There’s been so much talk of women trying to “have it all” these days. Articles have been published recently encouraging us to even teach our girls at a young age to “have it all.” I may be in the minority when I say this, but I actually disagree. I don’t want to teach my daughter to have it all – I want to teach her that she CAN have it all, just not at the same time. And that the “having it all” ideal should be one that is created be HER, it should not be based on attaining an ideal of what society thinks it should be.
There’s so much pressure on girls as it is these days, far more things to think about than when I was growing up.
And as women and mothers, there’s so much pressure put on us, too.
We freak out if our kid isn’t hitting certain milestones when the experts say they should. We feel inferior if we don’t bake homemade goodies for the PTA bake sale and we agonize over our kids’ education. We have pressure from society – as if there’s some magical timeline of when we should get married, when we should start a family and when we should be chasing after that career…
I’m sick and tired of living in a world where society has defined what “having it all” means for us. It’s about time that we started to define it for ourselves and let our daughters figure out what that means for them, too because “having at all” should be completely subjective. THAT is the kind of encouragement we should be fostering with our children.
For some women, having it all means simply being lucky enough to stay at home and raise her children. For others, having it all is attaining that dream career and for some others, it’s staying single and traveling the world. And the list goes on…
I know I don’t want to teach my daughter to look for the perfect house, the perfect spouse, the dream career AND the dream kids. She should be thinking about what makes her whole as a person, what makes her happy and THAT is what she should strive toward. Of course I hope she gets married, raises a family and goes after that career – she CAN have those things and I WANT her to have those things, but she just probably won’t get them all AT THE SAME TIME.
And honestly, THAT is the other message I want for my daughter.
I WANT her to chase her dreams, no matter how big or small. I want her to make her own decisions and follow her heart – it’s the value system I was raised on. My parents let me chase the dream of being a professional dancer in NYC and paid for my college education (entering as a Dance Major knowing full well how challenging life may be with juggling a husband and children). But, they supported me every step of the way and I plan to give that support and encouragement to my daughter, no matter how lofty her dreams may seem or how unrealistic they may be at the time.
But what I won’t give my daughter is the illusion that she can “have it all” the way society has defined it – I want her to create her OWN definition of “having it all” and generate her own timeline.
I want my daughter to chase after her dreams with full abandon and remind her that she CAN have it all – whatever that means for her.