Men Can't Have It All !
This article of mine is in no way a counter to the famous interview of PepsiCo CEO but I just thought her borrowed line “woman can’t have it all” is not true, in fact it is the “men who can’t have it all”. My article is also not a counter to the very famous article by Anne-Marie Slaughter which says, "Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”. By the way it is one of the most famous article in the world of internet and you get no prize for guessing why it is so famous.
To start with I am woman, who is in her early thirties and I have studied interesting subjects in good institutions, worked for good number of years with big firms and at good positions, traveled across my nation courtesy job (and yes fauji father) and now I am a mother who has left everything to enjoy the growing years of my son. What more can I ask for? Oh yes! I am a daughter too and a famous Irish saying says “A son is a son till he takes his wife but a daughter is a daughter all her life,” so come what may I will always be the favourite child to my parents.
So what really made me write this article?
When I first heard the sentence “Women Can’t Have It All” I was quite happy as I thought, wow! finally someone spoke about us. With ‘US’ I mean the women who have quit their jobs to raise their kids. Ah well! no one really spoke for us because in both the cases the phrase was used by women who were on the other side, the ones who continued working and later felt they missed on something. But whatever, I instead thought now I can use this to tell people who keep pestering me with ‘why I left working’. Now my reason to leave work had a support as I always had in my mind that I could either play with the numbers and big decisions justifiably or be with my new born who probably needs me more than anything and I choose the latter. I could have handled both together with some support but for sometime I wanted to dedicate my heart and mind just to the little munchkin.
But later this sentence which I liked so much kept troubling my tangled nerves. How could someone even say that I can’t have it all, I CAN. In fact its just us who can have it all. Its only the women who can have it all and I am no feminist but yes its the poor “Men Who Can’t Have It All”.
Why I say so?
A man “since he is a man” can't in any way leave his job or even think about leaving his job to enjoy fatherhood. How many paternity leaves do they get? In no way anyone can say a fathers role is less than a mothers role in child's life . If one adds emotional content other rational, if one is strict other becomes lenient to ease the child, if one participates in mischievous activities other teaches behaviours and so much more, they balance to make everyday in fact every moment amazing for the child. So despite of playing such an important role, the working parent does not find time to be with their tiny babies. Today they are more of a weekend parent who only finds time during weekends and sometimes not even that. They can in no way think about missing few years or even months of their work life to be with their babies coz they have to combat day in day out to grow in this fierce working world. And of course make money to live a luxurious life. And not to forgot be a proud son, a respectable husband and a father the child can look up to, don't we all boast on that.
Yet some men choose a different path and prefer being a raiser. For the men who are on this side, I mean house-husband: a term used to describe a man who takes care of the family while the lady of the house earns. Internationally we hear the term house-husband a little too often, but frankly how many of us look up to this term. Just a micro percentage of us, coz we have been grown that way and to change a society norm it takes years, decades and centuries.
Did I Miss Something ?
For some readers I probably missed one part that I have not been a part of “Working Women with Kids”, but would love to join this bandwagon too. Though I still keep myself engaged in part time jobs and projects which don't ask me to to be at any work station.
Eventually (which has no definition) I plan to join the working women community which I extremely enjoyed once and miss often, but at my conditions though not fully but somewhat something that suits me. Yes, I am aware it won’t be an easy task but thats what comes easy isn't worth having too. In fact, with so many organisations taking an initiative to have few women centric HR policies, things should not be all that tough too.
So I Say.....
So with so many roles in hand and all played to their best levels, I conclude that its the “Women” who Can Have It All. Women can play so many roles in their lives and on top of it they can manage each one of them in conjunction with other. When we are at work, we don't forget our home, our shopping list, kids, holiday plans etc etc and when we are home we don't forget or even neglect our work. Besides day today activities, we master the art of raising kids and today we also master the art of making money.
We have a basic attitudinal problem, we cant accept we are in any way less than men and to prove this we work even more harder than men.
Its No War
So to ease the war, their is also an another perspective to this whole “Women Cant Have It All” and “Men Cant Have It All” discussion given by James Joyner :
Life is full of trade-offs. It's not possible to "have it all." It never was. And never will be. For women or for men.