Friday, 5 December 2008

Having it all update

Haven't done one of these for a while, but looking at my title I am reminded that my blog is supposed to be about 'having it all'. I know, I get a bit waylaid sometimes with the minutiae of life, but the basic premise of this blog is to find out:

How does a modern woman have the career, marriage, family, home, etc?

Not that I am the perfect example, or have any answers, I'm just an ordinary example of a woman trying to have it all. I think my tales of life in the Working Mum household show just how difficult it can be to juggle all that stuff, especially at this time of year. Trying to keep the house together, keep on top of work and get ready for Christmas just seems like a big ask at the moment. Thank goodness for Internet Shopping!

So why do I do it?

Well, my generation were brought up to think that we could, nay should, 'have it all' and, looking back at growing up in the seventies and eighties, I realise that I never doubted that I would. It is just what I expected to do.

Our mothers worked hard to give us the choices they didn't have. I am grateful for the boundaries they pushed back for us. I have had the opportunity to go to university, to have a career and to go back to work after having daughter. I have an understanding husband, a gorgeous daughter and a (nearly) lovely family home. It looks like I do 'have it all'. However, I feel constantly pulled in different directions, often exhausted, frequently ill and guilty beyond belief. Why? Is it worth it?

Just recently a friend of mine (a fellow working mum) summed up the whole 'have it all' notion quite nicely:

"Is it 'have it all', or just 'do it all'?"

Hmmm ..........


auntiegwen said...

It's definitely do it all, the only thing I have is exhaustion and a feeling of having failed, both at work and at home x

Ladybird World Mother said...

That is some sentence. I reckon it is just 'do it all'. Wonderful to have opportunities our mothers might not have had, but it is damn hard doing it all. Maybe we just need to have an open mind. We can go for it. But we dont have to do bloody everything!
Nice post. Got me thinking. Thanks!

Suburbia said...

It's the do it all I think. Isn't there a diy store with that name?!

The Dotterel said...

At precisely the same time that boundaries were being pushed, expectations were being raised. Therein, as the Bard says, lies the rub!

Maggie May said...

I think your friend might be right!
I feel a bit sorry for the modern working mum, who has so much to squash into a day.
However, you will reap the benefits later on and be in a better position than my generation of mostly "stay at home & look after the children" mums.
I guess it is swings & round a bouts!

scrappysue said...

women's lib has a lot to answer for!

Polly said...

Theres something about working mums who won't let anyone believe that we can't do it all, and even more importantly that we appear to be doing it all with ease. the thing is, the rest of the world doesn't see us flop into bed at the end of the day with utter exhaustion, only to start all over again tomorrow. !

Ms Wiz said...

The thing is do it all I think or juggle it all. I am a stay at home mum - I had a successful career before having children quite late (mid & late 30s), and circumstances surrounding their (very prem and a set of twins) births combined with potentially expensive childcare, inflexible shifts (also probable burn out from a very stressful job) and no pressing financial need meant I had that option/choice. However, 13yrs down the line, I wish I had gone back, to some kind of paid work. I have filled the gap with university study and am grateful that I have that oppertunity, which I probably wouldn't have had if I'd gone back to work, but envy your self identification as a working mother. I think that as women we can't win, or indeed, have it all, its just do what you think is right at the time and make the best of it. Unfortunately that is the bottom line. I hope I am not giving my daughters an unrealistic idea that having children necessarily means staying at home and regularly remind them that I had a career before becoming a 'housewife', without letting them know that I regret my choice.