As we see in much of today’s society, many people have lost touch with the truly important things in life. They are obsessed with gaining money, fame, power, and other completely worldly pursuits. It sounds cliche, yet when we boil most of their actions down to their core, these obsessions start to shine out. Over 50% of marriages end in divorce…this is atrocious! How can something like that possibly be a “normal” occasion in the world today? People will contribute it to this “myth” of love, but all those people are really just selfish and don’t understand that love means sacrifice.
Far too many people are just looking out for Number 1. Most of their decisions are based on a false sense of what will make them happy, regardless of others happiness around them. I refer to this as a false sense of what will make them happy, because they are just purely following their passions. Passions are a good thing, but when they are not moderated, they lead us down paths of misery. There is an idea floating around that there is no need to commit if you don’t “feel like it” anymore…that everyone should just be able to do what they want and live the way they like. Well, this is the way children think.
Children whine and cry when they don’t get everything they want. They don’t understand that getting everything they want is unhealthy for them. That they’ll grow up with a distorted understanding of how the world works. Parents don’t give their children everything they want because they love their children. They will make the choice to see their child miserable at the moment, knowing that it will make them much happier in life later on. When was this no longer a thing? When did people stop having the understanding that getting everything you want leads to unhappiness? There is no fulfillment when there is no effort.
From this perspective, I say that men and women can have it all. It just depends what that means to you. I would argue that the only real important goal in life is to get to heaven. All other goals must have their end in this. Now most people in this class, and most certainly the world, would just say that’s total BS and my own personal religious belief. I say, OK, what if it is? What is the point of life then? Why were we made? Why are we here? Where are we going? I suppose that is one of the main questions that religion answers, so I am going to just address the Christians reading this. (Sorry non-Christians, but it would have to go in an entirely different direction to get to the same starting point.) As Christians, these questions are very explicitly stated and the answers are known.
I would argue that the only real important goal in life is to get to heaven. All other goals must have their end in this.
Anyway, back to the point that men and women can have it all. I’d first ask what a successful and fulfilling career is? I’d also argue that it is one in which you are actively living out your vocation given to you by God, it brings you closer to God by its sanctification, it sanctifies others through it, and it successfully provides for your family and for charity. Work is not an end in itself. With this in mind, it becomes much easier to get to the point of having a “successful and fulfilling career”.
This goes for both men and women. In a successful marriage, the balance should be whatever accomplishes the heavenly goal for the spouses and children in the best way. This is where most people in our distorted society are going to get very upset with me. Yes, I truly to know and believe that is absolutely ideal for a mother to spend as much time as possible with a child after it is born and during its young formative years. The mother is the main parent that a child looks to in order for its needs to be met. Don’t get me wrong, the father has a vital role at this time, but not in the same way as the mother.
Now of course if it is not possible for a mother to spend the vast majority of her time with a very young baby, that is okay. I am not saying that you are a bad parent if you don’t follow a specific formula. What I am saying is that there is an Ideal situation for a child to be raised in the most healthy way possible.
All of this is to just to say that having it all really is much less related to one’s job than most of the world makes it out to be. The idea of the work-family imbalance, and statistics showing many parents wish they spent more time with their children, really comes from this misunderstanding of the purpose of a career. If companies want the best work out of their employees, they also need to realize that they do not come first. The happier an employee’s family is, the better employee he will be for that company.