By Angel Kane
Behind every successful woman should be a tribe of women who have her back.
“Having it all” – probably the most analyzed topic of my generation. Scores of columns and books have been written about it. Television dramas have been built around it. Oprah, undoubtedly, made her fortune by exhausting this subject day in and day out.
From mommy wars to glass ceilings, the point has been belabored for years.
But there is talk and there is real life. And in real life, we do what we need to do to make things work.
At 45, I’m part of Generation X. Our mothers were at the forefront of the fight for equality in the 60’s and 70’s. They went into the workforce at numbers never seen before. Graduated from college at rates higher than the men of their generation and then went on to join successful companies and later built their own. They became leaders and warriors not only at work but in their communities. They learned by trial and error.
We all did. Many of us were the latch key kids. Our mothers preaching that we would one day see the benefit of the trails they were blazing, our young minds not able to comprehend what all this talk was truly about.
A few Sundays back, many of the ladies in town with whom I often work, got together to celebrate one of our own. Carolyn Christoffersen, the newly sworn in City Judge for Mt. Juliet, is expecting baby number four! A room full of “lady lawyers” who often go to battle against each other gathered to celebrate one of our success stories.
Carolyn and her husband, Marcus, are the proud parents of three beautiful boys and baby boy, Elijah, will make it four. A successful real estate lawyer in Mt. Juliet and now the City Judge presiding over court one night each week, Carolyn, is the product of our mother’s (and father’s) hard work.
As little girls, our generation was taught we could do anything. We quickly became aware there would be sacrifices. Having it all wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Nevertheless, like our mothers and because of our mothers, we forged ahead, but this time, a little differently. Our generation having realized that on the road to having it all, there happen to be quite a few divergent paths worthy of our time and effort.
Sometimes on the way to a dream you get lost and find a better one.
No doubt, little boys and girls can both grow up to be whatever their heart desires. But to have it all takes a community. You need a spouse willing to drive carpool when you can’t. You need co-workers who’ll pick up the slack when you’re out on a field trip with your youngest. You need neighbors to cook for you when your parents are in the hospital and you need a church family to pray for you when you are at your lowest and highest.
As women, our generation has realized that we are not interested in competing with other women, instead we hope that we all can make it.
From the women who have chosen to stay home full-time, to the moms who have formed careers around school schedules, to the women who work 60 plus hours a week building their dreams, we can all have it all. We can all make it.
And make it we have. These lady lawyers are smartest and toughest ladies I am honored to know. And when they are not building businesses, arguing cases, representing clients or making new law, they are planning weddings, teaching bible studies, coaching soccer, volunteering at community events, traveling the world and raising the next generation.
We are all on the road together and when we support each other along the road, incredible things can and do happen.