Thursday, July 19, 2012

Having it all…


I have written before about striving to achieve work/life balance and what a struggle it can be. And the more I strive to get to the ultimate goal of being everything to everyone while still being happy myself the more and more I think that it is actually a myth.

I recently read this article in the National Post – sent to me by a friend – and there were a few key paragraphs in particular that I really liked:

“…having it all is a myth — for both genders. If “all” means being your child’s primary caregiver, having a top-flight career and nurturing a happy marital relationship, then it’s not only women who fail to attain this elusive goal, it’s men too.

There are only so many hours in the day. Choosing to be the primary breadwinner means spending more time at the office than at home. Choosing to stay home with children temporarily shifts your career to second gear. Choosing to become a parent impacts your relationship with your spouse: less couple time, less sex and less romance.

Men and women may make different choices, but the result is the same. Neither gender can be full-time parent, full-time provider and full-time partner all at once; in other words, neither gender can “have it all,” at least not simultaneously.”

What I liked about this perspective is that it puts men and women in the same boat.  Which I never really think about.  I have always said that being a working mother is the hardest job on the planet but never thought about the fact that men that have to make the same choices.

That said, I definitely think it’s easier for men. They are not expected to stay home at all and when they do it’s like they have made the biggest sacrifice EVER!  Too funny…

I also think that women are wired differently.  If you go on to read the rest of the article it talks about surveying working parents and finding that it was then women that did a majority of the child care even if both parents were working.  And…they said they liked it!

Ahhh…we can be martyrs sometimes. 
 
In the end I say you can only do what you can do. If you have to work (or want to work) and as such are away from your kids for 40 hours (or more) a week…then simply try to make the most of the time you do spend together. Make every little moment count.

That’s pretty much all anyone can be expected to do.  

And even though I wasn't able to be with my kids as much as I'd like...they have both turned out to be pretty cool kids.  Even if I do say so myself.

2 months old               |                6 years old
8 months old               |                3 years old

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