What Does “Pick Any Two” Mean?

Pick Any Two Logo

As is often the case, I intended to browse Pinterest for a mere five minutes but got sucked into the site for a solid half hour. Good thing, because I ended up spotting a funny sign about today’s modern woman that would change my entire outlook on motherhood.

It’s supposed to be silly; you’re supposed to read it, chuckle, and move on with your day. But at the time I was making a genuine attempt to “have it all” – and had the bags under my eyes to prove it! –  so it really struck a chord. So much so, in fact, that I decided to adapt the idea for today’s modern mom and start living (and writing) by it.

So what does it mean? To me, the Pick Any Two philosophy is grounded in three basic principles.

1. Something’s gotta give.

The idea of having it all, doing it all, and being it all sounds quite lovely, until you realize it entails some significant sacrifices, chief among them being sleep. And what good is it to be a master juggler if you’re too tired to enjoy the act?

Many of us moms have leaned in so far we’ve toppled over. Or we’ve opted so far out we now can’t see the forest or the trees. We’re running ourselves ragged in pursuit of some elusive equilibrium and still never finding the happy balance we’ve been promised for all our efforts.

2. So we make choices…

Once we accept that we really can’t be Supermom – not today, not this month, not this lifetime! – we can instead focus on prioritizing. What’s really most important to you at this point in time? What (or who) do you need to focus on today to build the kind of life you want to lead? And what (or who) needs to fall by the wayside, either permanently or temporarily, for that to happen?

3. …and that’s OK!

I heard Arianna Huffington say in a speech that when the doctors take the baby out, they put the guilt in. It certainly feels like that sometimes! I’ll concede that some degree of mommy guilt is inevitable, but should we really have to apologize for the choices we make to stay afloat? The Pick Any Two philosophy recognizes that it doesn’t do you any good to carry around your newborn’s weight in guilt, and you don’t have time for things that don’t do you any good.

Here are some examples of the Pick Any Two philosophy at work in everyday life.
  • “I’ve been saying I need a new pair of jeans for weeks, so today I’m leaving the kids with dad and taking myself shopping…and that’s ok.”
  • “If I skipped my workout today I’d have time to bake homemade brownies for the office potluck. But because I feel so much better when I exercise, I’ll be bringing a dessert courtesy of Entenmann’s…and I’m not going to apologize for it.”
  • “The sink is spilling over with dirty dishes and there’s an inch-thick layer of dust on the dresser, but tonight I’m opting not to clean so I can spend more time reading books with my son…and that’s ok.”
  • “If I worked through lunch I could make a dent in my email Inbox, but today I’m choosing to meet my husband for a sandwich because we haven’t spent quality time together in weeks…and I’m not going to feel bad about it.”
Pick Any Two: Giving up the “have it all” mentality and instead making choices without apology or guilt. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling better already.


  1. katbiggie
    Feb 09, 2014 @ 13:01:59

    LOVE this!!! And needed to read it!


  2. elizabethbeautyobserved
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 23:30:19

    Great perspective on motherhood and life!


  3. Toiia L. Rukuni
    Feb 20, 2014 @ 13:40:57

    I am feeling better already! I love this Pick Two Philosophy! I am going to put it into practice more in my daily life!


    • Katie
      Feb 20, 2014 @ 14:07:10

      So glad you’re finding it useful!


  4. Jenn Mitchell
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 10:59:15

    Great philosophy. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Would you be interested in writing a guest post?


    • Katie
      Feb 26, 2014 @ 12:20:55

      Absolutely. I’ll reach out via e-mail shortly. Thanks for the opportunity!


  5. What It Really Means to Do What You Love - Pick Any Two
    Mar 06, 2014 @ 05:42:32

    […] What Does “Pick Any Two” Mean? […]


  6. Mrs. Sexy
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 13:10:43

    I think I need this sign somewhere in my house…


  7. Georgia
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 21:30:05

    Hi Katie!
    This is Georgia and I love the name (and idea) behind your site. It’s great! Every mom (and woman) needs that. I can’t wait to read more!


    • Katie
      Apr 08, 2014 @ 08:32:11

      Thank you so much, Georgia! Looking forward to connecting more!


  8. Vanessa
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 15:00:38

    I honestly love the title of your blog, and especially appreciate the meaning behind it. We’re all stretched for time to meet all the things on our to-do lists, but moms especially so. One of my sisters (who is single and has no kids) said to me recently, “It’s not that hard; just take a half hour every day to exercise.” And while she is right, when you factor in three kids and a husband along with all the other stuff, sometimes there is no half hour left! Last night the dishes were left piled up so I could do a workout video. And even with a messy kitchen, I was much happier.
    I look forward to reading more!


  9. Nan a.k.a Granny Fabulosa
    Apr 19, 2014 @ 07:19:39

    That sound you hear is me applauding. Good for you.


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