Thursday, July 3, 2014

Can Women Really Have It All?

As I was scrolling through Twitter while drinking my morning coffee, I came across this article:  PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi gave it to us straight: Women can't have it all.  Then it came on the morning news. Oh boy. Let the fire storm begin.  Except there hasn't been much of a storm in the wake.  
Her comments have been whirling around my brain all day.  Can we have it all?  Do I have it all now?  What is "All"?   We each have different goals, different ideas of success.  I've experienced the small business world. I've done the 60 hour work weeks.  It didn't work for my family.  I personally enjoyed the job and the successes of the company and team in which I was working. Leaving was one of the most difficult decisions I've made.  At the end of the day my family suffered greatly while I was advancing my career.  I got lost in the job and put my kids on the back burner, not to mention myself and my own personal wellbeing for the sake of the career.  I can see that now. 
 My family is my highest priority.  Period.  I'm a teacher so I have the luxury of similar schedules and ability to attend most of my kids'  events. Yes, my kids went to daycare while I worked.  They went to preschool.  Now entering high school and middle school, they are more independent but in no way does that mean they need less from me.  On the contrary, in my opinion.  I'm here every day talking them through the tortures of social situations, peer pressure, and (gasp) girls.  
Yet here I am starting my own business; adding to my daily workload.  And we go back to the original question: can we have it all?  Learning and teaching others are my passions.  I am able to do that as a career, both in an academic and a personal setting.  How amazing is that!  Living your passion is like getting paid to do what you love.  Yes, some days are tough. I get disillusioned. Perhaps I won't make millions of dollars.  I'm probably not going to be famous for inventing a new something-or-other. I'm ok with that.  For now.  Yes I have high expectations for my business.  I want to earn extra income to give my kids experiences they've not had.  I'd love to be debt free. Right now I just want to be their mom and tuck them into bed at night.  Take them to the lake on Wednesday's.  Pick blueberries and teach them how to make Grandma's blueberry buckle.  That's having it all at this very moment in time.
I'm positive Ms. Nooyi is passionate about her work at PepsiCo or she wouldn't go to work and strive to make it a better company each and every day. She wouldn't be saying these things if she weren't passionate about her work and how she handles her life outside of work.  It's all a delicate balance.  One that is completely unique to each family.   Being a working parent is hard, no two ways about it.  It's our support system that makes it work.  My kids are who they are because of the wonderful people in our lives who have helped raise them along the way.  They are our support system.  It doesn't matter if you're a working parent or not.  It still takes a village to raise a child.

All you have to do is find the balance. 
Can we really have it all? 

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