Trying to “Have it All” and Feeling Guilty About it, Too

by Samantha on March 12, 2011

When I started this blog recently, my first post was about the quest that many women go on in order to “have it all.”

What exactly does that mean?

Well, for the most part, it means that all the pieces are in place, everything from the perfect home being perfect, and the perfect career continuing in its perfection. Oh, let’s not mention the kids. These children in this wonderful world are supposed to never cry, whine, spit up, throw up, or otherwise irritate or annoy said moms in this scenario.

Provided that all of these pieces are in place, one could safely say that they “have it all.”

Image courtesy of www.anolitasmind.com

Cut to reality.

A more likely scenario is as follows:

  • The home is a mess, or let’s say “lived in” by a real family that has its share of dirty dishes and dirty clothes waiting to be washed, despite their best intentions;
  • Children are crying. Or whining. Or pooping. Or all three. Lots. In unison (this is especially the case when twins are in the picture)
  • Parents are tired, crabby and curt with each other due to the sheer lack of sleep, exhaustion and demands of every day life   

A recent study revealed that for the most part, women feel more guilty than men about the intrusions of work demands into the realm of their home lives. I wrote about the study on Technorati; the article can be found here.

Does this really come as a surprise?

We moms are pretty sensitive when it comes to the sanctity of our home, however disorganized and chaotic it may be (and I know this sounds like a contradiction, but bear with me here).

Our crazy home lives may be just that: crazy. But it is our crazy and heaven help any interruptions into our little world, however haphazard. Unfortunately, in this digital world where we are connected 24/7, it is inevitable that our work commitments will seep into our family time. The nine-to-five workday is more uncommon than not these days.

Which leads us back to the study.

Men were found to be significantly less bothered by work intrusions on their home lives. Why is this? While there is no definitive answer, I would venture to guess that it is likely due to how we are hard-wired. I’ll go out on a limb to say that women in general are more negatively affected by disruptions in their family lives due to their inherent feelings of responsibility to how the household is run. In other words, we may get the glory when we seem to have the picture perfect family and home life, but we are also the first to get the blame when house and home seem chaotic.

I could be wrong, though.

What do you think?

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