Why can't we have it all?

Lucie Simic
Authored by Lucie Simic
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 4:18pm

I read another depressing article in the Daily Mail Online about how women ‘can’t have it all’ when it comes to career and motherhood. I find this kind of article the worst, probably worse than seeing the streams of airbrushed models strewn across the pages of glossy magazines, beacaue I know that is unrealistic…I am old enough and wise enough to know what ‘real’ women’s bodies look like, but there is nothing more crushing, or more negative to portray, than telling women they simply can’t ‘have it all’.

Firstly, what is ‘having it all’?? This itself is confusing, because one of the wonders of the modern world is that women have the choice now. They can do and be, pretty much, whatever they desire and this is something I am keen to pass on to my children. And secondly, who is defining this ‘all’? For some would argue that managing a home, a husband and children is ‘all’, whilst others might say that achieving the career of their dreams is ‘all’ they need.

In this case I think the author of this ridiculous article was referring to the old cliche of juggling work and family life. Boring. And not at all true. Hundreds of ‘warrior’ mums (and dads) are successfully juggling their work and family on a daily basis. Because they ‘have’ to. We (and I lump myself in with this as a busy associate editor and copywriter with two small boys, one big husband, one dog and two cats) may not find it easy, we may sometimes complain and we might not always be happy, but, we are achieving it ‘all’. That is, holding down a job and raising a normal family.

So, when I read another damning article it makes me mad and sad. Mad because we shouldn’t be ‘doing down’ these busy working mums who are providing for their families in more ways than a financial one, and sad because I find it all too depressing that there are people out there shouting about not being able to ‘have it all’ and perhaps persuading young girls to believe it.

It’s a nonsense. Life it not always rosy, but you only have to look around to see that there are plenty of women who are ‘having it all’. I am certainly one, and I have plenty of mummy friends who I see at the school gate collecting their children, either after work or soon to be at work. If this isn’t life and a ‘real’ example of modern women having a career and a family, then I’m lost on the definition. So, as one juggling mum to millions of other mums: Well done, you deserve a pat on the back and at the very least a large glass of wine in celebration of the achievement you are pulling off each and every single day. Let’s not let others tell us we can’t have it ‘all’!

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