Can women have it all? I know, as a woman reader, you are looking for a very specific answer. You are searching for that validating “yes.”
Yes, working mom, you can have it all.
Well, you’ve come to the wrong article. What makes me such an expert on the subject? Because I’m a full-time working mom and I can tell you firsthand that in order to be successful in the business world, you have to give up a few soccer games and after-school play dates. And you know what? It totally sucks for everyone involved. But I have to work because I have to pay the bills.The truth of the matter is, on more days than not, I feel like I am not doing my best in either world. Giving half of yourself to everyone is not a very good standard to live by. But it’s the only way I know how to live.
So, on those days when I feel like I just can’t handle both worlds anymore, I lie to myself and repeat over and over again that “I’m doing OK.” I don’t always fail my children, don’t get me wrong. I’ve become a pretty good juggler throughout the years, and late-night work sessions mean that I get to be with my kids during the day. They also mean that I don’t spend any time with my husband. That’s the true trifecta, isn’t it?
Wife. Mom. Worker.
Maybe you can be great at two of those roles. But all three? Never in a million years. Sorry folks. Let me repeat that just to be clear. Never in a million years.
Just like Indra K. Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, said in her recent interview, women “pretend to have it all” and if we ever stopped deluding ourselves, we would “die with guilt,” I suffer from this with all my heart, and when I read her interview I cried. I understood her completely because I am Indra. We share the same soul and despite her success I understood her failures.
Kim Kardashian has a different opinion and told CNBC that Indra needs a new outlook on life. The reality star believes that women can have it all simply by prioritizing their efforts. Let me see if I can jot this down accurately.
Step 1: Make a porno tape.
Step 2: Monetize that porno tape.
Step 3: Get a reality show and get paid for doing absolutely nothing for the rest of your life.
Excuse me for not taking this advice to heart. This is not something that most women can mimic, or would care to mimic for that matter. It’s just not realistic to take advice from someone who doesn’t live in actual reality.
So, when does the true realization come that I do not have it all under control? It happens at bedtime when my children ask for their father to tuck them in and not me. You simply cannot be the primary caregiver and the primary breadwinner.
Selective memory keeps the working mom sane.
I try to remember the family vacations and the beach days, the days at the arcade and the weekend getaways. The Instagram-worthy moments. Those are the images I project out into the world. That is how I want to be remembered. That is how I want to be seen. And if I paint that picture with enough strokes maybe even I will believe that it’s true.
What I don’t want to remember are the mornings in the summer when I tell my children “mommy needs one more hour” so I can finish my conference call. I also don’t want to remember all the times at the park where I am slouched over on a bench responding to emails while my husband plays tag with my boys. No, those memories don’t get posted on social media which means they aren’t real, right? In 10 years it will be like they never existed at all.
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