Women today have aspirations that exceed the limits set forth by earlier societies. This shift continues to create a beautiful revolution pushing us into a new era. The downside to this explosion of independence? We can be crucified for putting personal goals on hold to advance careers. Delaying the commitment of marriage or bearing children can be costly. Some women may find it difficult to partner up because of their laser focus aim to excel in the workplace. The driven, motivated female looking to move up in the entrepreneurial or corporate world does not have a lot of time to give to others. In certain situations, it forces a tough call: deciding between dreams of success and financial autonomy or a relationship. Does choosing yourself mean having to go through life alone — or can a woman really have it all?
The views about women in the workplace and at home are gradually changing. Seats are being filled by strong women in the C-Suite, Supreme Court, Congress, and Silicon Valley. We are increasingly prioritizing careers and ourselves, promoting female empowerment.
Not too long ago, the expectation for a woman was to marry then almost immediately start a family. The perception that a female was born to be a homemaker and raise the family as dictated by her husband was ordinary. Modern concept of juggling marriage, children, career, social life along with ”Me” time wasn’t exactly a realistic goal in the early 1900s. The road to where we currently are standing has been long. Modern women are able to enjoy the fruits of the efforts made by those that came before us. Our grandmothers and mothers did not have the same benefits growing up. While we are building on the foundation for the next generation, there is still much work to be done. Remnants of primitive society continue to haunt us. There are examples of this stagnation reflected in various areas of society across America. The change is not complete until reaching a true balance. For the most part, men no longer anticipate their partners to live in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant, claiming exclusivity to catering of his needs. Progress has been accomplished, although other dilemmas are popping up elsewhere in the journey.
During the 1950s women were sporadically seen taking jobs to fulfill their part of economic responsibilities. However, barely 1% were attending university. Seen as inferior beings, the jobs offered were mostly secretarial or in factories for significantly fewer wages than men. Marriage did not prove to be a highly improved option. Wives were left to carry out the bulk of parenting and chores while the man of the house was expected to be a provider for his family.
The workforce became more diversified in the 1960s when women increasingly took jobs outside the home. The breakout of the feminist movement helped spark a taste of independence and it was sweet. It opened doors to dynamic possibilities. New freedoms were celebrated inside and outside of the bedroom. The time men were stationed at the Vietnam War, women were in search of jobs to assist with the support of the household.
The 1970s created even more awareness by giving women choices. The birth of the pill and abortion returned the power back to women, particularly when it came to decisions about their bodies. An explosion of the population was demanding equal rights and pay encouraging the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The win was the beginning of women’s liberation. Not only were we allowed to vote, but women were also gaining rights in society, equal to men.
Fast forward, the evolution of women from the 1980s to 2000s has continued to strengthen the female’s position in the professional arenas of political, medical, corporate and technology world. Unfortunately, this comes with other issues that challenge women’s personal lives. Maneuvering a relationship while establishing careers can be tricky. During a recent session of girls’ night, the age-old question came up “Can a woman have it all?” Is it possible for us to be strong, independent and hold down a relationship or do we have to be alone to pursue our goals and dreams with relentless passion?
My roles as a mother and girlfriend take up a lot of time. Managing a full-time job as an administrative assistant and second, as a writer, eats up my availability. Getting an average of five to six hours of sleep every night is not ideal but it’s the price paid for doing something I love that it gives me purpose. The effort that goes into creating a business many times drains me of time, as well as emotional, physical and mental energy. But I have been able to maintain a healthy romantic relationship because my partner is secure in himself and us. He allows me to do what I need, in order to fulfill my dreams. There is no reproach, resentment or accusations of neglect which helps me work long and hard without guilt. It is the key to keeping it all together when managing different priorities that come with being a modern woman in today’s world. I don’t have everything all the time. Some moments pressure me to put one thing or other in the back burner temporarily. I do it, knowing that eventually, I will return to my partner, friends or family and they will be there for me.
The same is said for millions of women all over the world who are pushing towards a greater vision. The struggle to be your own person, live the goals you envision does not mean having to give up on a full life that includes finding love and commitment. Much less, does it signify you are destined for a lifetime of solitude. We are human beings that like anyone else needs connection. The importance of finding an equal partner who understands set objectives is what mostly keeps many of these women alone. There is an entire population that prefers to put off the process of committing until the right person arrives in their life.
There is true power in being a self-confident woman that cannot be controlled or swayed from her beliefs. Living true happiness in one’s own skin is a freedom no one can take from you. Taking the reigns and riding your passion to its full capacity defines strength and independence. Women today are no longer defined by the company they keep. They can stand on their own two feet until ready to join their lives with the proper fit. The best partner is the one who stands by you while you realize your highest self.