In September, we lost one of the greatest advocates for civil rights of our time, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was not only a trailblazer for women’s rights but men’s rights and minorities. She broke glass ceilings across the board and was commonly referred to as the Notorious RBG.
No matter what your political beliefs are, most would agree that she led an incredibly groundbreaking life.
Growing up, I was the girl that always knew I wanted a career. My parents instilled in me that education was the most important thing you could have. My goal was to study hard and find a fulfilling and satisfying profession. I did not necessarily want to be married or have kids. I had thought if those things happened and were meant to be in my life, then great, but I wasn’t one of those girls who dreamed about a wedding or what my wedding dress would look like.
I did not plan out those things. In fact, growing up, I was much rather a tomboy and loved playing outside with my brother. But as I grew older and finished law school and began my career, I realized I did want some of those “traditional” things, such as kids and a husband.
This dichotomy of wanting a career and wanting a family life posed a challenge to me, because how can you really have it all?
As someone who went to law school, I have followed and admired RBG for many years, and a number of her quotes have struck me personally.
“You can’t have it all, all at once. Who – man or woman has it all at once? Over my lifespan, I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time…”
Today this quote resonates deeply with me. I started my legal career as a prosecutor and continued with other demanding jobs and long commutes. I waited to have kids until the time seemed right to me, but really is there ever a “right” time for, well… life?
I laugh at this thought now. After having my daughter, I decided to transition to another job that offered me greater flexibility to be home with her more and still work full-time. It has worked out great so far, but I cannot completely say I don’t often miss my more-demanding jobs.
But this is the tradeoff we often make as mothers because, unfortunately, mom guilt is real. While I am grateful to still be able to have my career, I am also grateful to get to spend more time with my little girl and the little person on the way.
So moms, if you wanted a full-powered career, but then had kids and started experiencing that mom guilt that we often talk about, remember you can have it all, just maybe not all at the same time.
Rest in Power Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Thank you for your service and for all you did for us.
“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will leave others to join you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)