Random Thoughts: Interesting article – “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”


THANK YOU Mama V for sharing this  –

http://m.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-can-8217-t-have-it-all/9020/6/

So much of this article resonated for me; the expectations, feeling of failure, stress.   If she is correct and we need society to change to make it better for the rest, I fear we will be waiting a LONG time – even though there are so  many working females out there.

I don’t know what the answer is but happiness for me at least is the CHOICE to do what you want to do; for me, working from home, flexible work schedule, telling myself that its OK to “side step” a career for a portion of my life, the notion of “investment intervals”….   Many people do not have the luxury of choice – if you have it, don’t be fearful but EMBRACE IT.   Do what you need to do for yourself and for your family.

What are your thoughts ladies???

Please read and let us know!

http://m.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-can-8217-t-have-it-all/9020/6/

– Mama K

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Comments

  1. So here is my 2 cents (or perhaps less after depreciation). There is no Utopia. I left the work force for 17 years to be a stay at home mom. It is difficult to forfeit a piece of yourself and live exclusively for others. You also can’t help but to question your self worth numerous times along the way. I gained valuable time with my kids and a huge stake in contributing to their future beings. I was available for them to participate in numerous activities and support their interests as well as friendships (driving to play dates and co-ordinating social outings). My kids have certainly led a very enriching life of sports, musical training, and development of social relationships.

    At some point, we all reach a point where we must consider working whether for financial reasons or personal sanity. I reached mine this year and learned how challenging it is to return to a workforce that all but left me behind decades ago. I was very fortunate to be hired for a merchandising position. It is incredibly flexible. I can work any 24 hours in a week and I have the luxury to work my schedule completely around my kids. The work is interesting but I have no upward mobility. My boss and my company are extremely family oriented and dictate that I put my family first (I know…unheard of). We are also all women (I work for an intimates company) and mostly all moms.

    Even with the support of my company and my boss and the utmost in flexible schedules, I struggle. All those activities, friendships and sports that I cultivated in my children, are nearly impossible to support with even an abbreviated schedule. Mind you, I do have 5 children and you are getting this response in the summer when they are all homebound. Since summer began 2 weeks ago, I have struggled endlessly with schedules and co-ordinating. I have 2 teenagers with jobs of their own. My 6 year old is in summer camp. My 9 and 12 years old are keeping each other company “or not” on my work days. My income is just as abbreviated as my work hours so it is less than prudent to pay for summer camp (which is 5 days a week) for 3 children when I only work 3 part time days. .

    On work days, I complete my work and rush home to drive kids to work, friends’ houses or sports. Dinner is only prepared if I remember to get it started before I leave for work. My youngest child feels deprived of play dates with friends since he is at camp. And my older kids seem to be biking around the neighborhood without restraint. I am not whining…..simply pointing out that there really is no ideal. Either you work too much and you feel guilty about the lack of time with family or you stay home with family and you feel some sense of loss of self. Part time work is definitely the happy medium but it is still far from perfect. My friends who work full time, do suffer the guilt of being away from their kids, but they have the income for childcare, housekeepers, and eating out. Those of us working part time gain a sense of purpose and break up a monotonous day at home with our kids, but we still have all of out stay at home mom responsibilities in addition to our new job description.

    I am happy with my lot but I think we are all foolish if we believe that we can truly have it all. There will always be a ying to our yang.

    • I always love your perspective especially now that you are working as well!! Your job sounds amazing and hopefully you have settled into a more manageble, predictable routine with the kids now that they are at school. It seems so much easier when they at school since you really don’t have an option of whether or not to be with them. I’m loving my part-time schedule that will still enable me to volunteer at Big Bro’s school and be with my youngest two full days a week. What I have learned through all of this is that there are tremendous sacrifices that need to be made. It is impossible to have it all. It is almost impossible not to feel inadequate at some point along the journey. Even if you have unlimited resources you still do not have it all since you are outsourcing your family to others. So it’s a balance, its a sacrifice, no matter which way you look at it. What helps me a bit is trying my hardest to create “choice”. I know this is not possible for everyone so, like you, I feel fortunate for the flexibility that my job provides. The flexibility for me right now is the most important and I’ve chosen to step off of the ladder. So I’m smiling for now but things may change once all my kids get back in school. But then again… the summer…..

      Hope you are doing well; sorry it took so long for me to respond back…

      • There is a time for everything. A time to devote to our career……a time to devote to our family…….and a time to respond to any blog that may hit the right chord. I am always thrilled if one of my erratic opinions helps you in any way, if only to offer camaraderie. I am so glad that you are well. I know that your struggles exceed mine but I love the support that we offer one another. It is always good to have a sounding board. I am all about the “self” and therapy.

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