A friend sent me this Motherhood and Career...If you're Not Marissa Mayer and I recently read this article Why Women Still Can't Have It All about the working mom balancing act. Being the frazzled working mom that I am, I of course had some thoughts on it, especially after I have recently written about this with Walking in these shoes is hard. How do you do it? and Mommy needs a timeout! As those two posts show I definitely don't fit the "having it all" idea in this moment.
The article is rather honest and offers some good tips, and I think it puts it out there that the majority of us are "never going to have it all", which some days I'm okay with and others I'm determined to prove "oh, yes, I can". I just have a hard time defining what is "having it all". I feel like you can have more of one or the other (career or family) but because you often have to sacrifice one for the other, you're really not having it all. Even though these CEO women sound like great corporate, leading business career women, I can't help but wonder if it's their kid I've coached whose parent never made a softball or football game because they were too busy or tired from working and that was just their kid's thing to do and not something mommy was really needed for (so they think).
Can we really have it all? What is the balance? Sometimes I think the balance is within my own head. My own perception. To me the idea of having it all is perfection and perfection is not possible, is it? And how does this idea of working moms "having it all" shape our own perception of ourselves? What does this mean for stay at home or let's be honest work at home moms because running a household and raising children is a full time job in itself. So are they never going to "have it all" because they weren't career ambitious? Who is to say what is having it all? That career woman that "has it all" probably is not the mom running her kids and everyone else's to soccer practice, attending PTA meetings, or volunteering at her kids' school, but the mom that totally devotes herself to her children and their activities isn't a "has it all" woman? And is "having it all" doing it with grace and a smile on your face because really, who are we kidding? I don't care who you are-the stay/work from home mom, the part time working mom, the full time working mom, the ambitious leading career woman of our time, being a mom is hard, frustrating, exhausting, overwhelming, and not perfect. It's crazy, it's chaotic, it's laughable, it's weepable. It's the greatest job in the world because we love our children like no other but being a mom isn't about perfection.
Life is full of sacrfices; most of the time we willingly sacrifice for something that's better for ourselves or for our families in the long run. Is giving up something for something better, working towards "having it all" or is everything that we work towards achieving in order "to have it all" at the cost of something else? I think "having it all" is our own definition of happiness; our perception of being happy with who we are. If we're happy with who we are as a woman and a mother, then maybe that's "having it all."
Moms, can we "have it all"? What is even "having it all"?
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one.
My book Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas examines this topic as well as other motherhood in the 21st Century topics. Get 15% off with the code JULYHEAT.