Episode 31

Can Women Have It All?

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In this video, I answer a question posed by many fans about responsibility when it comes to balancing a career and a family. More specifically, can a woman ‘have it all’? Much has been said about the topic and many women have been told that they can’t. I’m here to tell you that you can. During the years that my children were young, I was trying to hone my skills as a lawyer and commute back and forth to work every day, and then come home and prepare dinner and had no household help.  The men of my generation helped support the family, but didn't provide the type of hands-on, shared childcare I see in marriages today. If you wanted to succeed, you had to break a sweat in order to do so. I did have a certain amount of guilt, but when I look back at my life today as a whole person, I think it’s about the life imprint you make. It’s about being responsible in all aspects of your life. What have you learned on your journey? Any stories to share?

Your stories

  1. Can Women Have It All?

    by Cyndy
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  1. Can Women Have It All?

    by Cyndy I agree with you completely, Judge Judy! Women can have a career and a family, but it does mean making some sacrifices along the way. I taught school during the time I raised my three boys with my husband who also worked. I was lucky that I had summers off when they were in elementary and junior high, and I decided not to go into administration until they were college age. I went back to college and began my doctoral work when I was in my 50s because I knew I needed to focus on my children when they were young. I have not regretted any of my decisions, and I believe that my boys have always been proud of me for pursuing my career.
  2. Dealing with life and passion Judge Judy

    by Lauren I started watching your show with my grandma, and since that time you have been a role model to me. I'm smart, full of passion and bored to tears a lot. I find that I want many of the things you did, and life is difficult for everyone, on top of "normal" hardships I have CP. I love life! For a long time I have wanted to talk with you about life, especially lately. I find you very wise, very comforting, and I love that you tell it like it is! I love that you can do that without coming off as bitter.
  3. ONLY The Lucky Ones Have It All

    by M. K. For a long time, I thought I had it all. A great husband, 3 responsible kids, and 4 beautiful granddaughters, married over 40 years. Happy and at 49 started a new career. Then a few years ago, my husband was diagnosed with Frontal Lobe Dementia. Lifespan only around 10 years. It has been almost 7 years since he fell to this disease. Everything has been taken from him including, his hobbies, his work, his speech and his caring for me. I am his caregiver until he leaves this earth. My life is essentially over. All my attention is given to him. His disease is horrid in that he knows much of what I say to him, but cannot respond. I am with him 24 hours a day and yet I am alone. I cry, I get angry, I get frustrated over small things. You surely find out who your friends are when something like this happens. They pull away. They don't know what to say. Even the kids don't want to hear about what is happening to dad. If you are lucky enough to have it all, enjoy.
  4. Work from home

    by Alyssa This is something I struggled with for a while until I found my way in life. I always wanted to have a big family, and I also wanted to be the type of mom who was going to be there for her kids as much as possible. I knew that to support a large family, I'd need to work to supplement my husband's income. I'm now at a point where I'm really happy with my life. We have 9 kids and I work from home while the kids are at school and after they go to bed at night. I have 2 little ones home during the day, but they "help" me work and usually play happily as long as they see me around. I don't make huge bucks, but I don't pay for child care for them and I can nurse my baby (often while I work) so I don't pay for formula. We live very frugally, but I'm happy to say that we are supporting ourselves nicely. Love your show.
  5. Absolutley Love you Judge Judy

    by Felicia Women can have anything they want, can be anything they want, and yes they definitley can have it all!!! Women are a very strong species, we endure a lot of pain and responsibilities (even with a partner).. Even at a woman's worst point in life, they find a way to get through their days and provide for their families. Yes men are the one's whom should provide for their families, but women are the ones who hold the family together, Ensure all stays glued together... Women, at our saddest, toughest points in our life we have to be strong and we will continue to grow as a dominant force!!
  6. Women can have it all if.....

    by Cindy Dear Judge Sheindlin Yes, women can have it all as long as they are strong, have values and are willing to work hard to earn "the all" I have been both a single mom and married with children. I think it is the same no matter what your status. On another note, and I hope this gets to you; I worked at the biggest court in the state of Maine for ten years before moving into the private sector. My family including myself love you. They often ask me, "Do Judges really get to say that?" I laugh and think of the District Court Judges, whom I miss, and what they faced every single day. So my answer is usually ABSOLUTELY!!!! Keep up the great work! Cindy
  7. good work ethics, mom of blended family

    by Rachelle I had my daughter young and knew I had to take care of her. I was well into my career when I married, and she was five. I worked hard to be a mom to her and two step daughters. I had very good work ethics and was quite devoted to my job; however, I regret to say I feel like my family took the back seat. When I look back, having to do it all over again I would not have strived so hard and invested my time into my husband and children. It would have made a difference into their adult life.
  8. Breaking sweat!

    by Suz I'm sixty years old & decided it was time to peruse my dream of becoming an RN. I started nursing school this past fall & I will graduate May 2015 with a BSN four months after I officially qualify to apply for social security! People are never too old to pursue their dreams, but you get to be willing to push up your sleeves and break a sweat.
  9. Women having it all.

    by Jane I think women can have all they want if they define what "all" is. If they want a career and a full family life and a clean house and be able to attend every event at their kids school and every game they play in, then they might be disappointed that can't have it all. But being able to prioritize the things in your life that are most important and see to them with all you have is how you can have it all. The rest of the stuff is just fodder for people to feel guilty about unnecessarily. I have all I ever wanted and I have had a career thrown into the mix. Didn't change how I felt, just changed my priorities of things worth my time. My kids and my husband never left the top of the list. My housework was no longer the top 5 on the list. Things have to be rearranged if you want it all.

    by Crystal Married and had our only child at 33. He was older with adult children and was of the non-helping generation. Went back to work within 2 weeks of her birth at his small business with her in tow. She "worked" with us - Dad doted on her too - until 2+ and then went to the perfect babysitter in a home environment where there were 2 daughters; 1 a year older, 1 a year younger. My hours were not 40 each week at the office yet I felt guilty all of the time that we couldn't just be at home together enjoying mother/daughter time, having tea parties, going to educational/world expanding sites, playing dress up, etc. I have always felt guilty BUT we had a home made meal together every night, attended church each week as a family, went for walks in the woods, and had a lot of family time. My daughter embraces the values she learned from us: hard work, loyalty, honesty and most importantly what makes a family and a happy, fulfilled life.
  11. Thanks for the good sense!

    by Kristina I was dismayed to read an article this morning saying how much a woman needs a husband to be the primary bread winner and we should let him do this so he an feel like a "man". I love my career. I love that my career allows me to send my children to private schools and take them on nice vacations. I love that the supermarket can bake the cupcakes for their birthdays that are better than Mrs Jones' who gets her nails done every week, goes to the gym and calls herself a SAHM and I love that my kids are proud of me and wonder what those "oprah moms" (as my son calls them) do all day. I am probably Judge Judy's children's age and was raised to be financially independent. I am doing the same for my daughter. My mother stayed home and I often think she envies my sister, who's a principal and myself who is in business. She can be proud of us but we can be proud of our kids and so much more; proud of ourselves as well.
  12. Single mother twice

    by Joan My experience was as a single mother twice and really had to do it all - be mother and father and support my children, one at a time, through two divorces. Starting at age 24, I worked full time and had to board with a family (the woman watched my daughter) which meant all was included - room, board and babysitting. This worked out very well. The second experience was 10 years later after divorcing my husband at the time who was an abusive alcoholic and never paid any child support. My work in law continued and included training by each attorney I worked for in various phases of law. I never accepted a position that did not include medical for myself and my children. It was hard, but my children and I lived through it and we are all still friends and pretty successful.
  13. Yes, you can have it all, but sometimes...

    by Ann N. I had three children under 3 years old at one point, and stayed home for several years until the last one finally went to school all day. I immediately got a job-my first job in a long while-at a grocery, and went to graduate school to become a teacher. My husband was quite traditional but would "help" if I asked him to. However, it was often easier to do the work myself than to explain it. So, I was juggling the vast majority of the household jobs, the kids, school, and my grocery job, and eventually my career. I agree that it's tough but doable to have it all. I became protective of what little free time I had, and learned to say "no" to requests I really didn't want to do. I took shortcuts with convenience foods such as pre-made cookie dough and a bread machine. The kids learned to do for themselves a lot. But, I think I was a better mother because I had a life of my own. As the saying goes, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"
  14. I did it my way

    by Sheila Dear Judge Judy - I am 70 years old and never figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up - so I just grew up & maybe a bit too wide. Our 50 year marriage was I guess supposed to be the fairy tale ending I was looking for but it really was just putting one step in front of the other and going through life with a supportive hardworking mate and I guess we made it our way. We raised our two children to be decent human beings and we both taught school - (public & religious) and other jobs as well as maintaining our home (still there) for the last 40+ years. I guess it just comes down to priorities and mine were just very simple.
  15. No Regrets!

    by Kathy In today's society, "the little homemaker" is in the vast minority. It usually takes two incomes to run a household. I had the perfect job as my children were growing up. I am a credentialed teacher. My children attended the school where I taught, I had holidays off with them, the summers off with them. It was perfect. When I decided to go for my Masters, my husband was there supporting me the entire way, helping with the kids and household. We could have made it solely on my husband's salary, but we would not have had the money for "extras," such as movies, dinners out, vacations, etc. I wanted to give my kids more, which is why I worked. I don't feel that my family was ever denied anything or neglected due to my working. Indeed, my family saw me as giving my all for them, and we enjoyed our times together as a family. Yes, we CAN have it all without guilt or worries. Grab what you can. You only have one chance in this life!

Step 1 of 2 - Tell Your Story!

Step 2 of 2 - You!

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