I read an interesting article today about whether women can “have it all.” It seems to have become a hot topic over the last few years as we strive to move up the ladder, raise a family and still make time for ourselves. I believe that part of the heat fanning the flames of this conversation is that as women, we tend to scrutinize and judge other women’s choices. At the root of it, I think that judging comes from a deep-rooted insecurity that the other woman we are judging is doing something we haven’t achieved. And frankly, I’m not sure that there is a definite answer to whether we can have it all. I think it really depends on each woman’s definition of having it all. I also think there is a natural ebb and flow – there are times in our lives when we feel like we’ve got control of everything and are knocking things out of the park left and right, and there will inevitably be a time where we feel like we’ve dropped all of our balls and have no way to grab them again.

For me, the concept of “having it all” implies perfection, which is impossible to achieve:

  • A happy, healthy marriage (CHECK!)
  • A job that I love that gives me a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment everyday (still not sure what that job is for me or what that feels like)
  • Raising perfectly groomed, healthy kids (this one doesn’t count yet since we have not started procreating yet)
  • A home that is perfectly decorated and could be photographed for a magazine in a heartbeat (yeah, right)
  • Living a completely healthy lifestyle with a perfect body – working out regularly at 5 a.m., never indulging in processed foods and enjoying all treats in moderation (NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN)

I also think that as women, we are our harshest critics, and the negative poison of “comparison to others” is more prevalent than it’s ever been, thanks to social media and the internet. When I have negative days and beat myself up for where I should be in my life, I try to think of what I would want to teach my daughter, should I have one someday. I would want her to believe in herself, be confident and proud and positive. So when I’m having a particularly negative day, I try to make a conscious decision to focus on the great things in my life and be grateful for what I have and who I am. It’s not always easy and sometimes nothing pulls me out of that funk, but it’s important to try.

Today I am grateful that my husband and I and our families have never experienced true poverty. I am proud of myself for making healthy eating a priority for us most of the time. Knowing I would be home later tonight that usual, I cooked tonight’s dinner last night and it was delicious. Plus, I baked some homemade cookies. The sense of accomplishment I felt from planning ahead and spending a few hours in the kitchen yesterday afternoon allowed me to come home from a long day, heat up a yummy dinner and catch up on some tv this evening.

I may never have it all by my definition, but I know I have more than enough.

What are your thoughts on this hot topic? Do you think women can have it all? What’s your definition of having it all?