“Plenty of new research underscores the reality that women are still shouldering, and expected to shoulder, much of the work associated with the home.
“Marriage still ain’t equal, y’all. It ain’t equal. I tell women that whole ‘you can have it all’ — mmm, nope. Not at the same time. That’s a lie. It’s not always enough to lean in, because that [expletive] doesn’t work.”
— Michelle Obama
When Mrs. Obama spoke these words this week at a Brooklyn stop of her “Becoming” book tour, the crowd (and in turn, the internet) went wild. But it wasn’t just her challenge to Sheryl Sandberg’s “lean in” that struck me — nor was it her rare, unfiltered language, though I liked that too — it was her comment about “having it all.”
As a girl, the prospect of balancing a thriving career, a happy marriage and a couple of well-adjusted kids — all while maintaining my friendships and hobbies — was sold to me as an ultra-glam aspiration that left me daydreaming of a well-oiled life with me at the controls.
Though I’ve checked enough of these boxes, I realize with every passing year of my 30s that if I have children, something — well, a lot of things — will have to give. (As Shonda Rhimes once put it: ‘Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life.’”