Jan 31, 2011

Can you really have it all?

Looking around it seems like if someone has the man, they don't have the career... If they have the career, they don't have the kids... and more than a few have the kids and not the man. As I approach 27, and my official foray into my late 20s, the concept of whether or not we can really "have it all" has been on my mind.

Now that I'm married the idea of having children sooner than later has crept into my mind more than a few times. Yet, I'm still working on my career so I tend to beat the thoughts to the background... constantly convincing myself that I must have A, B and C in place before kids can be part of the equation. I don't know if this is just effective planning on my part or if I'm allowing motherhood, one of the most organic things in the world, be another "task" on my list of life.

In an interview for Marie Claire*, when asked why she encourages women to plan early for a family, MSNBC reporter Mika Brzezinski touched on this subject:

"I don't want to impose rules on people, but you have only a short window, and you're sorely mistaken if you think you can put off having a family. It's very hard to find a good man, and it's never 'a good time' to have a baby if you have a career. Plus, someone who is rabidly ambitious and holds off on family -- it doesn't come off as that smart. You just know that a woman who has her own life and is raising children really has her act together."
I keep telling myself that maybe in 5 years I will be "ready" (on paper) for a child, but then I think about what 5 years really means. I would be almost 32 and forgive me, but the idea of being 32, married for over 6 years and without any kids kind of scares me! My mother was done with kids by 30 so I've been getting a major side eye from her in regards to this entire situation.

Being a control freak and someone obsessed with planning and list-making, my current struggle is keeping in mind that our 20s should be spent laying the ground work to "having it all", leaving our 30s to enjoy the fruits of our labor... yet trying to focus on enjoying where I am currently and creating my sense of "all" for that moment. It's easy to get caught up in what you don't yet have and are still working on and forget all the ways you've currently been blessed. Maybe God gives us each things in our own time that we can handle. This first year of marriage has already taught me that there's nothing better to prepare you for children than taking care of a husband... but that's another post.

How do you handle the delicate balance of career, family and romantic relationships? Does one usually have to suffer? Do you feel like you have it all?

* Interview in February Issue of Marie Claire
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