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“Having It All”

July 17, 2012

This catchphrase has interested me of late;  the conviction a woman must mourn over the decision to balance worklife and domestic duties like childbearing/rearing and all the things inbetween that make us sane and hygienic like bathing, socializing with friends and remembering to call our grandmothers . It seems to me, as a 22 year old beginning to navigate the murky waters of adult life, that people want me to believe I must have a desire to have both a worklife and a sparkling home full of curly haired, cherubic tots–the white gold ring on my finger included, of course. I read about “having it all” but it doesn’t register in my brain as something I need to strive after, something I must aspire to. Instead, it sounds like a recipe for disaster, exhaustion and an eterntity of mess.

It’s so simple already. Why have it all when you can have enough? For so many other Generation Y women, we are connected by technology more than anything else and right now the media is spewing out so much idealistic drivel about domestic bliss and how vital it is for a modern woman to balance her home life and work life–and what are we doing? We are listening. We are believing that this is something all of us have to mull over because if we don’t, we may be making some colossal mistake. The media is not telling us we can be content by following our dreams, becoming leaders, and earn respect in the board room as women. They are telling us “Yes, you should work…but don’t forget changing nappies at home is more important” which is a confusing message. What does this message say about our self-worth and our reliance on men and government assistance favouring mothers?

I urge women, who are thinking that they need to have it all, to ask themselves if they even want it all. Everyone says they’d love to be a famous movie star or singer but heavy is the head that wears the crown. So many famous stars were troubled and many died so young; for instance: Heath Ledger, Whitney Houston, Sid Vicious (Sex Pistols), Jim Morrison…the list goes on, unfortunately and heart-breakingly. If being rich and famous was so amazing then why did world-class boxer Joe Louis die poor–and why is Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise divorcing?

I would equate this with the concept of “having it all”. It’s probably not going to be as great as it sounds. I’m sure a long day at the office, picking up the kids from school, driving them to soccer and making a healthy dinner is the last thing on my To Do list when I get older (or even now)! Having it all to me means having everything I ever dreamt of. The loft, friends who stop by unnannounced, sunrises with good tea and dogs by my side, trips abroad and learning how to paint properly. The idea women only want a well-off husband  or same-sex partner so they can stay at home needs to burn! It’s not what we want. It’s just what the media is telling everyone, drowning out the voices of women who veer off the path of domestic bliss mixed with a tiny dose of professional work life. We are strong. We are able. We are more than competent to handle the workforce, to succeed, to lead. When women realize this, they can truly have all they really need.

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