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Old 04-29-2011, 08:16 AM   #21
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Learning to set priorities, make choices and trade off are critical skills in life and fundamental teaching to one's children.

Not understanding this or having these skills leads to unpleasant outcomes. This is true for individuals, groups and societies.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:59 AM   #22
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Most prospective parents vastly underestimate the time and effort involved in raising 2 good kids. But the effort does pay off. It just seems to be an unending job for many years.

Having it all is in the mind of the "haver" and is often defined differently between the 2 parents. If the two parents are over 90% aligned on life's big issues, then I would say they have it all.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:12 AM   #23
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If I had it all, where would I put it?
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:16 AM   #24
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I am happy that my daughter has chosen to be a stay at home mom. I see that she is less stressed than I was and the grandchildren are doing very well.
I wish I could have done that, but after my first marriage ended in divorce, I had to go to work. When I married again, I didn't want to quit my job, because I wanted to have that security in case something went wrong. We've been married almost 27 years now and I've worked the whole time.

The same thing happened to me . I went to work full time after my first marriage ended and then continued even after my second marriage . I should have hired a cleaning lady but I was too thrifty at that point .I also encourage my daughter not to do it all but she is already on that path .
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:45 AM   #25
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My life was relatively relaxed. My wife never worked outside until she bugged out and then she started working. When home, she was a good mom, a good homemaker and a good wife.

I have 2 married sons. The oldest and his wife are pedal to the metal very high earning and very career oriented, they have one child, and frequent maid, gardener etc, and a 5 day/week full time nanny. They still are running almost all the time.

My younger son and his wife both have good jobs, but the time demands are not quite as brutal. My DIL really wants a baby, I can see it in the way that she relates to her niece. She would be a terrific mother, and my son a good Dad.

But he sees how overloaded his brother is and wants to wait and see if he really wants to take this on.

I wish I had the excess money to give DIL 5 years off to start their family, but I don't. And anyway as all you working women know, with most careers you can't afford mid-career downtime because that is when you are cementing skills and relationships that will carry you forward to better pay and more security.

I do not envy today's young people.

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Old 04-29-2011, 11:48 AM   #26
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We may not have had it all but what we did have was enough. Our priority was to raise the kids with me not working and we were able to do that. It was enough to keep up with work/school/drumming lessons/library visits/housework that the house hummed along at a good pace without being stressed too much.

The older son wasn't interested in sports (he liked frequent library trips) but the younger one tried one sport at a time and took weekly drum lessons.

We all seemed to need some "down-time" during the week, time with no commitments.
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:49 AM   #27
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If you have it all, you still don't have it all. You can have two earners with high flying careers, a few perfect kids, and a perfect self-maintained house and yard (replete with white picket fences). But you won't have much free time to enjoy life, relax, contemplate, socialize, etc.

We come pretty close, but it is a balancing act. I have turned down higher paying professions and higher paying jobs to have more time to spend with family and relax. I intentionally spend less time working than some peers in order to allow my wife to develop her career (by relieving her of kid-care and house-related duties). We spend a lot of time with our kids, but they are always wanting us to spend more time with them and they get sad when we tell them we have to go to work (they are still young!). The house is frequently chaotic, yet never filthy or unsanitary. Our yard has the most unkempt grass on the block, but it won't after this weekend. It is all about trade-offs.
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:54 AM   #28
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We're a young family with 2 baby kids. I think it helped a lot that we waited 5 yrs before deciding to have kids and, in the meantime, save money. We both can decide to get high flying jobs and make more money but choosing to take good work/life balance jobs b/c we saved enough prior to kids and don't need extra money. Oh yeah, also helps that we're generally LBYM types and choosing to not buy a house in So Cal.

I have a friend who's wife comes home at 8pm, he's planning to take a job where he'll come home at 8pm and they have 2 kids. I ask him when will you see your kids? He said it's ok b/c his son sleeps at 10pm so he can see him in between. They have 5k monthly housing payment, high spending habit, 2 car payments, etc. I do wish them the best but how can you come home at 8pm and expect kids to turn out ok? Pretty sad...
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:21 PM   #29
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Dangermouse, I'm with you. I can't imagine even attempting to have it all, and like HFWR, where would I put it?
No matter what, people can't do all those things well, period. Something gives--either the kids, the job, or worst of all, the marriage.
Thank god we didn't have kids. We have a peaceful life and low stress jobs, plus our health and wonderful friends. That is all the "ALL" I need.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:03 PM   #30
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I certainly feel no regret in my life that I never had it all. As a singleton I had a very demanding job, worked a minimum of 6 days per week, stayed late every night. However there would have been no way I could have done that as a married person or having a child.

Up until recently I have not been able to work because I did not have the proper permit. Not having that piece of paper was my excuse to be a house mouse. However, it is amazing how people have been hounding me since with questions about when I am going to get a job. They can not understand we would choose to have less stuff and a better quality of life. I think it makes people uncomfortable that I choose not to be employed.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:45 PM   #31
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Yes, exactly. I've been nagging DH to quit at the end of the year instead of waiting. What I'm hoping he'll do is take a few months off to think about what he'd like to do and then find a way to work at something he'd really enjoy for a few more years.
I'd be very happy for him to be a house mouse! At least for a little while until the burnout from his job fades away.
You need to stay away from those people who are hassling you!
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:54 PM   #32
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When I think of having it all I don't think of two high-flying careers, etc., etc. My bar is set a lot lower than that.
+1

To me "having it all" includes not *needing* two high-flying careers. (Or even ONE, for that matter!)
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:04 PM   #33
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....However, it is amazing how people have been hounding me since with questions about when I am going to get a job....
Just tell those nosy people to mind their own business!
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:44 PM   #34
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DW and I have it all, IMHO, so yes I think it is possible. However, I may not define 'Having it all' exactly the way you do. We raised two well adjusted kids, we both worked, my career more high flying than hers , however, she is a teacher and did not work much during the time the kids were raised, the house has never been immaculate, with or without outside help. However, it is absolutely ready for company most of the time. (The advantage of a Living Room, that can not be seen from the Family Room). We are now both retired, have sufficient income to do all that we want, and live in our dream house on the lake.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:06 PM   #35
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heh heh heh - all praise to Bogle's folly. Further detail is irrelevant.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:17 PM   #36
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It has never occurred to me to try to have it all. I can say quite truthfully that throughout most of my life, I was satisfied with what I had and never looked for more at the time. I wish desperately that my late husband (who died young) could have been gifted with more years. This is my greatest regret, as I have no real regrets about anything else. My present life is not what I wanted, but I am reinventing myself as I go along. I am working hard on personal growth and awareness as a middle-aged single person...a task which is at times bewildering but mostly enlightening. I really did neglect a lot of things for many years in favor of what I saw as my primary roles of wife and mother.
I never thought of myself as a career woman but thank goodness I had a good stable job and a few stalwart friends and family when disaster struck. My dear mother was so right about getting an education and having something for yourself that no one can take away from you!
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:37 PM   #37
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Depends on one's definition of all!
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:09 PM   #38
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I know a few families who have it all according to the OP's description.

And DW and I have "had it all" - life has consistently exceeded our expections since we married without any issues of importance - but our definition of having it all is different than the OP's.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:45 PM   #39
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If you don't have a maid or maids, then, by definition, you don't have it all.

I know folks who have it all. One example: An anesthesiologist working part-time at an outpatient surgery center married to a successful entrepreneur who has sold a couple of companies and started another that employs a couple dozen people. The entrepreneur knows how to delegate. For them work seems to take about 12 hours a week out of the house. The kids are well-adjusted by anyone's definition. Plus they have dogs and cats.

And the kids were borne after all this happened which means that all this happened before they were 40. These folks have plenty of leisure time, vacation time, down time, whatever.

Great parents. Great kids. Unpretentious and gracious hosts.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:51 PM   #40
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Exactly. Why does having it all include having a J*B. Most of us here think the j*b is HIGHLY over-rated.

Having it all includes not having to work.
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