Kids, Eggs, Baskets and You

basket of eggs with quote from article

Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket?” It seems to mean, don’t depend on any one situation for your happiness or engagement in life. Yet I meet so many women who, within minutes of meeting them, I realize that they have all of their eggs in their kids’ baskets. This is certainly understandable in our child-focused society and with such a push for mothers to be the perfect martyrs for their families. Yet how realistic is it for a happy life?

If all of your hopes, dreams, fears, and future aspirations are in your kids’ baskets, where does that leave you? Let me answer that: without eggs and without a basket! You can’t live your life for or through your children. It isn’t fair to them, but more importantly, it isn’t fair to you. You deserve your own eggs and your own basket. Your kids are responsible for their own destiny and you for yours.

Filling Your Own Basket

So what does this mean in real life? It means that your happiness isn’t dependent upon your children’s achievements, failures, hopes, or dreams. It means that you love and support your children and you also foster your own life. You find things that you love to do that aren’t about your children. You find work, hobbies, social service, and athletics to fill your basket. If your basket only has eggs from going to your kids’ events, what’s going to happen to those eggs when you don’t have to go anymore?

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Also, how will you let your kids grow and go if you need them to make you happy? How will you grow in your own life if you don’t have your own basket and eggs? Are you sick of the basket/eggs metaphor yet? Would it be too much to talk about how we cook our eggs? Okay fine, I won’t do that, but think about what kind of eggs you want in your basket versus the type of eggs your kids like.

A wise friend recently shared a saying with me that resonated with her when her children were younger, “Leave your kids before they leave you.” Now don’t go off to pack a suitcase in that it isn’t a literal leaving, but rather an emotional one. If all goes well, your kids are going to leave you. I know it hurts to hear this, but it’s true. They will find work, partners, and lives of their own. If you haven’t done the same, you are going to have gaping holes in your life.

Start right now by getting some clarity about who you are and how you want to contribute to your own life and the world. Don’t make it dependent on what your children are doing, but rather dream big and worry about the details later. What’s your next act going to look like? Will it be a fabulous omelet or soggy eggs? (Sorry, I really like the egg metaphor.) Let me know what you come up with.


Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC

Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. PCC

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Smart Women, Inspired Lives: How to Be Happy & Confident

by Dr. Lisa Kaplin
Do you long for more energy? Do you wish you could walk into any room and feel happy and confident? Do you simply want to enjoy your life more – personally and professionally? You can. Too many women today are doing more, but feeling less satisfied. Life doesn’t have to be that way. With small tweaks and simple strategies, you can enjoy a great life with soaring self-confidence, a good sense of well-being, and plenty of laughter. This easy-to-read yet profoundly impactful book will be all you need to join the tribe of smart women living inspired lives. Your life gets better right now.

About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, PCC

headshot of Lisa KaplinCertified Life Coach and Psychologist at Smart Women Inspired Lives.

I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.


mother kneeling down next to and hugging her daughter

Feel More Confident as a Parent

Let’s face it, parenting can be really hard. Sometimes we aren’t sure how to handle really tough situations or really tough kids. Lisa has worked with parents since she started her training as a psychologist and has helped so many of them learn the best tools to relate better to their children, handle difficult decisions, and how to assess whether their child needs more help than just parenting.

If you are ready to change the relationship with your children and feel more confident in your role as a parent, Lisa’s parent coaching is right for you. She does parent coaching either with you or with you and a parenting partner.

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The Women’s Happiness Equality Challenge Twenty-Four Years of Parenting
The Women’s Happiness Equality Challenge
Twenty-Four Years of Parenting