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Having it all: the daily struggle

The debate that has been raging since women began seeking employment outside of the home, is how can we, as modern women really live a life, having it all? We face daily pressure on so many fronts to become mothers, and to then excel at our mothering duties. We need also to have a rewarding and socially acceptable career. At all times a we should have a spotless home and a minimal carbon footprint. The sprinkles atop of the ‘modern women’s expectation cake’ is we all need a great wardrobe and a clean diet, to ensure we look fabulous whilst ‘having it all’.

I really want to believe we can have it all, but without an army of helpers I’m a bit of a skeptic.

Cue my mother: my hero, I asked her about women and if she really believes they are having it all. I was so happy to hear that she truly and passionately believes we can! The key, she notes is prioritising what ‘it all’ really means for you.

having it all at Yum Cha

My lovely mum and I

A brief background on my mother. She hated school, but loved women and the kinship they provided. Her father decided she should become a hairdresser, so that’s exactly what she did. She began her apprenticeship at age 16. She saved her cash throughout her training and traveled the world at 19. Upon returning she decided to work towards becoming a business owner, a feat she achieved at 25. She became a farmer’s wife at 30 and a mother at 32. She raised myself both of my younger brothers while working part time, she was also a full time homemaker. Her businesses were successful, not making eye watering profits but were continually in the black and kept her/us comfortable and her wardrobe stocked with fabulous dresses and shoes. She retired at the age of 45.

Having it all: her secret

Be really honest with yourself, and working out what you really want and work hard, really hard to get it.

For my mother 'having it all' meant the simple life. She wanted to live in a clean house, surrounded by her children. Perhaps we were hard work, but she also decided early on that she would aim towards an early retirement. She outlines that she did forgo some things that others might deem necessary, and indeed some things that might be deemed “it all” by some, such as luxurious holidays, designer cars and clothes and outsourcing cleaners. but this was all in the plan.

She learned about money, how to manage and invest it and made the money to fund her dreams.

So did she get there? Is she enjoying it all? She did! She has been happily retired for 15 years now and spends her days learning photography, tending to her vegetable garden and volunteering (chatting to her friends) at the local Information Centre and she's happy. Really happy!

having it all

Learning her craft: Photo of the farm in early morning


Heirloom veggies. Fresh from her famous veggie garden


A beautiful sunset taken on her camera. Isn't she clever?

So tell us, do you agree - is having it all subjective?

Do you have it all? If so, whats your secret?

Author: Ellen