The morning light streams in through the frosted window. I stare at myself in the reflection of my mirror. My hair is getting too long. I'm too lazy to curl it. Maybe I should just tie it up. It'll take longer to make it look presentable tied up than it would take to curl it. Gah, I'll just curl it! Man, I'm tired!
I just want to crawl back into bed.
I should just crawl back into bed!
Why shouldn't I just crawl back into bed?!!

25, married to a hardworking man, mother to an adopted furchild, homeowner in a sought-after suburban neighbourhood. Young, fresh, full of promise and potential! I have a good job, I go to the gym, my credit score is perfect, and I even shave my legs when it is absolutely necessary! Our next vacation is booked, my mortgage and bills are still getting paid, and we still manage to have some left over to store away in our piggy bank. But I'm so tired. 
Is today the day to break our little piggy? 
What is this day that we're saving for? 
Why can't today be that day?!

This piggy bank breaking day is what we are all hustling for. It's the dream we are working towards. The end goal. The bigger picture!

As young professional women, our hustle, our dreams, are different than men, our hustle is powered by estrogen. I call it the E hustle. We have lists, whether you've actually written them down in your sacred Kate Spade journal or if you've only seen said list in your daydreams. We have these lists. And for the young professional women of today's society, they tend to look something like this-
1) career/financial stability 
2) partner/spouse
3) a place to call home
4) starting a family

This morning, as I'm curling my hair at 6am, realizing that I'm waking up early just to curl my hair only to sit at a desk all day long, I review my list. 
1) career/financial stability- CHECK 
2) partner/spouse- CHECK 
3) a place to call home- CHECK
4) starting a family- CHE... nope just me and the hubs still... Um now what? Should I start from the top?

And here's the moment, the thought, that we've all had. How we got here makes us feel guilty but we tell ourselves it's natural. We call it the maternal clock. Tick Tock.

1, 2, 3 are in the bag and I'm tired. I'm tired of this; this wake up, 9-5, gym, chores, bed, and repeat. I've worked this hard. I've accomplished this much. Sure, I'm only 25 but I'm tired. Tick Tock.

And just like that your E hustle has you banging down the door of your perfectly content husband. Who doesn't have this list. Who looks at you and only sees an accomplished, young, professional who is so full of promise and potential.

So when you tell him that this piggy bank breaking day has come. He'll look at you with wide eyes and say... "No"

Why? Is it because he is immature? Because he is selfish?  
It is because he also has a hustle list. A list that looks something like this- 
1) $$ 
2) a hot bae 
3) a 70 inch 3D TV/apple watch/dirtbike/jetski//F150/mustang/Porsche/Speedboat/helicopter 
4) a place to store his 70 inch 3D Smart TV/apple watch/dirtbike/jetski/mustang/F150/Porsche/Speedboat/helicopter, with a big yard, beer fridge, and place to grill

So when he's brushing his teeth in the morning, staring at the bags under his tired eyes, and buttoning up his shirt, just to sit at his desk/ job site/ crane, to do whatever it is he does all day, he reviews his list. 
1) $$- WORKIN ON IT! 
2) a hot bae- She's workin on it.. 
3a) a 70 inch 3D Smart TV/apple watch/dirtbike/jetski/F150.... -CHECK 
3b) a mustang/Porsche/Speedboat/helicopter- WORKIN ON IT! 
4) a place to store his 70 inch 3D TV/apple watch/dirtbike/jetski/mustang/F150/Porsche/Speedboat/helicopter, with a big yard, beer fridge, and place to grill- CHECK

So when he says "No!" 
And you say "Why not?"
And he says "Because we don't have the $$ for a baby!" 
You are thinking.. "We are financially stable! And I can always go back to work after, or maybe just part time, or maybe we can just sell his 70 inch 3D TV, apple watch, dirt bike, jet ski, and F150." ...Tick Tock.

I finish curling my hair and give my husband a kiss on his cheek before I leave. I look at him and see a young, energetic man. A man who is smart and handsome. A man who would be a great father, a strong shoulder for my diaper bag, an eager helper when the baby cries at night, a stern disciplinarian when I've had a long day with no adult interaction. Then I blink. I see him. I see his list and how tired he is. I see his weary smile as he waves goodbye to me when we go our separate ways in the morning, to jobs we hustle at, for lists we each have.

I see our hustle and I see what drives them. I see how different they are and how no matter how mature or selfless he is, he will never feel the same hustle.

So, for a moment, I let myself feel tired. 
I sit in my car memorizing this feeling of backing out of the driveway early in the morning and promise myself that I will remember how tired I am and recognize he feels the same. 
I will remember this when I show him my list. 
I will remember this when he shows me his list. 
I will remember this when he one day agrees to help me fulfill my list. And I will remember that he agreed to help me do this before fulfilling his own.

I will remember that it was my list, my E hustle, and his acceptance and his help that made us a family. And as he gets up every morning, brushes his teeth, stares in the mirror at the bags under his tired eyes, and backs out of the driveway, I will remember this and we will review his list- together.

And his list will become my list.