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How do you define "having it all?"

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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?

©iStockphoto.com/ aluxum

by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (51-59):
RobynS
by Silver Member on Dec. 14, 2012 at 6:02 PM

This has changed for me over the years. At this point, having it all is simple. Having a home and enough to eat, someone to share it with, clothes on our backs and an education for the kids. Pretty basic. We don't really need a lot of "stuff."

RobynS
by Silver Member on Dec. 14, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Oh yes! I left out health. That's a big one!

Quoting momofsixangels:

I think having it all means being happy,healthy and secure and having a loving family and support.



Kmakksmom
by on Dec. 15, 2012 at 1:12 AM

This is my thoughts exactly!

Quoting momofsixangels:

I think having it all means being happy,healthy and secure and having a loving family and support.


Rushn311
by on Dec. 15, 2012 at 3:22 AM

I don't think anyone's life is perfect. There is always something that you are missing  or yearning in life.

slw123
by on Dec. 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

I think it's something you realize over time.  A person can't really 'have it all'.  If you work hard at your career, your family suffers.  If you give up your dreams for a career for your family, you may never feel fulfilled.  The best thing to do is to find a happy median.  I did give up my career dreams for my children, but I realized that I wanted to be with my children more than I wanted that particular career.  It's been almost 8 years and I don't want what I used to want.  I am now pursuing a completely different avenue that is completely family friendly. 

Right now I do feel like I have it all.  I love my family and I love what I am doing.

MrsRobinson06
by Bronze Member on Dec. 15, 2012 at 8:06 PM
Not struggling to provide for my family and capable of finding time to enjoy life.
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aidensmomma508
by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:32 AM

I do struggle with it right now I'm a stay at home mom but ya

abra
by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 11:29 AM
I agree. And being happy is something we can cultivate in ourselves despite what is going on in our lives. Joy is a choice we make.



The other things are work, but absolutely possible.



In a way, I would say "having it all" just means having learned the art of contentment (which is not the same thing as complacency, btw).


Quoting momofsixangels:

I think having it all means being happy,healthy and secure and having a loving family and support.

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
JennMcBride
by Member on Jan. 9, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Having it all is being together, having the things you need ie food, house, etc, being happy and living like to the fullest. 

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