I remember being 19 in college, taking multiple women studies courses and feeling empowered by the notion that women can have it all. My generation has enjoyed the freedoms of women before us who fought for rights at work, the right to vote, for the right to be anything. I think though, that we women have done a bit of a disservice to ourselves. I think we’ve set our standards way too high and set ourselves up for disappointment. Not to say that a woman can’t do absolutely anything she wants, of course she can. However, I don’t believe in the notion that you can have it all, something always slips. These days it’s not enough to be a working woman and a mom and a business owner. You have to be all of those things and give 100% of your time to each one, (anyone who knows anything about math knows that’s not possible). Yes you can have it all, but it doesn’t mean you won’t have to have serious compromises along the way.
The strangest thing is, that the pressure to be the perfect mom, the perfect employee, the perfect entrepreneur usually comes from women themselves, from our peers from other successful women. You would think since we are all in this crazy ride together there would be a bit more compassion, understanding and a little less competition and expectation.
I have been caught up in the having it all expectation. I just had my first child and I want to be the best mom I can, this is my priority right now, as it should be. Of course in these economic times, there are very few women who can stay home with their children, so I also have a full time job that I will be going back to in April. As the icing on the cake, I am also a business owner. I guess you could say I have it all except for I can’t keep up with it all. I am doing my best, and I think that is what all women are doing. I hope that we all give ourselves a break, show each other some compassion and understanding and lighten up a bit on ourselves. Life is too short to kill yourself trying to have it all.
UPDATE: In response to the comment below I wanted to add a couple of things, I don’t think I was clear. I am TRYING to have it all, but am realizing that it really isn’t totally possible because ultimately you do have to sacrifice something, there just isn’t enough time in the day. Right now, my priority is Leo and I am ok compromising on other things in my life. Anyone who says they have it all without compromise isn’t being honest. Your career takes you away from your family, and your family limits the time you can spend on your career. Let’s just all do our best to balance everything out, while not pressuring ourselves too much!