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Having It All

  • To Fannie Hurst, who has discovered the secret of how to be happy, though wedded to an art and to a man at the same time.

  • I suppose you can't have everything, though my instinctive response to this sentiment is always, 'Why not?'

  • ... giving the utmost of herself to three absorbing interests [marriage, motherhood, career] ... was a problem for a superwoman, and a job for a superwoman, and only some such fabled being could have accomplished it with success.

  • I should like to be a full-time Mother and a full-time Artist and a full-time Wife-Companion and also a 'Charming Woman' on the side! And to be aware and record it all. I cannot do it all. Something must go — several things probably. The 'charming woman' first!

  • I think God made women wanting everything.

  • No matter what anybody says, we can't have it all. Not if you are a woman. Not yet.

  • You can have it all. You just can't have it all at one time.

  • I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.

  • Total commitment to family and total commitment to career is possible, but fatiguing.

    • Muriel Fox,
    • in Barbara Jordan Moore, New Woman ()
  • We wanted everything, got it all, and then discovered it wasn't enough.

  • ... I believe that the matter is automatically self-regulating; that those women who prefer the home and have an ability for it will eventually return to it; that others, like myself, will compromise; and that still others, temperamentally unfitted for it, will remain in the world to add to its productivity ...

  • You can't do it all. No one can have two full-time jobs, have perfect children and cook three meals and be multi-orgasmic 'til dawn ... Superwoman is the adversary of the women's movement.

    • Gloria Steinem,
    • in Oprah Winfrey, "Gloria Steinem on Progress and Women's Rights," Oprah Winfrey Network ()
  • ... it is true that nothing is gained without something being lost: everyone knows that in fulfilling oneself one necessarily sacrifices some possibilities.

  • ... women who once aspired to the image of superwoman now worry about becoming superdrudge. Those who wanted to have it all now ask whether they have to do it all.

  • You can have it all, but not all at once.

    • Elizabeth Cook,
    • in Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Men and Women of the Corporation ()
  • I am not really sure that it is possible for most of us to fuse the personal and professional into one smooth, charming, comfortable, and competent whole — doing everything our mothers did, and everything our fathers did as well.

  • I think we all grew up knowing something about everything except limitation. If our generation has a curse upon it, like generations are sometimes said to have, ours is believing we can have it all. Somehow those of us who grew up in the sixties, in that spirit of freedom and choice and rebellion and commitment to change, came of age and transformed into adults who are as materialistic, conformist and greedy as we thought our parents were and despised them for being. Perhaps even worse.

  • ... the new mystique is that women can have it all. There's a whole new generation of women today, flogging themselves to compete for success according to the male model — in a work world structured for men with wives to handle the details of life.

  • Having it all may mean having a few extra pounds.

  • At work, you think of the children you've left at home. At home, you think of the work you've left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself: your heart is rent.

  • ... in the past, having a life while earning a living didn't seem like too much to ask. Today, even this basic goal has been redefined as 'having it all.'

  • These days no matter which a woman chooses, marriage or a career, she's afraid she's missing out on something. And of course, the ones who try to combine the two have their own problems.

  • You can have anything in life, but you can't have everything!

  • For me, having it all — if one wants to define it at all — is the magical time when what you want and what you have match up.

  • [On the inscription she wished for her tombstone:] This is the only stone I have left unturned.

  • A two-career couple with children is a complex, sensitive piece of machinery with lots of moving parts. Anything less than total cooperation will throw it out of whack and shut it down. A couple can wind up paying the ultimate price for trying to have it all — losing it all.

  • I am a working woman. I take care of a home. I hold down a job. I am nuts.

  • Any woman who has a career and a family automatically develops something in the way of two personalities, like two sides of a dollar bill, each different in design. ... Her problem is to keep one from draining the life from the other.

  • ... each moment in time we have it all, even when we think we don't.

  • ... as for the possibility of 'having it all,' career and family with no sacrifice to either, that is a myth we would do well to abandon, together with the pernicious notion that a woman who chooses one of the other is somehow deficient.

  • The American media never seem to weary of publishing articles and books on why women can't 'have it all,' a yardstick almost never applied to men.

  • Don't fool yourself that you are going to have it all. You are not. Psychologically, having it all is not even a valid concept. The marvelous thing about human beings is that we are perpetually reaching for the stars. The more we have, the more we want. And for this reason, we never have it all.