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Can women have it all- just not at the same time?

Article by Fabafterfifty

Sue Lawley said in the Mail this week that women can’t have it all. ” Women had to realise they cannot have the perfect family life with the perfect career and that compromises were often necessary” Sue said.

But is Sue Lawley right?

Is there an argument for saying that women can indeed have it all, just not necessarily at the same time?

There may well be compromises for women who chose to have both career and family, but those who did so enter their 50s with their children flying the nest and the opportunity to focus n their career- whether that be in paid employment, running their own businesses or the voluntary sector.

Women over 50 are reinventing themselves

Many women who have brought up their children are reinventing themselves– and having the time of their lives in their 50s and beyond. There was much debate as to whether Arlene Phillips was a victim of ageism in her very public departure from Strictly Come Dancing,  but Arlene herself would be the first to say that she was in her 50s when the BBC gave her the opportunity to become a judge on the show , and hence a career as a TV personality.

I’m not arguing that there shouldn’t be more mature female presenters on prime time television- I think there should be. My point is that if women feel they missed out in not having their chosen career while bringing up their families, there are still opportunities for career success as they enter the next phase of their lives.

I personally think it is possible to have it all- family, career and relationship- but not necessarily all at once.  Any thoughts?

 Phoot credit: Scottchan


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  1. KeshaSpark @ Women Reinventing Themselves

    August 12, 2011

    Great article. Agree totally. Women surely can have it all; but not all at once. There are different phases in life when women have to make those compromises, but that does not necessarily mean its overlooked forever. There is always a time in the future when it can be reinvented!

  2. darrin

    April 16, 2012

    Nice idea. But the women reinventing themselves all seem to have a post-secondary education, transferable skills and job references. I raised my child, then worked for nearly ten years. (One of the things I can be proud of: I went from part-timer to branch manager in eighteen months.) I quit to go back to school. Unfortunately I ended by raising my grandchild, then caretaking my FIL through a terminal illness: I’m now looking after my MIL. I did get an Adult Student high school diploma four years ago: had to challenge two subjects instead of taking the classes because FIl was getting worse. That was as far as I got, due to time and financial constraints.

    How about a plan for reinventing yourself for women who don’t have post-secondary education or an assured income or a supportive family or a circle of friends or the money to take training in another field? I’d really like to see that.

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