Toxic Motivation is Working Some of us Into Exhaustion

Michelle Lee-Ann
5 min readAug 2
Photo by Hernan Sanchez on Unsplash

Why do some of us think we need to work ourselves into total physical sickness?

Hello, I’m some of us.

I don’t know if this weird work ethic was distilled in me during my youth, or if it’s something I’ve picked up throughout my life, and much more during the social media age, when I’ve realized that I’m a woman and am supposed to do it all.

Guess what?

You can’t do it all.

It just isn’t possible.

As a mom, the expectations have changed and not for the better. I’m supposed to work, take care of my child like I do not work, have a perfectly cleaned home, get 8 hours of perfect sleep, do not screw up raising my child in any slight way, do not watch too much TV or have too much screen time (Ditto for child, of course), have a beautiful body that requires time spent at the gym and eating wonderfully crafted healthy meals, look my best and do a 48 step skincare regime, be constantly updated on world affairs and politics, meditate and not become stressed, learn new languages or crafts, go to therapy and make sure my brain is just as perfect as my body, family, and home.

Add in the fact that I’m a stay at home mom who only works through writing a few hours a week and I have to be constantly in tune with my child, doing amazing things with her nonstop AND my house needs to be perfect. Because I’m at home, so why shouldn’t it be? With a toddler also at home. It just makes sense. Sory if that sarasm hit you too hard in the face.

Funny how my husband doesn’t need to do all of the above just to be a ‘good dad’ or a ‘good person’.

Something’s gotta give, and every day it’s different. But, still, the idea that I have to be doing it all is crushing.

The other day, I wrote down everything that I was doing. A lot included chores and day-to-day living, but there was also a hefty amount of work on there as I’m readying a large project. I thought about when I was in an office, working diligently at a desk, laughing with emplyees, and taking an hour long lunch break, daily. I broke out everything I was doing into how long it would take me at an office, and what would be an appropriate time-frame to complete everything.

Michelle Lee-Ann

Recently published kid's book author, lover of all things Karl Lagerfeld, Golden Girls enthusiast, and finds happiness in books from Hemingway to Harlequin.