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The question “Can I have it all?” lingers in the mind of every woman in today’s society. The balancing of a family life and career has become the plot of many television shows and movies. Sarah Jessica Parker's character in "Sex and the City" seems to be typecast for this role, leading America to believe that this tug of war between a fulfilling career and life as a mom is a battle women face constantly.

A new survey from More Magazine might beg to differ, reporting that women in the professional world prefer more flexibility and time than a big promotion.

According to The Grindstone, which reported the survey, it asked women, “who had at least a college degree, were employed in a professional position and had at least a $60,000 annual income if single and $75,000 if married,” questions concerning flexibility, promotions and paychecks.

The results showed that the determination of women changed over the past 10 years. Forty-three percent of women said they felt less drive now than they did then. Sixty-seven percent of women would turn down more cash if the alternative were more a more flexible schedule.

Have our sentiments about our careers changed? Recent portrayals of the gung-ho lawyer or ambitious surgeon have featured women, even in occupations typically reserved for men like detectives or investment bankers,

Women have been written as workaholics, sacrificing family meals and events for work.

It seems that the pressure for women to uphold traditional household duties like cooking, laundry, childcare and cleaning have put a strain on the ability to strive for upper management positions as well.

In the survey, 73 percent of women would not want to fill their bosses’ shoes. Honestly, I can’t say I would want the job of my boss either and I work in retail.

This feeling of having to choose between two lives is entirely unfair. It is cliché and untrue in some situations. It appears that men don’t struggle with this internal conflict as much as women do.

Perhaps it is because of traditional gender roles that even in a society that promotes women earning a high salary and competing with their male peers, there is an underlying expectation that women should be primary caregivers to children and less aggressive or ambitious.

Despite the numerous archetypes of the career and family woman, the dream to “have it all” is beginning to unravel. It could be because of hard economic times or maybe women are just giving up.

As a woman who has yet to have children or a serious career, I can’t speak for everyone, but for my mother and for numerous women I have spoken to in the past they echo the same sentiment: It’s hard.

There’s sacrifice and hurt feelings and even regrets, but in the end choosing between a career and family life should not drive you to insanity.


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