So can women have it all?

can women have it all

So I’ve been wondering of late – can women  have it all? Somewhere along the messy road to motherhood, I think we were somehow led to believe that women can have it all – the children, the career, the healthy relationship with our partners.

But increasingly I’ve seen women around me who were led to believe that this situation also existed only to find out that flexible working or part time working wasn’t available, or that child care costs were prohibited, or that if they tried to take it all on that something eventually had to give.

However in the media we are bamboozled with images of top women who are allegedly having it all….the only difference is that they are either earning bajilloons and can afford to throw an insane amount of money and help at the problem; or they are a celebrity and can do the same thing.

But what about the average Jane? What about you and me? It seems to be there is a huge difference between the images and stories that are rammed down our throats by the media, and that which is happening in real life. In search for the real answer, I asked some fellow bloggers what they also thought about the notion of women being able to have it all to get this discussion out in the open:

Kate Tunstall who blog at The Less Refined Mind says:

“It totally depends on what ‘having it all’ means to the person you’re asking – and even that can change from one month to the next! I have everything I need, but of course there are always things to aspire to and strive for.

Right now, I’m working on building everything I want. But it’s a very fine juggling act – and for now, it means delaying having a second child. I sometimes feel that’s a sacrifice too far. But ultimately I do believe it you’re willing to work your backside off then you can achieve an approximation of ‘it all’.

Do I feel women have unfair obstacles to overcome? That’s another question!”

Kate Fever who blogs at Family Fever says:

“I am currently studying for a midwifery qualification and planning to start uni next year. I am also blogging and looking after 4 kids. Can you have it all? Yes – but some things will have to give. The housework might have to take a back seat, you might need to be more open to accepting help.”

Louise Williams who blog at Pink Pear Bear says:

“Honestly, I don’t believe anyone can have it all. Something has to give. I don’t think it just relates to Mummies too, I know how much my husband suffers when he has to work late and only just gets to see the kids for five minutes in the eve. I don’t think that there is one perfect formula. I guess also, the grass is always greener too, whatever you’re not doing, it can be easy to imagine it’s so much better then where you’re currently at, even if the person that you’re envying would never agree. ”

Emma Garratt who blogs at The Mini Mes And Me says:

“I was exhausted working around school hours, completing a psychology degree and raising two children as a single mum at one point in my life. I’m now self employed doing what I love, with a great partner, several holidays a year and I’m so happy. It took time and hard work but I certainly feel as though I have it all now.”

Jessica Powell who blogs at Babi A Fi says:

“You can – but it requires amazing organisational skills! More seriously, I feel that there is a lot of pressure, on women particularly, to strive to ‘have it all’, even though not everyone actually wants it. I have a kid, a partner, a job and a hobby – if I wanted to work harder I might have a career, or a business, or a house to be proud of but, right now, I feel I have more than enough no matter how many people tell me I should want, and be putting the work in, for more. ”

Tanya Hindes who blogs at Cracked Nails and Split Ends says:

“I do believe you can ‘have it all’ but it only works as I have a supportive family around me and great friends. It can be down to luck too! and is a huge balancing act. I work full time as a Project Manager working from home (hubby is a branch manager) and a few times a year I travel to Paris and Amsterdam on business. We have 3 boys and we are full guardians to my step-granddaughter. I do pay someone to do my ironing – that is my treat to myself and hubby.”

Eve Flitcroft who blogs at Little Miss And Mummy says:

“I personally don’t want it all; I just want the same rights as my male work colleagues. I’m a sergeant in the Royal Air Force, therefore I work full time. Sometimes deploying away from my family for six months at a time. I’m a mum to a almost four year old, I’m married to a wonderful man; although I do tend to do most of the housework and cooking. I also blog. Yes it’s a lot, but I don’t feel as though any part of my life is neglected.”

Rachel Bustin who blogs at Rachel Bustin says:

“I think it’s really hard work if you want it all. I have been career minded since I was in my teens, but since trying to get pregnant 3 years ago my priorities changed. It took us over 2 years to get pregnant in the end and my family comes first now. I am in awe of the women who have it ‘all ‘ but it’s not for me and my special family. ”

Emily Macdonald who blogs at A Slummy Mummy Says:

“I have two part time jobs (and I sell crafts at Xmas) and my blog plus three children and the house etc I work from home or in the office, all very flexible but it’s NOT POSSIBLE to have everything. There is always a sacrifice.

When my daughter was 2 I went to university…. I worked part time and I hardly saw her…. Now I look back and I’m wracked with guilt about it.I was a stay at home mum 100% for a year and that’s when I started crafting because I wanted to keep a part of me, but I loved it! My house was beautiful….I’ve written millions of posts on this struggle. You can’t give 100% to everything all the time, but you can give 100% to the task in hand…”

Rebecca Rice-Roberts who blogs at Becster says:

“Yes I believe so. I mean women are just as able to have it all as men are. I have a family (two girls under 3 years old), a full time job and a hobby. I think I have it all. Ok so my house may not be the tidiest but we’re happy. I’m also aware of how lucky we are with our support network .”

Wow – so it seems that the jury is still out, with some women thinking that yes, you can have it all, others thinking that it is nowhere near possible, and others not wanting to have it all, well.. at all. The debate will rage on I’m sure for many years beyond this. Where do you stand on it? Do leave a comment and join the conversation.

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  1. Really good post! So true… I think there is a lot of pressure but I think the pressure is for women to be ‘mothers’ before doing what they want… So I think it is totally possible and essential for mothers to strive to live their lives as fully as possible, HOWEVER… Finding flexible work is a difficulty leaning s lot of mothers out of work… Also it does help a lot if you have a huge family/friends circle willing to help out with babysitting while you have date nights/girls nights/hobbies etc! Totally possible but with the right circumstances. X

  2. I have a post scheduled about having it all, so I found this really interesting. I think it’s possible, but to me what is important is that we each define our own ‘all’

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