Academy Medical Services

A Career and a Family: Can Women Really Have It All?

Mother and Daughter Baking Together

With Mother’s Day approaching on Sunday, the controversial topic of work and family balance in a woman’s life seems appropriate to discuss. Many women and field specialists argue that a perfect balance is not attainable for women, between their familial duties at home with their children and/or spouse, and having a high-powered career.

In June of 2011, the Chicago Tribune sat down with mother-daughter pair Barbara and Shannon Kelly, authors of “Undecided: How to Ditch the Endless Quest for Perfect and Find the Career – and Life – That’s Right for You,” to discuss the perils women face in finding balance. Here is what we gathered from the interview:

  • While the development of choice in women’s lives is a huge milestone, making the choices can be extremely difficult. There are ample opportunities for women in the development of their roles in the professional world. However, with the lack of previous generations as role models, the pressure can mount significantly. Also, the grandeur of these opportunities tends to camouflage the compromises required when trying to thrive in both career and family life.
  • Women should not set their expectations to perfection, because it will not happen. As with anything in life, perfection is impossible and life does not always go as it planned. Creating a balance between a career and family requires the knowledge that disappointment will occur in both areas along the way. However, this is not to say that trying to achieve both is impossible, nor should it be discouraged.
  • The difficulty of career and family balance does not apply to men. While men’s roles within the family dynamic have evolved into a larger presence, men do not have the struggle women do when it comes to balancing family and career. Men have had multiple generations to lead the way as the “bread winner” of the family. Women are lacking this and therefore, it is harder because of the extra step of trying to figure things out for themselves. Some women are also dealing with the ticking of their “biological clock.” Most men, however, do not have this issue and therefore do not have the added pressure.
  • Never be afraid to shoot for your goals and aspirations as a woman, no matter how hard the challenges along the way will be. Although women may face many obstacles, it does not mean that they should not follow their dreams of balancing career and family.

While it can be challenging and not always ideal, women can have both a career and family. It is finding a balance while remembering imperfection does not equal impossible that is important.

We would like to wish good luck to all of the aspiring and current career women in the world, and to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to all of the aspiring and current mothers in the world.

To read the whole interview, visit here.

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