“Women Can’t Have It All And Shouldn’t Even Try”

by Alyssa Condrey on November 14, 2013 · 3 comments

This fall, NeW in DC* has been reading Deborah Spar’s new book “Wonder Women.” It has sparked an interesting conversation among young professional women who find themselves at a major crossroads in life; making important career and family decisions while trying to balance it all.

One of my favorite quotes from Spar that fits so perfectly with the mission of NeW is:

“Feminism was meant to remove a fixed set of expectations; instead, we now interpret it as a route to personal perfection. Because we feel we can do anything, we feel we have to do everything.”

I would like to hear from women reading this post, young and old.

Have you felt the pressure to have it all? To have the perfect job, perfect relationships, perfect family, perfect body, perfectly clean home?

How have you been able to find balance between your family and professional life?

What would be your advice to young women today?

If you haven’t read Spar’s book, I would encourage you to pick up a copy for yourself or at least read these reviews from The Huffington Post, The NY Times, and an article Spar wrote for Glamour Magazine “Why the Woman Who “Has It All” Doesn’t Really Exist.”

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

wonderwoman-stamp-w724

*Are you a young professional in the DC area who would like to discuss current topics relating to women in the workplace with other conservative women? If so, we invite you to visit NeW in DC! You can lean more on our website or email me with any questions.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee Porter November 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Alyssa,
Thank you for inviting comments from “young and old” alike! I am 60 years old. I have enjoyed reading books recently about the challenges younger women in America are facing today. The thing I would like to tell young women, from my own experience, but also alluded to in Dr. Spar’s interview with the Huffington Post, is this–most of you will have many, many years of life after age 25! But a woman’s fertile years are limited, even with modern science–your peak fertility is age 27. After that you will begin to take risks. I encourage women to have their children young, knowing that they can still have a 30-year career even by starting it at age 35 or 40! And few people really want a career for more than 30 years. Once your children pass any given age, you can never go back and redeem that age. Children’s minds, hearts, characters and values are shaped in the day-to-day life of the very early years. Do you really want to pay someone else to do that for you? Every preschooler wants to be with Mom more than he/she wants anything else in the world! That is by design. While a mother is home with her young children, she can pursue some education, for free!, by the vast opportunities online. A young child doesn’t need Mom’s undivided attention all the time; he/she does long for the security that comes from knowing Mom is close by. I agree with Dr. Spar, that a woman cannot “have it all”, and she is very wise to warn you against the trap of perfectionism. But you can have deep satisfaction in both parenting and in career if you take them each in the proper season of life. May you find joy in the various seasons of your life!

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Alyssa Condrey November 21, 2013 at 9:51 am

Thank you Renee for this insightful and encouraging comment!

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