Having It All


In a recent article in the Chicago Tribune Can today's career women really have it all?, Alexis Grant talks about the message being sent to young women: "you can have it all." Alexis states that having it all isn't always as glamours as it sounds. She says, that while there is nothing wrong with trying to accomplish everything you want in life (career & family), there is a flip side.

Alexis believes, "When we give younger women the message that hey, you can do everything, you can have it all, it's all going to be perfect, there's a sense of almost failure when you can't do it all." As a career woman, wife and mother of 4, I have experienced the flip side - it's not all going to be perfect all the time. Having Healthy Expectations helps; what expectations are we sending to our daughters and younger women about having it all?

Gen Y expert, Christine Hassler's blog The Myth of Having It All states, "we expect that not only are we supposed to have it all but do it all at 100 percent: the career, relationship, children/family all while looking good, doing good and being good." She also says, " I see college women across the country following in footsteps that resemble mine, chasing after the having it all Holy Grail. yet when I ask how many of them feel an overwhelming amount of stress and anxiety, 99.9 percent of the hands go up in the room."

In Christine's blog, she says, "we should be passing down to the younger generation that having it all starts with honoring ourselves and the roles we choose to be a part of, whether it is mother, wife, CEO, politician or a mix of many roles, none are better than the other." We may find out that having it all is not about doing it all; it's about fulfilling who we are in whatever role we choose.

I have found that we cannot have it all, and that the Holy Grail is a myth that needs to be purged from our lexicon. My solution is to merge expectations - my expectations for myself, and for those around me. Learning to say no, delegating are strengths that contribute to my success. Learning to accept less than perfection is something I struggle with but is a fact of life.

Have you chased after the having it all Holy Grail? What does "having it all" mean to you?