Having it all

I’ve read quite a few articles lately about women having it all and if I’m honest they have me a little ruffled.

These articles relate to the ability of women these days to be able to have a career, have a family, have time to themselves and time with friends.

All the articles I’ve read have basically been written from the viewpoint that it is possible to do all of these things.

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely think that women should be able to do all of these things but the reality is that often this just isn’t possible.

The article that got me really hot under the collar was written by a women who, at the point that I skim read her article appeared to have her own business that she ran from home, be a full time hands on mum, spend around 12 hours in the gym each week and find time to spend with her husband and friends. After my skim read, I was left feeling rather deflated and inadequate and wondering how I could manage my time better.

However, when I read the article in more detail and the associated comments later that day I felt rather different.

It transpired that firstly her business was not a nessessity, more of a hobby, so there was no pressure to be successful. She had one child who spent one day a week in nursery and the other four days with grandparents. The grandparents took it in turns to have the child every other weekend so she could spend time away with her husband or friends and her husband cared for the child three evenings a week so she could go to the gym.

All 4

I was left feeling a few things. Firstly I wasn’t sure when she was actually being a ‘full time, hands on mum’ like she described, in all of that; secondly that she had been dishonest in her article about how she achieved what she described as the “perfect work life balance” and I was also left feeling that if that was actually her reality, then what I was achieving each day was quite impressive.

Not every mum has family to offer free childcare, not every mum can afford paid childcare, for many mums working is an absolute necessity not a hobby.

So let’s share our tips and ideas for being working mums and how we achieve our own balance, but when we find that, let’s at least be honest about how we got there.

I’ve asked Santa every year since becoming a mum to extend the day by 10 hours, give me three more sets of arms, and I’ve asked to have a supplement that means I never need to sleep again, but the big guy has thus far let me down, so until he does deliver I will continue to juggle the best way I can and try and ignore all those who gloat about how they achieve the impossible because the reality is… they aren’t a new bread of superhero they have lots of help!

How do you juggle work and family?

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18 comments on 'Having it all'

  • Oh the constant battle; I am currently at home with my kids. It is hard ‘missing out’ on things in order to be able to afford to do this, but we are still hugely lucky and fortunate. So technically I am not at the juggling point yet…but seriously do not know how I could possibly ‘fit’ work in!! You working parents are absolute stars to me!! #TwinklyTuesday

  • I feel sorry for the author of that article you mentioned. It sounds like she is trying to justify her choices to herself (and the rest of the world). You’re right though that it might be damaging for someone else to read that and think they are falling short. I think the strange thing is that those articles talk about having “it all” as if there is some universally accepted standard of what “it all” looks like. People place different value and importance on different aspects of their life at different times and for different reasons. The key is to have a clear idea in your own head about what is important to you and your family, and not worry about other people’s aspirations. #TwinklyTuesday ps. What a wonderful family photo!!

    • Kyles – you are so right about that! It is a bit like this illusive work/life balance we all talk about, that balance if very different for everyone. Thanks for your considered comment – much appreciated :) p.s – it took ages to get them all to sit still lol !

  • Your post really resonated with me. There was a blog post a while back that I saw on Facebook about how Facebook photos didn’t accurately depict a blogger’s ‘real’ life. I feel like this woman’s blog post was probably similar. She (like many of us) was trying to put her best face forward, but instead depicted something that wasn’t entirely true. Must admit I’m jealous she has grandparents close by to provide that much childcare!!!

  • I think women themselves are probably the worst culprits in making out and pretending that we can have it all, easily and effortlessly, when this is simply not true. I do believe that we can have it all, but maybe not all at the same time, and certainly not without much effort and often a high price to pay. It sounds like the woman in the article you are quoting isn’t really a good representative of women who have it all, nor how to achieve it. We need to be realistic, and like you say, more supportive or one another, and not try to outdo each other and make other women feel inadequate, especially as her “having it all” is not actually achieved by herself alone! xx

  • Since I’m always moaning about work life balance on the blog, it’s clear that I don’t have it all! What I do have is an amazing mum who looks after Zach three times a week which reduces our childcare costs massively and enables us to survive! Because we work to survive, to feed and clothe ourselves and to enjoy a bit of life. I wish I had it all – I wish have it all – work, see Zach more, have time to go to the gym! But for me and most, it’s just not possible! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • I couldn’t agree more Lisa – we’d all love that but quite honestly it just isn’t possible to have it all, all of the time. Thanks so much for sharing your experience :)

  • I think I could be classed as “having it all” I don’t necessarily need to work and I don’t in the conventional sense, I work at my blog. My eldest goes to nursery 4 mornings a week and the Baby is just the Baby. I don’t go to the gym but I do managed to go running. But still I don’t feel like I have it all or the work-life balance. I know I am very lucky. But sometimes I feel like I have too much “Mum” in my life and not enough “Laura”. I think often there is a case of grass is greener and I know I definitely need to stop and smell the roses. Ooh I may even now have my #effitfriday for this week :)

  • So true not very hands on if the children are never with her or the pressures of actually having to bring in the money. I can relate how you felt I would have thought the same thing. It’s hard to find balance and we all feel overwhelmed and inadequate at times but we should not judge each other but really support each other and be open and honest about it when sharing tips as there are people actually trying to achieve this all without help because they don’t have it or can’t afford it. False hope isn’t it? Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me I hope to see you again tomorrow for another round of #sharewithme

  • Oh, that all sounds so familiar. I often wondered if I slept for a month, or even just a week, whether that would be enough to make me feel normal again.

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