Can Women Have It All?
Can women have it all? In our grandparents era most women were expected to get married, have children and look after the home.
It was almost unheard of for a married woman to go out to work, and only a small minority pursued careers.
It was only as recently as the 1960s that a woman needed her husband’s signature to open a bank account! This may seem shocking to those under the age of 40, but it was the way things were back then.
Fast forward to 2016 and a woman can have a multitude of roles in her life. Mother, wife, entrepreneur, friend, carer, etc. A main concern is spreading yourself to thin and ending up exhausted and burnt out. Often one of the biggest mistakes made is trying to be perfect in all areas.
Being the perfect mother, wife and, business woman, and still having time to socialise with friends can be extremely hard. Actually I’d goes as far as to say impossible.
It’s still largely expected of women to be the ones who do the cooking, cleaning and take care of the children, as well as hold down a career.
Why setting impossibly high standards can cause ill health
The stress of trying to be the best at everything in your life can make you feel very unhappy if you don’t reach perfection. Feelings of inadequacy and self doubt creep into your mind. You become obsessed with the idea that somehow you’ve failed, and no amount of consoling from your partner or family member can help.
Long Term Effects of Stress on Your Body
All this worry and stress can lead to poor health, and you may suffer high blood pressure, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and even low sex drive. It can even be as bad as smoking. So how can you have it all and still keep sane? One very effective way to reduce stress in your life is mindfulness.
Can women have it all if they learn to prioritise time?
Can women have it all b simply learning how to prioritise their time? The answer is yes, but you will need a certain amount of self discipline and the ability to say no. Do what you feel matters most and learn to compromise. For example, you may have to compromise a PTA meeting for a very important dinner with a business client. You love your kids and feel like the worst mother on earth, but you could always get your husband to attend the PTA instead.
In the long term if this meeting with a client increases your income, you are better able to provide for your family, and in so doing making you a good mother. Some may argue that if you’re having to make sacrifices then you’re not having it all, however I’ve found this to be untrue.
Ok, you may have to cancel a few social events, or time spent with your kids, but this doesn’t make you a bad person, or the world’s worst parent. You’re still there for your family and friends, but time spent on your business in the early days will reap rewards in the long run. Denying yourself chances and opportunities in the strive to be perfect at everything will make you unhappy, and this may reflect in your relationships.
You will have kids off school sick with flu sometimes, and needing your care. And yes there will be times when they must take priority, but this is all part of life. There is absolutely nothing to stop you from having it all if you stop aiming to be perfect at everything.
What does having it all mean?
Having it all means different things to different people. You may want to travel and love the freedom of being able to go where you want when you want. You may also want a family, and the stability of a job to pay the bills and fund your traveling. You’ll have to work around school holidays, and your husband may not be as keen on traveling as you are. However with a bit of compromise you can still do all of this.
You could always consider starting your own business online. You would have to spend time building it up, but you’d be able to work from anywhere in the world. Get your husband involved with choosing your next holiday destination, and plan your trips during the school holidays.
The one area though that may prove difficult for women who want it all is that of a top position in a high flying company. You may be enjoying a well paid salary in a challenging and stimulating job, but once you start a family you may find things become difficult.
Cancelling an important meeting at short notice because your child is poorly and there is no one else to take care of her may not always go down to well. Some women feel obliged to step down from high salaried jobs in favour of lower paid work just to fit round school hours.
Remember, it’s YOUR life, don’t waste time putting off things because you feel it’s selfish, or you just don’t think you have the time. Even today women can still feel guilty for wanting to put themselves first. It’s like you feel you’re a bad person for wanting to pursue your dreams.
Everyone’s life goals are completely different. You have to work out what’s most important to you. It’s even possible that you’re happy being single and don’t want kids. If this is your choice you may get well meaning parents asking when are you going to find a nice husband and have children. Friends may remind you about what you’re missing out on.
Planning your days so that you can have it all
Creating a daily schedule is one way to make sure you can fit everything in. However life isn’t always straight forward and you’ll still have to alter your plans and make compromises from time to time.
I hope this article has helped to answer the age old question of can women have it all. Remember, it takes time to make changes, and gain confidence to say no to events you really don’t want to attend, or people you just haven’t got the time to help.
True friends won’t judge you and will understand. Family will get used to the new you and hopefully stop you like a doormat.