I watched this interview earlier in the week with great interest. WATE interviewed Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, PR executive Cynthia Moxley, and successful CEO Susan Packard to ask them a complex question: “Can women have it all?” The debate sparked after Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer returned to work shortly after having a baby and then instituted several high-profile policies regarding maternity leave and working from home. (Read about it here.)
I listened to what each of these ladies had to say and pondered my own response on the topic. As a wife and the mother of two young children, this topic has been one I’ve soul-searched. To death. To a ridiculous, absurd extent.
For two years, I ran a small business. My daughters were 18 months and 3 years old at the time. I recall very clearly the day I found a box of photos from our youngest daughter’s first year and could only remember snipets of that time. The guilt was overwhelming. I knew it was time to make a change.
Upon selling the South Knox Seymour Times to Steve Hunley at the Knox Focus, I was very clear in our negotiations…and so was Mr. Hunley. He wasn’t interested unless I would come aboard, and I wouldn’t work unless I was afforded some flexibility in my schedule. Much to my surprise, we were in 100% agreement on the matter. I recall being quite emotional and grateful the day our contract was signed. I had my life back.
So, do I now have it all? Eh, I’m not really sure what “it all” entails, furthermore, I remain convinced that the concept is relative anyway. However, I do have a job that energizes and challenges and excites me. It affords me the opportunity to do some real good in our community, but doesn’t interfere with my life at home. It also gave me the time to pursue other interests and accomplish some life goals such as completing my book and, more recently, purchasing a horse farm which I also run and operate.
Don’t get me wrong here. I work, and I work hard. I recently drove to a black-tie event in a dress I could scarcely breathe in with mud on my high-heels (from the barn)- all while on the phone intensely negotiating with a five year old who didn’t want to eat her sweet potatoes.
My life isn’t really all that glamorous…in fact, it’s often far from it. I spend a good many days with mud on my heels. You most likely will never see my face on your flatscreen discussing whether or not it’s possible for women to “have it all”. However, I love the life I live- the life I chose. And since I’ve not recently fielded any interview requests from our local affiliate stations, I’ll offer my advice here…
Ladies, you may never “have it all”, but you can absolutely have what you WANT (whatever that may be/whatever that looks like for you) and you can have it on your terms… if you’re willing to work for it.