I read an article the other day (that I'm not going to link to) where a female executive gave advice to women starting out in their careers. Her advice? Pick what's most important to you (career or family) and focus on that. She said that its practically impossible for women to be successful both in the boardroom and raising a family, so you have to choose.
What a crock of shit.
When I was a little girl, I actually didn't know if I wanted to have children. I knew that I wanted to have a career, and I didn't have a lot of role models of women who were raising a family and were successful professionally. I was always a bit geeky and Wonder Woman was my idol. When I looked at her, I saw a very successful, strong woman. She was independent, but she was also alone. I did think I had to choose.
The day I became a mom, I did choose. I knew that my career was an indispensable part of who I was and that I would not be happy filling my days solely with play dates and mom clubs. I knew that I wanted to be a role model for my son (and later my next son, and daughter), to show him that women are just as capable of pursuing professional success as men. I knew that's the kind of mom I was...not a cookie baker or exceptional homemaker, but an executive mom.
I knew that there would be other women who made different choices and who would judge me for mine. There are lots of times that I look at other women with envy, for their exceptional skills at home or at work. Then I remind myself: I want to have it all. That means its not going to be perfect; it means there will be successes and failures. I can see the argument on both sides: I'd be a better mom if I didn't work so hard, or I'd be more successful if I wasn't raising children. Maybe both of those statements are true.
But maybe MY measure of success is pursuing my professional dreams, being happy and present for my children, living the example I want to set. I can't listen to what people tell me I can, or can't, have. Those naysayers may just have a different picture of what success looks like...and that's not my picture. While I still love Wonder Woman, she's no longer my role model. She may have been strong and independent, but I wonder if she was lonely. I know now, if I want to have it all, I have to be better than Wonder Woman.