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- 23 Feb 16

The concept of having it all, is in my opinion a strange one. It’s the idea that the woman, the Mother should strive to have an excellent career and a contented family life and that these things should exist in harmonious balance with one another. It’s the idea that this is what all women want or at least should want, because its now (apparently) all available to us.

Ugh. How patronising.

I’m a full time working mother of one, with a husband who also works full time and co-parents with me in equal measures. Whilst I am not particularly qualified or financially well off, I would go as far as to call my vocation a career because it is specialised and I’ve been working on it for a long time.
Sounds like I’ve got it sorted doesn’t it? Well some days I do, some days we get up, we get ready, I’ve made lunches the night before and everyone has clean underwear. Some days the toddler fully co-operates, he actually brushes his teeth and he lets us dress him without kicking Daddy in the balls. He’s excited to see his Nanny or his friend Lily at nursery and he’s bowling out the door with a huge grin on his face. On these days I’ve straightened my hair, I’m on time, I’m wearing that dress with the little brown belt and there are no ladders in my tights. These are the days that I, by definition look like I ‘have it all’.

Then there are those other days. The ones where I’ve already bitched at my husband before 7am. The ones where the toddler doesn’t have any clean socks and I have to fish some out from under the sofa. When he wants me to give him breakfast and he sets his little table up in the lounge, waiting expectantly only to be told he has to wait until someone else can do it. These are the days when he deliberately wipes his snot up my dress because I didn’t find a tissue quick enough. There’s no time to make lunches or apply make up or do anything but feel incredibly overwhelmed and inadequate. These are the days that I do not ‘have it all’. All I have is a migraine and a crusty bogey stuck to my skirt.
So I’m redefining this concept of ‘having it all’ because the current definition doesn’t work for me. No one can exist in a constant state of happiness and contentment. You cannot ‘have it all’, all the time. It’s just not realistic. Real life isn’t a Disney movie, it’s more like The Hunger Games.

I think to ‘have it all’, whether you are the Mother or Father, the man or the woman you need to be, on the whole satisfied with your work, life balance. Whether that means you work full or part time or you stay at home with your children. You’ve got to ask yourself, am I lucky? Am I doing ok? Are my kids alright, is my family unit generally content and happy?

And if you can answer yes to those questions, then my dear, you already have everything you need. You already have it all.

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