Of course women CAN’T have it all! You tell me one person who has absolutely everything! Perfectionism is an illusion of the mind. Today’s Blog post is about the women who try and have it all, and then go into therapy when they realize that it’s virtually impossible.

perfection is a myth

Over the past few decades, women have made incredible strides. We make up half the US workforce, and are holding some of the highest level positions in the country. However, if I show you studies of female executives who seem to have it all.. marriage, kids, great career, money, 87% of them are considering making a life altering change.  Eight seven percent! Studies show that these women are craving more balance, more home time, and are leaving corporate America in numbers to either stay home, or start their own businesses.

So, let’s first take a look at what it means to have it all. To me, Oprah represented having it all. A dream job, power, success, friends in many places. But then I got married, got barfed and shat upon (is that a word??), and realized, Oprah’s missing a major component. She never married or had kids amidst all her success. She probably has very little “me” time, little privacy, maybe even suffers from feelings of isolation at the top, amongst others.  Okay, this is one example. I would still like to reiterate, however, that Oprah remains my hero and my number 1 (Ellen, you’re number 2!)

ellen and oprah

Alright, another example. I know woman who seemed to have it all from a different perspective. Wealthy husband, two healthy children, the luxury of being able to stay home, not work, travel around the world, personal cooks, masseuses on call, multiple homes, and then… her cheated on her and left her, and her kids have disappointed her with their own life choices.

And finally, there is another girl I know who seems to have it all as well– but she suffers with inner demons, and a very difficult husband who makes her crazy.

No one my friends, has it all. And this is not to make you complacent or accepting of crap in your life– it’s just a fact. Everyone has something to deal with. Maybe it’s illness, maybe it’s money problems, maybe an unhappy marriage. Something. And if you’re lucky enough to have the support of great friends and family, or a good therapist to shoulder your pain, you’re a lucky lady.

No, I am not saying you cannot have a fulfilling life, with a career, kids, husband, and balance. If you’re fortunate enough to be in a position to stay home, and that fulfills you, then fantastic! I think if you’re lucky enough to find great stimulating and flexible work, preferably part time, I think that is about as close to having it all as it gets. That’s what I am aiming for now. Or perhaps you are working to help pay the bills. Let’s face it, most women today work out of necessity, not out of choice. There are no judgements regardless of the position you are in, and you may as well make the best of the hand you have been dealt. Our time on earth is quite short, and this is no dress rehearsal!

I still wanted to throw a few tips your way to at least get your moving in the “direction” of having it all.

  1. First, define what “having it all” means for you. It’s different for every woman. “It all” may mean motherhood to one, while for another, it may mean career and motherhood.
  2. Priorities. What are they? If they are trips and dinners and fancy cars, and your husband isn’t a trust fund baby, nor in a high paying job, well then you may have to re-think your priorities or get a job, baby! Otherwise, I would say, think happy medium and balance. Do you want that promotion AND to be at every ballet recital and soccer game? Something’s gotta give. What are your priorities? Figure them out, and then make that move in the right direction.
  3. Have realistic expectations. I think we need these, so as not to set the bar too high, that we fall flat on our face. If it’s important for you to be around for your kids more often, then perhaps taking a pay cut or working one less day a week, is just what the doctor ordered. You’d be surprised at the many ways you can cut back financially in your life and still lead a very fulfilling life.
  4. Find a mentor. Is there a woman you know, who in your opinion, has it all? How does she juggle it? How does she do it without unraveling and becoming a frazzled mess? Maybe she can give you some pointers.
  5. Learn the art of saying NO. This is when you SAY YES too often, and take too much upon yourself, leaving very little time for YOU. When you do this, you certianly don’t have it all, in fact you end up with less than you bargained for!

having it all

In my opinion, I think having it all is being HAPPY. I really do. Truly content from within, regardless of how much money you have, regardless of whether you work, stay home, or opt out of motherhood altogether. Hey, we all have something. If life doesn’t get you one way, it gets you another, so learn to love what you have. I talked this week about being thankful.  And remember, perfection is an illusion. I think it’s okay that most women can’t have it all. It doesn’t make us flawed, it just makes us human.

Tell us ladies, do you think women can have it all? What are your thoughts?

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