Our society is obsessed with making the best of all opportunities and choices we have along the way. Speaking in terms of young mothers of our society, most of us are out to do as much as we can with the anthem of “we can have it all”. I disagree! Yes, humbly, but strongly! I choose to keep in tune of the facts: we all have only 24 hours in a day and we can’t take more on without letting what we already have suffer. As much as it’s nice to go for all opportunities that come our way in the name of enriching ourselves and those around us, how about exhausting ourselves so much that we can’t even enjoy the basic pleasures of life?
Indra K. Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi Co., explained in an interview in 2014 that although she was riding up the ladder very successfully and had reached a very impressive and powerful place in her career, she claims it was probably at the cost of being a good mom she could have been to her daughters. That is because we all have limited amount of energy, limited amount of hours a day and limited amount of effort we can exert on ourselves. A mom who works 10-12 hours a day to steadily climb her career can only do so by reducing her time with her children; a mom who spends most of her early mornings and evenings with her family can do only do so with limited progress in their career. It is all about a balancing act through which the sweet spot can be reached that suits our personalities and specific family needs – the Goldilocks spot. And, ‘Having it all’ is just a unicorn which some of us seem to be chasing blindly.
As Indra explains,
“You know, you have to cope, because you die with guilt. You just die with guilt. My observation is that the biological clock and the career clock are in total conflict with each other. Total, complete conflict. When you have to have kids you have to build your career. Just as you’re rising to middle management your kids need you because they’re teenagers, they need you for the teenage years.
And that’s the time your husband becomes a teenager too, so he needs you (laughing). They need you too. What do you do? And as you grow even more, your parents need you because they’re aging. So we’re screwed. We have no… we cannot have it all.”
I believe it!
I realize some would see this as limiting themselves, but I think these are just plain facts which the sooner we embrace, the better we can manage the difference between reality and the superwoman charade that seems to be too popular for my taste.
Let’s get a grip…on reality that is!