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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What Does it Mean to "Have it All"? (Part 1 in a series)

by Phoebe Farag Mikhail

I don't think women can have it all. I just don't think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all. My husband and I have been married for 34 years. And we have two daughters. And every day you have to make a decision about whether you are going to be a wife or a mother, in fact many times during the day you have to make those decisions. And you have to co-opt a lot of people to help you. We co-opted our families to help us. We plan our lives meticulously so we can be decent parents. But if you ask our daughters, I'm not sure they will say that I've been a good mom. I'm not sure. – PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi
I disagree. Women (and men) can, actually, have it all. And in this series of blog posts I am going to explain how.

To “have it all,” we first must figure out what “having it all” actually means. I’ll attempt to define it according to the national conversation in this post, and await your comments to refine (or redefine) that definition.

[Side note: This question is, in itself, a luxury. The Iraqi Christians fleeing Mosul are lucky to have their lives. It is just too painful for me to blog about that.]

A woman who “has it all” is a woman who is able to balance having a loving and fulfilling family life with children; run a household smoothly; and continue to advance in a career that challenges her intellectually while contributing (often significantly) to the household income. She really “has it all” if she can also maintain a workout schedule, a social life, and even a hobby or two.

Do you agree with the above definition? How would you change it? What would you add? Join the conversation and share your comments below, and be entered to win a pack of Moleskine Cahier notebooks. Gain a second entry by subscribing to this blog via email (giveaway ends on 7/30/2014, US addresses only).