Can Women Have It All? Part 2
What do other women say about financial freedom, work and children?
Can you have financial freedom, a happy marriage, a great career, quality time with your children and more? Last week, I discussed the subject of women having it all and how all professions are not created equal. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas. Now, here’s the second part of this topic and…
What Other Women Say
There was an article recently in The Atlantic written by Anne-Marie Slaughter, entitled, “While Women Still Can’t Have It All.” She summed it by saying, “the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed.” Anne-Marie went on to say, “The minute I found myself in a job that is typical for the vast majority of working women (and men), working long hours on someone else’s schedule, I could no longer be both the parent and the professional I wanted to be… Having it all, at least for me, depended almost entirely on what type of job I had.”
Mary Matalin, who spent two years as an assistant to George W. Bush and the counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney before stepping down to spend more time with her daughters, stated in the same article, “Having control over your schedule is the only way that women who want to have a career and a family can make it work.”
With this in mind, I find these facts on members of the Supreme Court very telling:
Every male Supreme Court justice has a family. Two of the three female justices are single with no children. And the third, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, began her career as a judge only when her younger child was almost grown.
Technology Offers Women More Flexibility
One thing that is changing the traditional pattern of the working woman is technology and the ability, in many jobs, to work from anywhere.
There is a popular magazine (I won’t reveal the name) that employed many female journalists. A number of these women worked from home and the majority had children. Working from home gave these women the flexibility to research and write at whatever hours they chose which allowed them to be with their kids when needed.
They had control over their schedule. Then, the founder retired and appointed his son as president. The first change the son made was to demand that all employees work from the corporate office and not from home. Why? I don’t know. Maybe he was a micro-manager that wanted to prove himself to Daddy (Just my opinion).
So what happened? Almost every one of these female journalists chose control of their time over their paycheck, and they all quit. These women felt that, in many cases, they did have it all and they were not willing to give that up for money.
Do You Want It All?
I think most women can have it all. The bigger question is… do you want it all?
Not every woman is meant to be an entrepreneur or business owner. It’s not in their natural DNA so to say, “Quit your job and start your own business so you can be in control of your time and have it all,” would be naïve, not to mention impracticable. This is no different then believing in the fairy tale ending, “And they lived happily ever after.” Just a little idealistic.
There are women that thrive in the corporate environment. That is their arena and where they excel. Full-time moms play a key role in our world. You know if that’s the environment that suits you best.
The real question comes down to not, “Do you want to have it all?”, but instead, “What do you want?”
In what environment do you flourish?
Where do you find your passion?
What gives you meaning in life?
Once you discover this, then the rest falls into place.
At age 26, when I was working and struggling to pay the rent and car loan, I knew I wanted my own business. (The fact that I’d been fired twice was an added incentive.) I got a five-year taste of the corporate-employee-world working in advertising agencies and magazines in Honolulu. I knew early on that the corporate environment was not for me.
My goal was to have my own business by age 30, and I started my first business at 27. I also knew at age 27 that if I had a life partner, he would also be my business partner. And I knew that I wanted my work to have meaning for me. That’s what I wanted. And that’s still what I want today. That is the right answer for me.
What’s the right answer for you?
Have Whatever You Want
Can women have it all? I believe women can have whatever they want… without the guilt. What makes your heart sing? Pursue that. If you have children and they see their mom passionate about her work and doing what she loves, then what an exceptional role model she is to those kids. And if she doesn’t have kids, what an incredible example she sets to those close to her and to other women around her.
I believe in seeking out or creating the environment that best fits you and where you will thrive in. This sounds easy, and I know some women don’t feel they have that choice right now. They’re too busy taking care of their family’s basic needs. Understood.
But it’s certainly not too late for any one of us to start creating the life we want if we don’t not have it right now. And it’s not too late to take one action, no matter how small or big, every day, starting today, to move you towards that desired life.
Can you have it all? I say yes. The question is, what all do you want?
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