Having It All

Is it possible? As women, can we really have it all? Family? Career? And still find time to nourish our spirit?

That’s what they told us back in the sixties and seventies.

I remember being in class one day–I must have been about fourteen–with other girls talking about what we wanted to do when we grew up. There was one girl who sheepishly confessed that all she wanted to do was get married and raise a family. She was pooh-poohed seven ways till Sunday and our teacher urged her to change her thinking–even if was just to having a career of some sort before getting her Mrs. degree (remember those?)

I’ve had a couple of conversations recently with women in my demographic who would dispute the line we were sold back then. There are some who once thought they could have it all, before they realized that they were not capable of having a full-time career, being a full-time mommy, and nourishing the creative being within. There are some who feel they’ve sacrificed the best in themselves in order to have it all.

There are younger women choosing to put careers on hold so they can stay home with their young children.

There are others who seem able to manage having both career and family.

There are more than a few women of my age looking forward to stepping off of the career track so they can focus on family and other things that are important to them that they’ve given up somewhere along the way.

There are other women my age who are jazzed by their careers and have no intention of putting it aside anytime soon.

Can we have it all? Probably. The answer to the question of whether a woman can have it all varies from woman to woman but I hope we’ve come far enough that we can allow women to make the choice that’s right for them. Perhaps all of us aren’t cut out to have it all at the same time.

I’d like to think that a young woman confessing she wanted to be “just” a stay-at-home mom would not be looked down upon in 2012. I’d like to think we’ve come far enough to understand that we all have different paths, that your path isn’t mine, but that they’re equally important and valued.

What do you think?


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
1 comment
  1. I think you hit it on the head when you said “all at the same time.” If you try to do it all at once, you will probably short change everyone, especially yourself. Fortunately, we live long enough now to have many different stages in our lives, and we have more options when it comes to things like job sharing and telecommuting. I feel like I have had it all — just not all at once — and I am ever so grateful that it was always MY choice!

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