpful advice if you're struggling to juggle all the parts of your life at once:
Spread it out. Acknowledge that life has a way of presenting itself in phases, and that you shouldn't expect everything to be spectacular on a daily basis. So, rather than thinking that each day needs to have a healthy balance of work, family and self, it’s more realistic to try to balance those things out over a few weeks or a few months — or whatever time frame works best for you.
Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff
Divorced mother-of-two Jennifer is struggling to get her life under control — until she gets a magical organization app on her phone that allows her to be in two places at once. And you thought Time Turners were only for wizards. Suddenly, Jennifer is the best worker in the office, a full-time mother to her kids, and even has time for a steamy romance on the side. But when she doesn't have to make sacrifices to spend time with the people she loves, is that time as meaningful?
The Good Woman by Jane Porter
Meg has always been exactly what everyone needed her to be: a great employee; a great mother; a great wife. But when her handsome boss confesses his feelings for her, and she starts feeling disconnected and empty both in her marriage and at work, she starts to wonder if being what people want is worth losing who she really is. In your own busy life, make sure you're paying attention to your own needs — and remember: you never have to be anything more than exactly who you are.
A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
Alice Pearse has a lot of roles, but she hates when people call it "wearing different hats." (Ugh, I totally agree. It's all me under here; I just do a lot of things, OK?) But as she gets more and more successful at multi-tasking, she starts to feel increasingly out of place. Eventually she realizes it's not about "having it all," it's about having what you really want. And while you're figuring that out, author Elisabeth Egan has a few tips for balancing a super-busy life:
You need a slow cooker. It may not be the sexiest kitchen appliance, but it will cook your dinner while you're off doing something else. Also, don't waste time matching socks.
Sounds like pretty solid advice to me.