Little did Sandra know that the question she asked me has been burning on my mind. I’m pretty sure that when she sent me that link and asked for my opinion on the subject – “Can women have it all”, she opened up a topic that I really had kept deep, deep, deep within me. I actually made a decision not to think about it as though thinking about it would be a problem in itself.
But I had to reply my friend, my sister and yes someone I do really love (No homo). So I went through the thoughts of a certain Annie who used to have an enviable position (her dream job) with the State-department of Foreign Policy in the Unites States. As much as it was a dream job, it was a demanding one. One so demanding that it required her to be away from home; her husband and two teenage sons all week leaving her to cramp every other thing she needed to do into the weekend. She soon realised that her dream job had its own costs and at some point, she resigned just to be home with her family.
Sounds a bit gloomy right? Funny enough, she concluded with the lines that women could have it all but that was only dependent on bridging the “new gender gap”- She recommends a society where women are presidents and where wigs and hats colour senatorial seats, she recommends a society where CEO’s are predominantly women, she recommends a society that is truly representative of women.
In truth although I was interested in her conclusion, I wasn’t too keen about how she arrived at it. I was more curious about the question a Young Naija babe just asked me. One that was pressing on my own mind too. So I wrote back to my Sandy.
My conclusion was/is and I stand to be corrected. Women can have it all but maybe not all of that all all of the time.
Knowing who I am, I dare say that God did no wrong by creating me with dreams and aspirations and such an enthusiasm to genuinely want to solve problems- The same way he did no wrong with Sandy and the same way he did no wrong with you. Neither do I think that God did wrong to have created the being called woman- a creature to be loved and cared for by her Adam. Often times I have heard the argument that women really belong at home. I strongly believe so too and I strongly believe that a woman equally belongs where she is doing her assignment to God.
I have never liked the idea of saving the world whilst our homes are crumbling. So I am a strong advocate for Family first and every other thing after. But I would like to say that knowing the human being within me, right after that family, or running simultaneously with that family is a purpose to be achieved either as a Unit (Family) or with them strongly behind me.
So how do we do it? Find men in shining armour, give birth to adorable kids (I know you want some too), follow amazing career paths/purpose building and still have it all together with God?
I told my Sandy it starts with defining who we are and staying true to that person. It is knowing what we want and staying true to the ideals that we believe in. it is spelling it out to that person we love- No holds barred- “I want to love you, our kids and still live a life of purpose” It is by finding men who will either run with our dreams because they share those dreams or finding men who would support us and indeed men we can equally support.
It is about defining the most important things to us such that when we sacrifice career for family we know it is for a worthy cause or when we sacrifice family for a career we know we are only sticking to the priorities we chose.
More than anything, it is about knowing what love is and realising that we may not have it all all of the time. It is about striking the right balance and giving priorities to the things that truly matter. For me it’s the world I would create in my home.
It is about believing that in the end WE CAN HAVE IT ALL
Some parts of that all will come earlier while some other parts of that all will just have to catch up much later.