‘Having it all’ has been about women being able to have a career as well as a nuclear family. We were told that we wanted a fulfilling career, as well as a great marriage, a couple of kids, a house that looks like it could be in a magazine, a healthy body with time to exercise, and holidays overseas.
This version of ‘having it all’, that we have been brought up on, and that society tells us we want, is really materialistic and consumer driven.
It’s also competitive, and has us envying others who we think are doing it better than we are.
But many of us are not happy to be pursuing this version of ‘having it all’.
That’s why ‘having it all’ really needs to be redefined.
Having it all must firstly be about working out what your individual ‘all’ is.
What would make you happy and fulfilled? (Don’t reference anyone else’s goals. Really think what you need to be happy.)
For me, at this point in my life, I am most happy when I’m working a lot. I do not want to give that up, and children would take up too much time. So it’s my choice not to have them. I don’t want to feel guilty for not spending time with my family, and I don’t want to resent my family because I want to work!
Happiness for me is also about appreciating what I have, where I live, my marriage, my health, and the many opportunities that present themselves. When I am appreciative, I also feel fulfilled.
Finally, I think that having it all also means that we have choices. We need equality to have the range of choices to truly make us feel independent and valued. If we are making choices from being backed in a corner, or we don’t feel like we have a choice because no one else will do it if we don’t, then we lose something of ourselves.
The choices we need available to us, if we are going to ‘have it all’, must allow us to be our best self. If we have choses that allow us to be who we really are, then this should mean true happiness.
Therefore, I suggest that ‘having it all’ should mean:
- knowing yourself enough to know what your ‘all’ actually is, and not feeling peer or societal pressure to conform,
- having a range of choices that grant you the freedom to be who you truly are, and
- being appreciative of what you have, so you have a sense of pride and happiness with your life.