Working moms are expected to meet their deadlines at work and read the entire Narnia series to their children, all while attending 5 a.m. yoga every day, doing their hair, and maintaining relationships. In short, we expect women to work like they don’t have children and raise children as if they don’t work. Women have been struggling through this gendered division of labor since the start of the century. During the Second Industrial Revolution, women hoped that the division of labor outside the home would bring change in the division of labor inside the home.
But has it? Women are still expected to do it all: navigate a happy home and a successful career, seamlessly and simultaneously.
Of course, there is the option to quit. Since the Atlantic published Anne-Maria Slaughter’s article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” and gained millions of readers, the media has been circulating a narrative that lures women into the idea that they “can’t have it all.”
But having a full, fulfilling life is more than possible as a working mom, it’s doable. You can have it all, but just not all at once, or all the time.
Your life is lived in seconds, minutes, and hours. Instead of focusing on the expectations placed on your life, look at the whole of your life and the time given to you.
Ignore the “shoulds” and focus on the “cans”, those manageable minutes that make up your day. Your life has space for business trips and reading “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” to your kids, it just may be a page or two a night.
And that’s enough.