The need to “have it all” is a topic that won’t go away, and the recent story in The Atlantic pushed it front and centre for moms once again. And for those who think that moms are the only ones burdened by this, Lisa Hickey at the Good Men Project and Toure at Time do a great job reminding us that perhaps many dads also want it all and don’t get it.
There is certainly a lot of fuss over having it all, but it’s actually not possible. It has never been possible. ‘All’ is not only elusive, it’s inherently contradicting. Perhaps before we go any further we need to redefine what ‘all’ means to us, individually.
I want it all.
I want to be a great dad who spends every possible minute with my son, never missing a milestone or moment. I want to play with him and support him when he needs me. Nothing makes me happier than being in his presence and part of his life.
I want to excel at my career. I want to be in demand from organizations, schools and though leaders around the world. I want to inspire leaders to build great brands that support purposeful goals, and I want to be paid handsomely for my time and insight.
I want to be a loving, caring and supportive husband. I love being married to my best friend, and I cherish the time we spend together. I want that long walk on the beach to go on forever.
I want to explore the world on my own, free from any obligations. I want to get lost in my own thoughts, my own adventures, and make choices that impact no one but me.
I want to visit my family on vacations, and I want to relax on a tropical beach. I want to own an estate measured in days-to-cross and I want to minimize my footprint. I want to play recklessly and I want to be ultra productive.
But I know I make choices, and those choices will affect all my other choices. It’s my choice to be a parent; it’s my choice to work; it’s my choice to be married; it’s my choice to honour myself; it’s my choice make choices.
I don’t have it all. But I love being this imperfect version of me. And that is ‘all’.