I once had a female colleague tell me that women cannot have it all and that you have to decide between having a career and being a mother.
Yes, you read that right, a woman told me that I could not have it all – to say my blood boiled would be an understatement.
You see, it’s not just my princess complex that doesn’t like being told I can’t have something – it’s the fact that even as women we cannot support each other in creating balance – at home and at work.
When I was growing-up, my mum ran two businesses and brought up four children.
To me she was superwoman epitomised; dressed in her power suits leaving the scent of Chanel No5 behind her, she dominated her businesses as much as she dominated our home. And as the only girl amongst three boisterous boys, she was my first female role model that showed me you could be both mother earth encompassed, and a kick ass boss.
So when this colleague of mine shared her opinion, I had to disagree.
Because I’ve only ever known women to work and be mothers – I know nothing else.
I do know that whatever you decide for yourself is your choice, and you have to do what is best for you. But what I will never understand, and never agree with, is those who believe you can’t have it all – because you can.
I’ve seen it with my own eyes from my upbringing, and I see it on a daily basis when colleagues of mine bring themselves to work after being up all night with their children.
The magic trick? – they work damn hard.
And to put it into perspective, studies have shown that working mums are happier, more fulfilled in their lives, and most recently one-third of working mums have started to become the main breadwinners in families across the UK.
I’m not saying that I don’t have any respect for those wishing to be stay-at-home mums; we all make the choices that are best for us. But what I do not agree with is those who try to deter others from making their own choice.
I’m not a mother yet, although I hope I will be one day in the far flung future. Which is why I have such a bee in my bonnet that people believe I should give-up a career I’ve worked so hard for, just because it’s deemed as appropriate by society that I should put being a mother first.
Yes, when the time comes I’m sure my offspring will be number one, but I’m afraid I’m also going back to work.
Right now I don’t have to worry about making this choice, but there are women out there who feel like they do. Perhaps because they’re being judged by their friends or family. But what I would say to you is – do what’s right for you?
If you don’t want to give-up a career you’ve worked for – then don’t.
If you want to quit the rat race and enjoy your children – go for it.
For me, those incredible women that do the daily juggling act are crusaders for all of us who want it all. And although they may not realise it, they are the ones who are helping us break the glass ceiling. Because without women that work, girls won’t understand the importance and purpose of work, and our tide of positive change could shift very dramatically from one of empowered equals to dependant minorities.
You can have it all; you just have to work for it!