Having it all. That quintessential line brought on by the feminist movement that has been driven in every young girl’s mind including myself over the last 25 years. Lucky us. In today’s world, there are many more opportunities for women than ever before in history and we as women for the most part are forever grateful for that but who invented the term “having it all”? The concept of having it all is an exciting and empowering message, yet a dangerous one at the same time.
Many of us define Feminism as a woman’s ability to have it all. But the movement was meant for us to be able to make choices. Somewhere along the way in the liberation process, we began to buy into the belief that we could assume the role as a man while continuing to be the nurturing mothers as well. Who’s idea was that and what an impossible feat to accomplish. We put so many things on our plate that we end up feeling like burnt out, stress filled failures mainly because whether we want to admit it or not, our lofty ideas of emulating Wonder Woman is just not realistic.
“Having it all” is a brand that we sadly have bought into. Not only are we supposed to have that successful career, relationship, children/family, we are expected to look good while doing it. I am the first person to admit that although to some I might look like I have it all, I certainly don’t nor I’m not sure I want to have it all it some days. Being the sole bread winner in my household and balancing career and family is challenging to say the least. Honestly at times, I just want a break.
Men do not try and focus on building a career and raising a family rather they for the most part have stayed in their traditional roles of being the providers. Women on the other hand have exceeded the normal length of a to-do list and have turned it into a to-do novel. The thought of it is just plain exhausting.
It is not my intention to derail my fellow females off of the Feminist movement but rather dump the notion of having it all and simplifying it to having what you want in life. I do believe that we as woman can have it all but it has to be individually designed to fit our lives. Lets look at a few ways in which we can do just that.
- What does “having it all” mean to you. Make a list of the things in life that are most important to you. Being at your child’s dance recitals or football game, striving for that promotion at work, being home at night to make family dinners, or having the once a week date night with your significant other. By making a list of the things that are most important to you ,you will quickly see how you can contour your life into a fulfilling one.
- Its ok to say NO. We as women feel that we always have to say yes to everyone that asks us a favor. Its an engrained guilt that comes over us when we are asked to be the carpooler, or stay late at work. Saying no doesn’t make you a failure or the weaker person. In fact, saying NO is the first lesson in making you a stronger one. Take control by creating the life you want, not what somebody else expects of you.
- Start your own business. In today’s economy, women are starting their own business’s at three times the rate of men. Why? Because corporate America and raising a family is a daunting task! Unless you are Sheryl Sandberg and make a salary that most women would dream of, its just not realistic. Owning your own business can be a very rewarding and exciting thing. It can also allow you to keep better hours, avoid being in an office all day as well as be able to be present at all of your child’s events. I would rather hang myself than be in a cubicle all day but that’s just me.
I am ever thankful to be a women in today’s day and age. We are blessed with choices that our former sisters simply did not have. The Liberation movement is a wonderful thing but we are women, mothers ,caretakers at heart. As we move away from the “I am woman hear me roar” attitude, lets us also leave our supergirl capes at the door and become human once again.