Why I Hate the Phrase “Having It All”

I don’t have enough phalanges to count the number of times people have asked me why I quit my job in TV news.

It was confusing to many people, including friends and family members of mine, why I chose to walk away from a career I worked hard at, and worked hard for. It was a career about which I was passionate and incredibly proud. I still am.

And there I was, just giving it up.

At least that’s how it looked from the outside. And you know what? I completely understand their confusion.

My simple answer to everyone was always, “I realized after having kids that I can’t have it all—not at least all at once.”

(Let me say here, I fully acknowledge the privilege of being able to make that decision. Il grateful to have been able to leave my job. And I’m under no delusion that my struggle was in any way the hardest hand to be dealt in life.)

But it wasn’t until I tried to have it all that I realized the inherent fault in that phrase. The fact that we even use it kind of makes me twitchy.

And now I find myself wanting to preach this message to other women—that Having It All is a big lie, despite what you may see around you.

Having It All is a lie because, as it turns out, we are good enough. Good enough without the validation of the world. Good enough without having to fully check every box the world presents us with.

Having It All isn’t being everything to everyone, 100% of the time, all the time.

Having It All isn’t accomplishing the Great Balancing Act, because Balance is a fallacy.

Having It All is choosing where we want to be and embracing that fully, knowing that some areas will be lacking, and others will be thriving.

Having It All is acceptance of the different phases of life.

Having It All is different for you than it is for me, and for every other woman out there.

It’s my hope we all find our Alls, and your All is measured not by how many titles you have, but by how full your heart is while you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing.

P.S. Lift them anyway, and why we get to be a mess.

Sonni Abatta runs this Orlando lifestyle and mom blog and is a mom of three. Catch her inside. Probably making macaroni and cheese or something. Let’s work together! Hit me up here.


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