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Monday, May 10, 2010

Can We Have It All?

Sleeping Baby Next to Mother on Cell Phone

For most women, by the time we complete our education and settle into a career, we’re smack dab in the middle of our childbearing years. Like it or not, our biological clocks are ticking. It’s been almost 10 years since I first became pregnant with Nick, but I vividly remember asking myself, can I be an excellent lawyer and an excellent mother?  After all, I had grown up in a traditional home where my devout Christian mother stayed at home. Could I work full time and show the same devotion to my own children?

Ten years later (and three children later), I’m still asking the same questions. Yes, I have a demanding career. And yes, I make sacrifices every day at home and at work. I’ve made mistakes along the way and don’t pretend to have a formula, but at the end of the day I’m completely and totally passionate about my children and my work.

People often ask me, “How do you do it?”

My response? I pray a lot and maintain a sense of humor. Some days, I either have to laugh or cry. Knowing that God is in control -- not me -- gives me the courage to laugh, even when my days don’t go as planned. Like when my cell phone rings in the pediatrician’s office. I forget when it’s my turn to bring preschool snacks. A client calls in the middle of my family dinner. I’m working late and I miss bedtime prayers. I’m up in the middle of the night with a sick kid, and the next day I can’t stay awake at my desk.

Most working mothers can relate -- which is why I decided to write a book about the difficult yet rewarding journey of being a working mother while striving to live a life of faith. Chasing Superwoman doesn’t give the answers -- in fact, it probably presents more questions than answers. But I’m privileged to wrestle with the tough issues, like can we really have it all?

Do you struggle with these same questions?  What does it really mean to have it all, anyway?

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. - Philippians 4:13


Alison said...

Absolute terms scare me (all, always, never, etc.). I think the notion of "having it all" is false and impossible. Whether working outside or inside of the home, we mothers today measure ourselves by a standard that is ever-changing. I've always felt that term bases my life on the criteria of someone else's judgement. I think we should change the wording to "what do I want out of MY life".

"All" is a relative, fluid term. By that measure nothing will ever be enough. Yet if we decide what we want out of our lives (Christian family, healthy marriage, loving children, healthy lifestyle, etc.) and commit to that, I think we can arrive at our goals with greater satisfaction.

Susan DiMickele said...

Yes, all good points. I think it's the wrong queston -- all will never be enough!