Can Women Have It All With Careers and Kids?

"What is a mother?" with a picture of a mother and son drawn in crayon

I know – the title of this post is a loaded question.

The feminist in me scoffs at it and asks, “And why not? Men have been doing it without problems or questions for centuries. So now, in 2011, isn’t it about time that women would be able to do it, too?”

And then there is the realist in me. The working woman who added “mommy” to her titles through adoption nearly five years ago when that sweet, scared, 16-month-old girl was placed in my arms.

Who accepted a position with a statewide organization to be able to work part-time hours to be able to better take on the additional role that was now a part of my life.

Who became a mommy again less than a year and a half after the first time to a tiny nine-month-old boy.

Who quit the part-time job because her baby boy refused to eat or sleep while at daycare…

Read the rest of my post over on The Bottomless Briefcase!

Does this article resonate with you? Let’s work together for you and your career!

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Comments

  1. The reason why women are not able to have it all is because most are unwilling to swap roles. If women were more willing to allow their spouses to raise the children, they could have a career and family. Women generally have different expectations of stay-at-home fathers. Men don’t usually expect stay-at-home mothers to run a business from the home, or even work a job at all. From the various comments I have read on this subject, women are unlikely to allow their husband to stay home with the children unless he has a paying job. Being a sahd is not enough for most women.

    Ladies, your husbands cannot force you to quit your job and raise the children. Change your entitlement attitude and you too can have it all.

    • Melissa Cooley
      Twitter: TheJobQuest
      says:

      Thank you for your comments, Mark! That is an interesting take on it.

      I’m not sure if it’s as much of an attitude of entitlement as it is an unrealistic expectation women have had (as I talk about more fully in the entire post on The Bottomless Briefcase). Men have never “had it all,” not in the sense that many women have considered it. Men have had to compromise time with family and sleep fewer hours at night for their careers all the way along.

      That is the reality of the situation — when you have a career and family, something will get the short end of the stick at some point. We just have to decide what get short-changed at any given moment and then be OK with it.

  2. karyn hernandez says:

    man have never done it i dont even understand that frase anyway they have a job and a wife at home with the kids if we had the same thing we could do it too so stop saying if man ca do it why can’t we ….

    • Melissa Cooley
      Twitter: TheJobQuest
      says:

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Karyn!

      The point I was trying to make with this post is that, in reality, men haven’t “had it all” — not in the way that we think they have. Even for men, having a career has meant having to get less sleep or not spend the time they want with the family.

      That is important for women to understand because we oftentimes feel guilty when we struggle with the balance between family and career. If we look realistically at what men have had to give up for a career, we would realize it’s the same situation for us. Men just don’t give themselves guilt trips about it.

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