By Gina DeVee

When mothers hear about my lifestyle of running my business while traveling the world, the thought arises: “Well Gina, YOU can do that because you don’t have kids.” Admittedly, the second part is true. However, the idea that my lack of children is the enabling factor for my fabulous lifestyle couldn’t be more false. I know because I’ve worked with hundreds of mama-preneurs who have proven the opposite: in the 21st century, a woman can truly have it all (including elite frequent flyer status), even with toddlers and teenagers in the house.

At the same time, I completely understand why most mothers are convinced their dreams must wait until retirement (or at least until pre-k starts). From the moment we give birth till long after the kiddos are dressing themselves, it’s expected that we put ourselves last. In fact, the average woman tends to fall near the bottom of her own priority list even if she’s never thought of getting pregnant. It’s simply how we’ve been conditioned to survive and stay “safe” in the world. In our male-dominated culture, we’ve been taught that we must give tirelessly to prove our worth. We’ve learned that taking care of ourselves or indulging our desires is “selfish.” And thanks to all these untrue stories, we’ve unnecessarily cut ourselves off from receiving what we really want in life.

Transformation starts with awareness. Next time you hear yourself saying, “I’d love to, but I can’t because of the kids,” take a look at whether that’s your truth-speaking. More likely, you’re hearing from an age-old archetype known as The Martyr who runs around women’s psyches proclaiming we must do everything ourselves and be the ones to save the day. Believing The Martyr’s stories, we’re blocked from seeing the infinite possibilities available to us. So next time you see this tragic character dictating your life choices, remember this: you’re not meant to sacrifice for a cause. You’re meant to be a Queen.

As I teach in my new book, The Audacity to Be Queen, every woman has a Queen within. Unlike The Martyr, who thinks, “I have to do everything myself, because no one can do it as well as me,” The Queen knows, “I have access to all the resources necessary to fulfill my calling, and I always manifest my desires.” When you choose to show up like this powerful feminine archetype, you own your ability to take a stand for the AND. Not just for the sake of your own soul’s purpose—for your kids as well.

Think about it. What example are we setting as women by self-sacrificing, playing small, never enjoying ourselves, self-isolating, living in a zip-code we hate, and all the other ways we suppress our truth in the name of motherhood? Wouldn’t our children be happier if we were fulfilled, vibrant, and well-rested enough to be present with them when we’re together? Wouldn’t they be more inspired to see us going for our dreams, making a difference in the world, and truly modeling that anything is possible?

We all know the answer is YES! So today, I urge every mother reading this to look at her life and ask, “What soul-deep desires have I been putting off “for the kids”? In what ways am I letting society’s definition of a ‘good mom’ stand in the way of my best life? How would I live, work and care for my family if anything were possible?”

Give yourself permission to say YES to one desire and taking one action on behalf of that desire now. Free yourself from the prerequisite that you must “do it all” and start asking, “Who else can do this?” Instead of focusing on why The Martyr thinks you can’t, your new default question is, “How CAN I?” How CAN I make time for my desires? How CAN I bring in the money for my kids’ private school AND my dream family vacation?

With all the support available, with the global marketplace at your fingertips, and with so many opportunities to bring your unique gifts and talents to the world from the comfort of home, there’s absolutely no need to stay stuck in any circumstances that aren’t serving you. Be the Queen and make a better choice. And if you need more support in giving yourself permission and getting clear on what you really desire, pick up my book The Audacity to Be Queen today.

Gina DeVee is a global women’s empowerment coach, spiritual teacher, entrepreneur and author of the new book, The Audacity to Be Queen. She is the founder of her coaching and media company, Divine Living and regularly hosts women’s events around the world.