About a month ago, I was fortunate to have NBC Connecticut News in my living room to talk about maternity leave with my fellow bloggers, Michelle, Sarah, Carly, and Katie. It was such a thrill! Here’s the video in case you missed it.
A large portion of my interview centered on the topic of Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to return to work just two weeks after giving birth. The debate surrounding Mayer’s choice welcomed the opportunity to address (or fiercely argue) the question of “Can women have it all”?
While, I cannot speak for all women, I shared with the reporter my opinion that society seriously needs to redefine what “Having it all” truly means. I suppose the most widely accepted view is that it entails having a high-powered dream job, an amazing and supportive partner, well-adjusted babies that sleep through the night, and a perfect home. But I am sure we can all agree that what “all” exactly means is different for every mother and her family. I offered the idea that simply being happy and totally at peace with my life decisions – and doing what feels right for me and my family – is my idea of having it all. I further added that we need to support mothers, not cast judgment on their decisions. If a woman feels joy staying home with her children, or loves balancing her career with family, we should applaud and accept that. The key ingredient for a mother to have it all is a supportive network – a system that eases her burdens (worries, stresses, and responsibilities); shares her joys; and fulfills her basic human need to feel and provide unconditional love.
This holiday season I am thankful for all that I have and all the experiences I have witnessed in this life of mine. That includes the failures and the triumphs; the disappointments and the achievements; the struggles and the gratifying moments. All of that has made me who I am today. My life’s path has led me to the people I love most in the whole world. In my humble opinion, I do believe that women can have it all, we just need to encourage moms to pursue it in their own ways, rather than the one-size-fits-all-or-nothing approach. It is a belief that I hope to instill in my daughter too. Furthermore, I am grateful to know that “all” is always around me, or within my grasp if I feel it has slipped through my fingers. And believe me, I have had many, many of those days even before I became a mom. But the eternal optimist in me knows that half the fun is trying to get it all and that the journey is indeed the reward.
Wishing you and your families a very happy Thanksgiving!
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