Having It All

The push today is for women to "have it all." The pinnacle of success is if you have both kids AND a prestigious, high-paying career. Well, sometimes I think this is a revolting concept and a toxic message. So, CAN you have it all? Well, yes and no. Technically, you can, but you can't have it all simultaneously, maximally, and single-handedly. Simultaneously: Some women decide to stay at home and focus on child rearing when their kids are little, and once their kids get older, focus on their careers more. Maximally: You can be more successful and make more money in your career if you don't have kids, and you can be a more attentive, involved parent if you don't have a career. Sometimes "doing it all" amounts to being a jack of all trades and a master in none. One or both roles are significantly compromised. Singlehandedly: If you're involved in a demanding job, you have to leave the running of your household to someone else, and your children in the care of baby-sitters, nannies, day care, or other relatives. Someone else is mostly caring for, and spending time with, your child. You need a lot of help and a large support system.
Don't misunderstand. I'm not trying to criticize anyone or their lifestyle choices. I believe that, for the most part, all mothers are doing the best they can, and want the best for their children. All I'm saying is that no matter what you choose, it's a trade-off. I just want to share what I have observed, and make people aware of what each choice will mean for them, so they can see what compromises they are willing to make.
I'm not saying that women with children can't, or shouldn't work. I'm just saying that if that's what you want, you need to choose a career that is family friendly, and you may have to forgo the 6 figure salary and the prestigious title. I know all the feminists want women to be doctors, lawyers, and CEOs, and that's fine. However, it may not be the best choice for women with young children; they should leave that to women who are unencumbered. Balancing career and children is quite a juggling act. The nature of juggling is if you do it long enough, you're going to drop some balls. Don't let your kids be the ball you drop. If you choose to bring children into this world, your top priority should be raising, and caring for, them. If you mess that up, it doesn't matter what else you can do well. It doesn't matter how much money you earn, or how many material things you're able to provide your kids with; what they want most is your time and attention. If your career is that demanding or all-encompassing that you can't spend a significant amount of time with your kids ( or if you would rather be at work than spend time with them), than maybe you shouldn't have them. You can't literally have it all. You have to make choices and have priorities. I hope this will give a lot of people something to think about.
atpeacewithme atpeacewithme
Jul 11, 2010