A very successful woman I know recently said, “You CAN have it all, but not at the same time.”

Over the last week, one question has been repeated over and over. Everywhere I look and everywhere I turn people are asking the question, “Can women really have it all?” My inbox is flooded with emails on this topic as I type.

A couple of things come to mind. First, what does having it all mean? That’s different for every woman, I would think.  Does it mean having a dream career, a tight marriage and being a supermom? Does it mean being able to stay at home and be the primary caretaker of your family? Does it mean having a successful career and traveling the world while being single and child free? Any of these could be the definition having it all for anyone.

My other issue with this question is why? Why is no one ever asking if men can have it all? What would it look like for a man to have it all? Why is no one concerned with that? There are no articles being written about whether or not a man can have it all, no debates about the topic. Then again, there are a lot of things we don’t talk about when it comes to men.

When we had our son, I don’t recall anyone asking if my husband was going to leave his career and stay at home. I’m pretty sure no one even thought to pose that question to him. For me, it was just an assumption. Everyone just knew I would stop working after having my son. I certainly wanted to but for various reasons, I didn’t. I digress, that’s a whole different post.

What do you think about this ongoing debate?

22 comments on “Hot Topic Thursday: Can Women Have it All?”

  1. Hmmm I asked my hubs the other day if he would would ever be a stay at home dad he said no I can’t do it. I think most men have more freedom so they can achieve it all faster than women who have kids to think about. The men I know don’t really do or think as mothers do so we are constantly trying to balance and have it all and some men don’t think about balancing everything. ( I hope that made sense)
    Kita recently posted…Happy 4th of July wordless Wed.My Profile

  2. I think women can have it all. I actually believe that sometimes when can have it all at once. Like you said, having it all means something different to every woman. This will never be a hot topic for men because they don’t give birth. We build such a strong attachment to our families the moment we find out we’re pregnant. Men can not relate to that. Because of that (married or not) a man’s life doesn’t change drastically once a baby is born. He never has to think about balancing it all.
    The Chic SAHM recently posted…Happy Independence DayMy Profile

  3. You know you took the words right out of my head. I wrote an article about this for REDBOOK and I’ll forward it to you when it’s published. I mean, really? What does having it all mean? Some of my friends don’t want to have children so for them having kids AND having a fulfilling career is not on their radar. And yes! Why aren’t there articles here, there, and EVERYWHERE about men having it all.

    Le sigh!

  4. That is a good question my friend! I feel like women have so much pressure to be the best and do it all. That’s what makes it so hard for us to be content with what we want or have out of life.
    Natalie recently posted…Happy 4th of July!My Profile

  5. Having it all is a matter of mind set… somedays I feel like I have it all the sun is shining just for me – my work, family, home, fitness and everything else are just jiving so perfect – and then other days, I feel like I’m walking in my personal rain cloud and all the pieces of the puzzle are falling apart. Having it all? It comes and goes 🙂
    Kim @ The Family Practice recently posted…New TraditionsMy Profile

  6. It seems to be one of those things where people think every woman’s definition of having it all is the same. Obviously, from the questions you’ve posed it’s not. The answer to the question is dependent on the person you’re asking.
    Jenni recently posted…Status UpdateMy Profile

  7. I hate it when people try to put all women under a single umbrella. What completes one does not complete the other. I agree, why don’t we see these articles posted about men? I asked my husband if he would consider becoming a SAHD and he said sure would. He also said he wouldn’t last a week!

    Hugs and Mocha,
    Stesha
    Steaha recently posted…Fireworks & AnniversariesMy Profile

  8. Everyone perceives having it all in their own way. I think is occurs at different times in life. We can’t do everything, so something has to give. So the saying we can have it all, but not at the same time is true. In the future, I would like to look back at my life and say yes, I’ve had a career; yes, I’ve had children; yes,I’ve been in a loving marriage; yes, I’ve traveled; yes, I have money in the bank for my chidren’s children; and yes, I’ve been a sahm. Some of them coincide and others were achieved at different points in my life. That’s my having it all.

  9. Oh man, this topic confronts me every.single.day. When we got to my husband’s family get togethers, where there are a lot of SAHMs, questions about my job are ALWAYS followed by questions about what Gavin does all day while I am away at work. This question is never asked of my husband or they follow questions about his work with questions about what our son does all day why I am at work. It makes being around his family extremely uncomfortable.

  10. Our society is used to women giving up their careers for
    Motherhood…although a lot of fathers are doing it
    Too! I think it’s hard for anyone to have it all all at the same
    Time because it’s just not possible…there will be days when some
    Areas require more attention than another…we just have to enjoy and give all our attention to whatever we are doing! Great topic!

  11. Its such a double standard when it comes to men and women and careers and life, I think we have made strides as women but not nearly where we should be. I think a women “has it all” when she is completely happy with her life decisions and feels like nothing at all is missing. It was never an option to stay home after I had babies but I never wanted to either. It really depends on the person.
    Nellie recently posted…BAM Book Review: An Accidental Affair by Eric Jerome DickeyMy Profile

  12. Hi Cam!
    I don’t believe that a woman can have it all.. in material things, maybe. But not in terms of having the right man in their lives. Not every woman has her partner. Having a love life is a destiny I believe so..
    Born27 recently posted…iphone conference callMy Profile

  13. I’ve seen this topic on some of the news that follow. Just today there was an article about men not having it all too. I think that it’s all about what it really means to have it all.

    Afterall, a man can have a successful career, but never home early enough to see their kids go to bed. I’m starting to wonder who planted that idea that we had to have it all in the first place.
    KalleyC recently posted…Pressing ButtonsMy Profile

  14. Yes, you are right that we can have it all but not at the same time. I believe one you and in fact I am doing everything I can do in order to achieve what I want in life. It is okay for me to get it one at a time as long as I can get what I want. It is important also that working with it is the main way to achieve the thing we want.
    Candra Jonhson recently posted…Understanding our Body and How We get FatMy Profile

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