Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Career. Marriage. Motherhood. Pick 2..Now 1.

The other day, I sparked an interesting topic of discussion on Twitter: 

"Ladies: Career. Marriage. Motherhood.  If you had to choose, what choice would you make? Pick 2...then pick only 1." view conversation

For me, it would definitely be marriage and career.  If I marry my best friend/lover/soulmate and have a wonderful booming career that I've created for myself, but no children, I'd personally be okay with that.  The ones who participated picked motherhood, marriage, and just motherhood, and it's nothing wrong with those options either. Being that my career is my focus at the moment, my choice of 1 would easily be career without hesitation, but that answer, in my book, can change, eventually.  

Of course, I'd like to believe that a woman can have it all in one lifetime, however, I'm conditioned to feel like she has to sacrifice one in order to have the other to have a quality lifestyle.  And if she were to acquire all three in one lifetime, it would be given in increments, not all at once.  I feel that if a woman tries to juggle the 3, playing the role of mother, wife, and boss lady, she would automatically lack in one role, whether it is subconsciously or not, because it's not possible to give undivided attention to all those things at one time, at least as far as my opinion goes. 

Now, I am not referring to a woman 

  1. that has the perfect love, amazing/healthy children, and just a normal job with benefits, 
  2. a husband she tolerates, children, and a job she loves, 
  3. children with the man she truly loves and having a job she hates, nor 
  4. that is successful in a career that is only an extension of his career. 

All of those are situations where one thing was sacrificed to have the [wholeness of] the other. Taking a job that she has learned to appreciate that gives her enough time off to spend with family (that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with her degree-if she has earned one) is different from going into the field that she dreamed about and worked for her entire life.  Having a husband you tolerate is clearly not the same as marrying your true love.  Happens all the time, because people settle and then convince themselves that the life they settle for is the life they've always wanted.  Granted, plans, as well as what you thought you wanted,  can change and that is understandable. 

Pop culture loves to include Beyonce in this conversation so let's do just that.  Both Beyonce and Jay-Z took the time to establish their careers before marriage or a child came in the picture.  At what I assume to be the peak of their individual careers, a place where both of them have much more free reign than they started with, is when a child came in the picture.  There was no rush factor and I think the issue with that comparison is that most women are rushing and want things to happen back to back, all at once, and it almost never works that way.  

Do I believe one can have it all? Absolutely, just not all at once.  There comes a point in someone's career that they are able to have more free time than when they started out. There comes a time in a child's life where they gain a sort of independence and a mother isn't needed as much as she was in the first few years. Sometimes a married couple will have the career and family conversations early on and accept that one may have to wait.  In that case, having it all becomes a possibility.  It could go a little something like this: "Let's wait to start a family until your business gets off the ground or until you finish your schooling."  or like this "We can start a family earlier if you don't mind putting your career on hold until the baby starts kindergarten?"  Conversations like that make it a little easier to navigate all the roles or desires one woman has. 

Do you think a woman can have it all? 
Which would you choose if you had to?  

-Chymere A.

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