Can women have it all?
This is such a HUGE topic. Beyond HUGE. How do we even start to talk about this? Can women have it all? Well, I'm in firm agreement that the answer to this is no....and I add a little footnote to my answer. We can't have it all at the same time. This has been mentioned, debated, dissected mentioned in books (fiction and non-fiction), movies, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times...and every blog that is out there and in yesterday's video. Some think maternity leave, health care, education system, workplace norms, and probably 15 other elements to our lives have created this, including our own expectations...and probably all of those theories have valid points.
But, as I've worked outside the home and now work at home (not just a choice for a career but because for financial reasons, I have to make additional income for my family), I've realized there is no perfect answer or solution. We can't have it all at the same time, but when we stop trying to do that, it makes it a lot easier.
Many a night on the couch, I've reflected back on the day. I wrote a great post and figured out an interesting angle for an essay, but my kiddo was doing her own thing...I wasn't doing the best mothering, per se. And then there would be fabulous trip home on the bus with the kiddo, when I could hear my phone buzzing with work emails, yet I ignored them and focused on her....I wasn't a great writer, per se.
And don't even get me started on when I am or am not a great wife. I never "have it all" at one moment, but I "have it all" at specific points through the day when what "all" is in being in the moment with one thing...but does that count? And what about those days when I wasn't a great anything. (Which is why I keep a quote -- by now you know I am kind of quote-obsessed -- near the kitchen sink that reads "Be better than you were yeaterday.")
I find it fascinating how it all goes back to how we define having it all. How we evaluate ourselves and what it means to have it all, exactly...what it is we want and have (or don't have). Me? For me, it is funny, the more of the crazy juggle I have to do on any given day, the more I realize what is important. Because on those days, I know I can't do it all, I know I won't be perfect, I'll have to say no to something (I love Andrea's exercise to figure out what you have to so no to in order to say yes to what is important).
Sometimes, for just plain can't be budged reasons, we can't always choose what we would like to do in any certain moment. But -- and this is big but-- if we can more often than not, then we are "having it all."
What do you think? How do you define having it all...and do you have it all? Do you struggle with your own expectations of being the perfect mom/wife/careerwoman/person/sister?