Have it all, or not, who cares?
You’re on a conference call. Your baby is latched on. You’re ironing your older child’s Abraham Lincoln costume that you sewed together for his school play, which incidentally is on the same day as the big meeting that you’re preparing for that your boss asked you to fly to New York to attend, but you said no because your boy is going to be Abraham Lincoln! You’re wondering how to put your phone on your lap so you don’t jostle the baby because you have to advance the Powerpoint slide. You’re wearing bunny slippers and the same spit-up crusted outfit you wore yesterday because you stayed up late last night finishing your work presentation instead of doing the laundry that’s overflowing and taking over your bedroom floor. Did I mention you were sitting on the toilet? Man, you are totally having it all! Great job!
Just one thing though. No one cares! No one is keeping tabs on how much you can juggle and get away with, except yourself. No one is glad that you couldn’t be two minutes late to a conference call to change your pee-laden sweatpants because you’re leaning in. No one is going to change the system and make it easier just because you choose to make it harder for yourself.
We need to stop being hard on ourselves and on other women. “Having it all” turned from “being able to climb to the top of a career ladder while being an involved mom” into “being any person with a job who also happens to have kids”. People have been “having it all” for ages now, and everyone’s story is different. So stop fooling yourself and stop making excuses. Just do whatever the “all” is that makes you happy.