Just last week, it was announced that Marissa Mayer, 37, was named Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo. In coverage of her wonderful accomplishment, media has focused heavily on her being six months pregnant and the implications that will have for her new role. Just a month after the controversy brewed after the publication of the article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” the debate is reignited by Ms. Mayer’s appointment. Anne-Marie Slaughter stated that Mayer is not a realistic role model for ordinary women who are still trying to navigate their way through the complicated situation of being a working mother.
Slaughter makes the point that, “It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says a woman who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed.” Slaughter is correct, being self-employed does have its advantages when it comes to finding the balance between work and life; however, it is still difficult-- if not more difficult-- to work for yourself.
Women can have it all, but how?
Redefine success. Too many women are chasing the 6 figure salary, corporate definition of success, which inevitably causes for other parts of your life to be neglected. Working under someone else’s watch and to build up someone else’s dream is not the ideal situation to have everything that you want, but for some, living a comfortable life may be just enough.
Change the conversation. Make children and family responsibilities the norm. Do not be afraid to say that you have to tend to your children’s needs and your duties as a wife and mother, as First Lady Michelle Obama does. If you are open and flexible with yourself, others will be more open. Family life should not be a taboo topic for you, your employees or your business.
Let criticism fall on deaf ears. At the end of the day, you must go home and be content with the life that you live. Don’t let the opinions of others dictate how you manage your lifestyle. “Having it all” is a state of mind. You can have absolutely everything that you want. It will take sacrifice and hard work but you survived pregnancy and labor so the worst part is over, right? Here is to your success!