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Can Women Really Have It All?

By: Bethany Beal

“Dear Haveitall,

You have been lying to me and to my friends. In fact, you’ve lied to millions of women and have deceived them into wasting the best years of their lives. I’m a little upset with how you’ve convinced women to give up the qualities that are completely unique to them. It makes me sad to see women who are entering their 30‘s, 40’s, 50’s and realizing they’ve spent the majority of their lives working towards a goal that won’t bring them the joy and fulfillment they desire. 

I can’t keep quiet about this any longer. I have to expose you for who you really are.  


Bethany Baird”

Okay, let’s stop the mystery. Who in the world is Havitall?

Haveitall is someone that I came across a few weeks ago. After learning more about Haveitall, I decided to expose her message. I’m sad to see that so many women have taken her advice and have naively chosen to follow her. I’m heartbroken by the fact that women are giving up the best years of their lives in hopes of gaining the impossible. I’m hear to point out the truth of Haveitall’s message.

Here is the scoop. 

Haveitall isn’t one person in particular, but, a concept that has been built up over the years. This concept is actually a lie that millions of women have bought into.

Haveitall actually stands for Have It All.

It’s the lie that women truly can Have It All. I’ve seen girls graduate high school and plunge into their future with total trust in the idea that they can Have It All

These girls have been told that they can have the complete package. 

Bachelors degree.
Masters degree.
Satisfying career.
Amazing husband.
Awesome marriage.
Adoring children.
Lifelong happiness.

I hate to say this girls, but, we can’t Have It All. 

It’s impossible to fully invest ourselves into each one of those areas, all at the same time. One area will suffer lack of time, love and attention. One will have to become the priority and one will become the secondary focus. We may “have it all” in the sense that we can check each one of those categories off our list, but, we won’t be able to say that we fully invested our love and attention fully into each one of them.

Let me deflate your volcanic anger bomb that’s about to explode.

I’m not bashing on education. I’m not bashing on careers. I’m not bashing on working women. I’m not bashing on married women. I’m not bashing on children. I’m just here to lay out the facts so that you can make a wise decision about your future. I want you to be fully prepared to set yourself up for true success as a woman.

Here are the facts girls. You only have twenty-four hours every day you live. No one gets more and no one gets less.

If you choose to invest 8-10 hours a day building up your career, how much time does that leave for your family? For your children? For your husband?

In the same way, if you invest 8-10 hours a day raising your children and investing in your family, how much time does that leave for a job and building your career?

It’s basic math girls.

If you make a smart investment with your money, you will get a great return. Make a dumb investment and you will lose your money.

Life works the same way. What you invest your time in determines what you will get in return. Invest the bulk of your time in your career and you will most likely have money, business partners and respect in the corporate world.

Invest your time in your family and you will most likely have a healthy marriage, happy husband, secure children and sweet Christmas mornings with your children and grandchildren celebrating at your house in the future.

I am in love with this wise quote by Author Danielle Crittenden.  

“We must understand the trade-off of every action we take. If we want to be heart surgeons or presidents, we will have to accept that we may not be the mothers we want to be, or we may not be mothers at all. If you are are unwilling to trust men, we might not have the marriages we want. If we refuse to give ourselves over to our families, we cannot expect much from our families in return. If we wish to live for ourselves and think only about ourselves, we will manage to retain our independence, but little else.” 

Girls, we need to think ahead. We need to decide what we want for our futures. We can’t have it all. We can’t be it all. It’s not possible.

We have to make choices. Don’t focus so much on the here and now, that you neglect to think about your future.

Think ahead with me for a moment. “Haveitall” is not interested in you hearing this, so please listen closely. 

Who are you going to want at your bedside when your hands are cooling and your days on earth are drawing to an end? Will you want your boss from work, your fellow employers, or, maybe your Starbucks barista who made your drink on your way to work?

I don’t want those people!

I want my husband and children. My grandchildren. My nieces. My nephews. My family.

Danielle Crittenden says it it perfectly.

“No matter how much success we may achieve in life, it is our families who sustain us; and how they sustain us depends very much upon what we’ve given them in return. In the end, it is our husbands and children and our grandchildren who we hope will be at our bedside as the last light fades, holding our cooling hands.”

The choices that you make now will determine who is at your bedside in the future.

If you choose a career over having children, you can be sure that you won’t have any children or grandchildren at your dying bedside. If you do have children, but, invest little time into their lives, you can be sure they won’t be the ones taking care of you in your last days. They may make it to your bedside before you die, but, like their mother, they will probably be very busy with their own careers.

Don’t give up being a wife and mother, which is unique to women alone, for the sake of a career. 

Yes, the world may tell you that climbing the corporate ladder, gaining independence and making a name for yourself is the most important thing a woman can accomplish. But, at the cost of what? Ask yourself this question, “by fully striving after a career, what will it cost me?” Like Danielle said, it will be a trade-off. If you fully pursue a career, you will have to trade-off something for it.

Don’t believe the lie that you can Have It All. 

Don’t believe the lie that you can spend the majority of your life at your job and somehow have the same amount of time invested into your family.

Don’t believe the lie that you can put off marriage and family until post-career and expect the husband and children to come right along.

It all comes down to what you want for your future. 

Which one do you want to fully invest your time into? Which one do you want to be your priority? The decisions you make now, while you are young, will determine which one you pursue in the future.

FYI “Why We Like Hard Working Women” is a great follow up to this post.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you believe women can “Have It All?” Why or why not?

Photo credit: | Lydia.Tsagari

Can Women Really Have It All?

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47 Responses to Can Women Really Have It All?

  1. Gabriella says:

    Hmmm, should not this same principle of time apply to men as well? So how can they be good husbands, fathers, disciples of Christ while being the sole breadwinners of the household? That seems more unrealistic, realistically. Priorities are certainly important and it’s a shame many men due to relational stereotypes have forfeited being godly and nurturing fathers and some women are following in their footsteps due to misconceptions and vanity. It’s more an issue of why you’re doing what your doing. Is it because God called you to it or is it a search for identity, insecurity, man-pleasing, ego, rebellion? God calls women to be politicians, doctors, pastors, homemakers ect… Some people prioritize their families to much and make their children or husbands their idols. Think about it.. I actually had a really close friend and amazing sister in Christ who knows several languages, is highly educated and a very godly woman who “Has It All”. She was the most spiritually mature friend I ever had, and I’ve known some amazing and awesome people! She is involved in politics and international relations and she and her husband travel together and have a great marriage. They’re blessed! These things bond them actually. So please be careful not to discourage others ambition while looking through a scope of your reality because sometimes the desires of the heart are given by God, especially when you “Delight yourself in the Lord”. The key is to follow God, not stereotypes, traditions, religion, and definitely not the world. I hope you do have it all, Jesus <3

    • Eivets says:

      No woman has ever been called to be a pastor.Womens ministry leader,yes.
      Pastor,no. Eivets

      • Butterfly says:

        Actually my Mom is a pastor! My Grandma is also a senior leader in a different church. God made men and women equal and there have been many amazing women leading churches for ages and God is raising up more awesome women.

      • Gabriella says:

        What is a pastor? The greek word that translate to pastor in the NT is poimen and literally means shepherd. What is a shepherd? One who gathers, directs and feeds sheep. We are the sheep of God’s pasture. Deborah is the first picture of a female “pastor”. She gathered the children of Israel, she directed and had command over the people of Israel, giving them the ordinances of the Lord and feeding them His word. Now some may say, she was a prophetess and judge, and according to the five fold ministry there are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. However, the judges, prophets and kings of Israel acted as the “pastors” of that time in that they gathered and led the people of God. Now it’s clear Deborah was more than a women’s leader, she directed the whole nation and gave men and women direction and commands from the Lord. This is also a good time to wonder why God’s church is not led by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers and only pastors? This is not God’s design. Where is the fullness of Christ? Ephesians 4:7, 11-13 “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift….. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”. We can not reach maturity if everyone is not participating. Iron sharpens iron, if an equal but separate element is not set against you you will not be sharpened and be fine tuned into maturity and full effectiveness. That is what men and women are to do for each other as well as the different parts of the five fold ministry, but for some reason we have put one part above the others and in doing so there could not be sharpening on the “superiors” growth by those who’re truly different, as we all see in part and need to be challenged in our views and have them broadened. My mother, whose was somehow named Deborah in a roman catholic family, went to heaven many years ago when she was a baby Christian (my mother operates as a prophet, go figure, recognized by churches/leaders) and God showed her a huge blackboard with the fraction 1/5 on it and told her to complete the equation, so she wrote + 1/5 + 1/5 + 1/5 +1/5 = 1. She didn’t know about the five fold ministry yet, but knew she was a fifth, she called her pastor and shared what happened and said she knew he was a fifth two and he described to her the 5 fold ministry. 20 years later she looked back on that experience when operating as a prophet and understood that no part was greater than the whole because her gifting was tempting her with pride. All that to say, we are all equal parts, needing to contribute our full values to be whole. I always thought being a prophet like my mom was the most powerful or exciting, and even though I operate in the prophetic, I actually in a dream was told by God I had the heart of a pastor. I wasn’t super thrilled honestly, I was like “Nooooooooooo!!!!” and woke up, but I knew pastoring would be a part of my future. I’m not pursuing it, butI believe it will fall into place at God’s time. Sorry for going on a tangent, God bless.

    • GirlDefined says:

      Gabriella, Thanks so much for chiming into the conversation. We really appreciate the different perspectives and points of view you girls bring in. I think you and I would both agree that women should be working hard, building there skills, learning, growing and impacting those around them. I do not want women to waste their lives and I’m sure you don’t either.

      I have to say that my ideas about manhood and womanhood have been radically challenged over the past several years. After doing multiple in depth studies through the Bible on the topics of gender, male and female roles, husband and wife roles, I can’t help but notice that God had a distinct goal and purpose in mind when He created the male and female.

      My thoughts on gender/roles were even more secured after studying through books like, Divine Design by: John MacArthur. True Woman 101 by Nancy Leigh Demoss/Mary Kassian. Evangelical Feminsim by: Wayne Grudem.

      I would encourage you to dig deeper into this topic as well. I would highly recommend reading this post titled “Equally Valuable, Purposely Different”

      I would also recommend listing to this incredible series on Revive our Hearts Radio that intro’s the series with this, “if we want to understand what God has in mind for us as women, we need to first take a look at what He has in mind for men.” You can find that series here:

      I can tell that you have a heart for God and truly want to please Him with your life. Keep seeking Him 🙂

  2. Elisabeth says:

    Thank you for this post! As always it was great! This topic was of paticular interest to me, I am also starting to wonder about the same thing. I really want to be a story writer, and actually get some of my things published some day ,and even though I don’t think college is for me, I would still very much like to get married some day, and raise a large family. This also leaves me wondering, will I have time for all that? Especially when I don’t really know anyone , makes me wonder if I will ever meet any one to marry.Could you pray for me on this subject? Your topics are always wonderful, and thought provoking. Keep them coming!!!

    • GirlDefined says:

      Elizabeth, Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts with us. I love how you are already thinking and praying about your future. Some of the questions that I’ve asked myself (as a single girl as well) are: 1. How can I serve God right now in my single years? 2. How can I prepare for marriage and motherhood? 3. What gifts and talents has God given me? How can I use those now and in the future? I will be praying for you as you seek God’s will. 🙂

  3. Chelsea says:

    So, I have a question. What if I believe that it is God’s will for me to have a career (He has given me a talent that He has invested in big-time), but then He has also promised me a family? I do want to have a short career and then get married and have kids. I think the bottom line is to follow God’s calling in your life and see what He brings you.

    • anonymous says:

      I see what you mean. I have similar thoughts. We can’t just sit around waiting for Prince Charming.

    • GirlDefined says:

      Hey Chelsea, if you’re single and unmarried we do encourage you to be productive with your time. We are not advocating that single women sit around and wait for prince charming to come along. We should always use our time wisely. However, what you choose to do with your time during your single years will either help or hinder your future as a wife and mom. If God does bless you with marriage someday, will your current “career” hinder you from taking care of your home and family (as described in Proverbs 31)? Will your career require time and energy that should be saved for your children and husband? If you’re planning on having a “short career” as you mentioned, do you find it worth it to go to school for 4 years, invest all of that time and money in a degree, and then spend a few years pouring into your “short” career, only to drop it once marriage happens? What we encourage girls to do (and what we’ve done) is use their single years as a time to serve, work, minister, etc. by choosing an occupation/ministry that will be easy to leave or easy to transition into marriage with them. For example, my sister and I both work in our family businesses. When my sister, Kristen, got married it was easy for her to continue working in the family business (part time) and take care of her husband/house as well. If children came along she wasn’t tied down to a longterm career and could easily transition into full time motherhood. She also teaches piano one day a week from her home. She is using the skills God gave her in a smart way without sacrificing the things that are most important to her (taking great care of her house/husband). We know this topic is complicated in today’s society. We encouraged you to continue praying for God’s wisdom and planning your future in a wise way. Just remember, God designed men and women to be different for a reason. Our plans, roles, and future dreams should look different from a guy’s – and thats OKAY. 🙂 We hope that helps!

      • anonymous says:

        I agree with you! Good answer. Though not every girl is going to get married. Or if you are married and something happens to your husband, you will need a way to provide for your family. God leads each girl on a different path, but ultimately, the path should be one where you are focussed on Christ.

      • anonymous says:

        Oh yes! I know you are not advocating that we should sit around. You do just the opposite. Sorry about that.

      • Chelsea says:

        Okay thanks! The career I was thinking of is not quite as involved as one would think. I want to be an opera singer for a bit, but ultimately be a voice teacher, which I could easily operate from home. Do you think that that is good?

        • GirlDefined says:

          Hey Chelsea! It sounds like God has given you a lot of musical talent. I encouraged you to continue to seek God’s will on how you could use those talents for His glory. Being a music teacher could be a great option because it’s definitely something you can take into your future marriage/family and even do from home. Whatever you choose to do, just think carefully about how it will fit into your life if God does bless you with being a wife and mom some day.

        • Jesusfreak17 says:

          That’s awesome! My voice teacher is a mom and so was my piano teacher and from what I could/can see, it’s worked out really well for them. You can totally do that! 😉

  4. CT says:

    I love your posts, Bethany, but honestly, this one adds to the confusing mess I’m in. As a senior, having applied to college already and needing to make a decision within the next few months, and also being a piano player and (up until recently) planning on majoring in music, I’m in a critical turning point. I know the solution on paper is: trust God, pursue Him first, follow His leading and everything will be all right (even in the rough times of life). Which is what I’m doing now. But as I spend more time with the Lord, the more I see the importance of the Gospel and the importance of serving with the Gospel and Christ as my highest goal. And I wonder, especially as a musician, does spending hours in practice perhaps hinder my ability to share the Gospel because in a sense I am forcibly tied to my instrument and I can’t break free to go share Christ with those who need Him? My dream would be to go to the mission field, maybe Haiti, and serve there full-time, with a season at Ellerslie as a precursor. On the other hand, there’s many dying souls on whatever college campus God may call me to who also need to hear about Christ. It’s a tough battle. I can’t even picture marriage in here. I’ve also been told that it’s very hard to be useful in life without a (basic) college degree? At least in American society, I can see that. But if God calls me to another country, then maybe college isn’t as important? But at the same time, it’s entirely possible that God may not want me to go international. What a dilemma.

    Nevertheless, I will keep praying.

    • GirlDefined says:

      CT, Wow! Thank’s so much for opening up and sharing your heart with us. It sounds like you are in the midst of a really difficult time. From your comment I’m getting the idea that you really want to do God’s will but you aren’t exactly sure what that is. You said in your comment that “I know the solution on paper is: trust God, pursue Him first, follow His leading and everything will be all right” don’t downplay those truths. God is the one who knows how you can best serve Him. If you truly seek Him out with all of your heart He will make His will known. Remember Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” You made another comment towards the end saying “I’ve also been told that it’s very hard to be useful in life without a (basic) college degree? At least in American society, I can see that.” I know a lot of people who have chosen to avoid the college scene (and many times the debt that accompanies it) and use those years instead to build up a job, ministry, skills, etc. God doesn’t need you to have a degree to use you. Don’t let the cultures ideas and pressures direct your future. Fully trust in God and He will use you with or without a degree.

  5. Anna Joy says:

    I have been struggling with the same thing as CT. Always wanted to be a missionary and serve God with everything I’ve got. It was always my dream to marry someone who had the same burdens for the same people in a foreign country and raise our family there – he leading, teaching, serving, and ministering to the people we were called to, and I supporting him, encouraging him, keeping house, and always being there beside him. Our kids would grow up in an environment of constantly giving and would catch the vision to serve with their whole lives too. But one way I would love to be able to serve is through medicine…which can be SO key in a foreign country. Everyone around me is telling me to go the whole way and get the medical degree (which could mean 10 years in school) so I’ll be legal enough to practice in another country. For me, it would be a special way of serving my family and others who can’t afford care, and I’m definitely interested in medicine. But I don’t want to spend all those years in school. How do I know what the right choice is? Is it right just to push through the school and get it under my belt? They need doctors on the mission field – so badly. Is it selfish to shy away from the school? Or is it unwise to waste So much time on something like that? Should I leave it to the men? That sounds funny…isn’t one of our God-given instincts as women to want to nurture and care for others?

    • Gabriella says:

      Maybe you should consider nutrition.. Don’t forfeit your gifts and bury your talents in fear like the wicked servant did. God bless Anna. I pray God leads you into all truth by His Spirit and that you one step at a time, reach the sumit of the mountains God has called you to climb.

    • GirlDefined says:

      Anna Joy, It sounds like God has put some really neat passions on your heart. Missions and medicine are two very unique passions and there is a big possibility that God is going to use you in those areas in the future. The idea of one day having a family on the mission field and allowing your kids to see that first hand is really cool.

      I know a few girls who have passions for serving others through medical care. It’s been amazing to see how God has used their talents and skills to bless others. I’ve watched some of them go on short term missions trips and use their skills from nursing degrees in awesome ways. I personally can’t handle the site of blood so girls like you impress me 🙂

      God has given you these years as a single girl to learn, grow and serve Him in ways you won’t always be able to if you were to get married. I think developing your skills and educating yourself in the medical field now, could be a very wise decision. Is it possible to gain enough skills through a nursing degree? My only concern for you is the possible debt you may have to go into to become a Doctor. Going to ten years of schooling could add up to large amount of school loans. Going on the mission field after that may present a problem.

      Also, have you ever thought about the idea of doing a shorter amount of medical training and then pursuing some missions work training. I’ve heard Ellerslie has some incredible courses that could really prepare you for a possible future in missions.

      Just a few things to think about 🙂 I love your heart and your desire to serve God now and in the future. My key verse in making decisions is Proverbs 3:5-6. I think you will find that encouraging.


      • Anna Joy says:

        I am VERY interested in missions work training. As a senior I’ve looked into some different missions training schools even as far away as Canada (I’m from Illinois). Thank you for the recommendation for Ellerslie – I will look into that. My parents have also stressed the value of using my single years for any schooling I may want to pursue…and I have considered nursing. The problem is that if there were an emergency such as a broken bone out in the middle of nowhere, I would want to be able to treat it…and though nursing may give me the training, I wouldn’t be LEGALLY certified to do anything without a higher degree.
        You’re right about the loans…and it would cost a lot. I am interested in staying debt-free no matter what course in life I take. But saving up in advance and working through school may just add years to the time it would take to finish.
        Thank you for your time and advice…I will have to keep praying about it. I really appreciate everything you all have put into this blog. It has been an indescribable blessing to me time and again.

    • Lydia says:

      Hi Anna Joy,

      All I can say is that the same desires and passions you have are what I have. Right now, I’m in my second year of medical school. God has called me to become a physician to serve Him, and He has also put in my heart a great desire and calling to be a wife and a mother. It might seem like the two could not happen together, but I know that they can. If God has given us a calling and He has desires for us, how can we refuse them? I knew going into medical school that it was going to be tough and that some of the hours would be difficult. There is also the issue of debt. But, if God has brought me to this place, I know He will provide a way for my needs to be met. I simply have to trust and put my faith in Him. By His grace alone, I am where I am today. If you really believe that God is calling you to be a doctor and that is His will for you, you should go to medical school, and God will provide the rest. I can testify that He has for me.

      The other issue that could arise is balancing the job of a physician and being a mother/wife. I have already resolved in my heart that if my work is becomes to overwhelming or I am not able to care for my family because of my schedule, I will give it all up. I can always quit, go part-time, or work when my children are older. The other option I am considering is volunteering my services to free clinics when convenient for me and my family. I know that God will honor my desire to care for my family by providing me other options to serve as a physician. I am not a mother or a wife yet, but I am in a relationship with a man who has a desire to serve as well and we will be married Lord-willing in the near future.

      When I was reading your post, I really understood where you were coming from. Those were questions and ideas that I struggled with, but with prayer, His word, and the advice of others, God revealed to me His will.

      I hope that this can encourage you to follow His plan for your life, whether that be going to medical school or pursuing another path.

  6. Quite Distinguished says:

    I went the college path, and looking back through the lens of God’s providence, I am very thankful I did. MY plan was to marry young and be a stay-at-home wife and mom. MY plan didn’t include being 28 and still single (I was supposed to meet my husband at college). MY plan didn’t include a full-time career (going on 5 + years now).……but God’s plans for me were different. Admittedly, at first I only went to college because it was “the thing to do when you graduate from High School.” I didn’t WANT a career, so what was the point in getting a degree? My Dad’s concern was that each of his daughters obtain a viable skill so that we could support ourselves—should anything ever happen to him—or should we never marry. That didn’t mean we HAD to go to college, but since I didn’t know what I’d want to work at right away, college seemed like the best bet for “exploring my options” and figuring out what I wanted to do. I started at a community college (they’re cheap here in SoCal), and took a variety of courses. God used that time to provide a job at the school and through that job developed an interest in Linguistics—so I declared that major with the goal of teaching ESL (a very transferrable skill). However, God closed the door to ESL work during my final semester of my BA program, and I floundered—everything I’d been working toward was gone—and Linguistics isn’t a very marketable degree without a Master’s to accompany it. Fast-forward five years, and through God’s clear provision, I’m now working in a job I really enjoy that also draws HEAVILY on my Linguistics background (that’s the cherry on top!)

    My desire still is to be a wife and stay-at-home mother—and even though I love what I do for work now, I would gladly give it up for the opportunity to stay home…..because that’s of greater importance to me. However, since God has placed me in a corporate work environment, I work for His glory right where I am. I don’t know what my future holds…but I know Who holds my future.

    • GirlDefined says:

      Quite Distinguished,

      It sounds like your heart truly is in the right place. God doesn’t always bring marriage along at the timing we think it should. I never thought I would be 26 and single! God has an incredible plan for each one of our lives and it doesn’t always look the way we think it should. In the end we will be so much happier if we follow His will and not our own. I know I have.

      My blog post was already pushing way past the word count so I wasn’t able to clarify as much as I would have liked. I am all for women working hard, educating themselves and putting their skills to good use. It sounds like you are doing exactly that. If God does choose to provide you with a husband and children one day, they will be blessed to have a wife and mother who will make them a priority.

      Thanks for taking the time to share with all of us. You had some really great things to say. I love the quote “I don’t know what my future holds…but I know Who holds my future.” Amazing and so true!


  7. Marie says:

    Have you really never met someone who worked hard for all of those things and was successful? I can think of many women who have immense success in both their careers and families. Just off the top of my head, my best friend’s mother is a psychologist who is actually the department head. She has two very smart and musically talented girls (one is my best friend) and both are about to graduate, one from college and one from high school. Their mother is kind, a great listener, and invests more in her daughters than some stay at home parents I’ve seen. She and her husband have a very healthy and happy relationship, something I would feel lucky to have in my life.

    Another example would be my former piano teacher who ran her lessons from home. She worked full time teaching piano and was one of the most nurturing individuals and mother’s I’ve known.

    The mother of another best friend works full time at a hospital and she has probably the best, healthiest, closest relationship to her two daughter I have ever seen. She is a single mother and yet she has been able to advance her career, support her girls, and spend a great amount of time investing in their relationship. Not to mention, for about a year she did all of this while battling cancer.

    I really could go on and on but I think that I’ve made my point. I realize you don’t think that women should try to “have it all” because it’s not entirely fitting to the gender roles that Christianity outlines, but then you need to be more honest and just say that. It’s not about not being able to have a wildly successful career and home life, it’s about not supporting a certain path in life that some women choose to take.

    If it is your desire to be a stay at home wife and mother then I commend you for that, but to tell young girls and women that they absolutely will fail if they try to go to college, get married, become a leader in their chosen career, and foster a healthy and happy family, then I have to discount your words. It’s just not true and it may be very discouraging to some girls who dream of earning a degree and investing themselves in their work. Ultimately, you do not know what is fulfilling for each person and you shouldn’t discourage girls from reaching towards their goals.

    • GirlDefined says:

      Hey Maire,

      Thanks for jumping into the conversation and bringing up some great questions. You made a lot of great points. It’s awesome that you are surrounded by so many healthy marriages and families. That is a huge blessing!

      I think we would both agree on a few things. We would probably agree that girls/women should work and work hard. I don’t think we as girls are exempt from that and I don’t think we should be. I think we would also agree that it is a great idea for women to be smart and educated. The Proverbs 31 women was crazy smart and very business savvy. She is great example for us.

      Just to clarify, I have no desire to discourage girls from gaining skills, growing in their God given passions and working hard to develop their gifts. Side note: We will have a post coming out later this week discussing this very topic.

      All that being said, here is my answer to the questions regarding my blog and the idea that women can’t “have it all.”

      I think the bottom line comes down to each of our interpretations of a successful woman. I personally believe our definition should come from the Bible. After studying through the Bible and reading several different books on this topic, I came to the conclusion that if a woman get’s married, she is now her husbands main helper. If she has children, she is now their main caretaker and should be the one to train them up.

      With that in mind I don’t see how a woman can do all of these things, to the best of her ability, all at the same time. Be her husbands main helper/supporter, raise and train her children, run her house and work at a full time job. I just personally don’t see how there is enough time in a day to do all of those things really well.

      In the end we may disagree on this specific topic and that’s okay. I’m sure if we chatted over a cup of coffee we could probably come up with a bunch of things that we DO agree on 🙂

      For starters, I think we would both agree with this.

      No matter where we are in life, single or married, our ultimate goal should be to serve God and bring Him glory. Above our passions, above our interests, above our wants.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read. I hope you will continue to comment and share your thoughts in the future 🙂


  8. Abby says:

    Great post!:) I know for a fact that no one in this world can “have it all”. It’s impossible because we live in a fallen, imperfect world. So many girls today try hard to live a “perfect life”, but they don’t get anywhere. The reason why they don’t is because they can’t. It just doesn’t happen. We need to be on guard and pray that God would re-focus us on His will for our lives. We live here on earth to praise His name and show the world how awesome He is – not how awesome we think we are trying to live a perfect life.
    Thanks for posting this 🙂

    • GirlDefined says:

      Well said Abby,”We live here on earth to praise His name and show the world how awesome He is – not how awesome we think we are trying to live a perfect life.” What a great reminder to find our satisfaction in Christ and not in our own accomplishments. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. RT says:

    Great post but only for girls born into families that planned for this. My mother is a single mom with three children all 1 year apart. We all work super hard and we have too. So where do those girls come in play that work 45 hours a week just to support yourself?

    • GirlDefined says:

      Hey RT,

      Thanks for jumping into the convo! You ask a really great question. Kristen just came out with a post today titled: “Why we like hard working women”

      She talks about the importance of working hard and the goal of working hard. She points out several different hard working women in the Bible. She shows how every single one them was working to benefit their family. It sounds like you are doing just that. As a daughter of a single mom, it’s important that you work hard to help her/take care of her.

      It sounds like your heart is in the right place and that you want to serve God and honor Him with your life. You are doing a great job of loving your family by helping provide for their basic needs.

      🙂 Bethany

  10. Elizabeth Williams says:

    I agree with what you are saying! The biggest thing that I see with women that I don’t agree with is the whole thing of taking your life into your own hands and making your life what you want it to be. Now I definitely don’t advocate for sitting around twiddling your thumbs waiting for a guy to come sweep you off of your feet. But my desire for my life is to do whatever God would have me to do and to put my life and will into His hands. My plan is to, above all, please Him. Whether that’s college,career,marriage,motherhood,singleness,missions,ministry,etc., as long as I’m pleasing Him and I’m in the center of God’s will, that’s where I desire to be.

  11. Yazmin says:

    Hey Bethany,

    First of all, I wanted to thank you so much for posting this. In our modern feminist world today, we are constantly told to ‘stick to our guns’, ‘follow your heart’, and ‘do what feels good to you’. In fact, I have been reading Elisabeth Elliot’s, Let Me Be A Woman, which has really opened my mind up to Christ-centered femininity and submitting to God’s will for who you are to be and what He has planned for you. I know for me personally, before I came to Christ, I was pursuing college and was gung-ho about going to some expensive, top-notch school. But then, when I came to Christ, I thought that the route that God was taking me on was community college or not going to college at all. Yet, a few months ago, God gently opened my own eyes to see my reasons for that decision. It was not because I truly believed that not going to college was what God wanted, but because I was afraid to apply and then find out that I made a mistake to go to college at all. Now, God has led me to apply, but this time, I have surrendered my life, dreams, and hopes to Him.

    Both my parents went to college, but my dad has placed a huge emphasis on avoiding loans and college debt. He constantly and wonderfully admonishes my sister and I that it is better to go to a cheaper school and avoid debt than go to some prestigious college and be cursed with college debt. Though I have applied to three colleges now, I have surrendered my future to Jesus. If He does not want me to go to college or a community college then that is what I will do. My life is in HIS hands and no longer am I my own. Actually, one of your older posts about the different scenarios of girls who talk about their future (I think it’s called Planning A Future You Won’t Forget) really inspired and encouraged me. I have taken your advice and brought the matter before the Lord in prayer. I have also humbled myself before my parents and other godly counsel as to what I should do and how I should do something. It’s really awesome because God even led my family to pray together for our futures! I have also been able to, not only have my parents involved in the entire application and scholarship process, but my siblings (my brother is in law school, and my older sister has gone through the entire college and community college process) and my friends have gotten involved! Not only has this given me wonderful peace and a joy, but to know that I am not alone in the process has been such a blessing too!

    I was wondering though, if you had any tips on, if you are applying to schools, what are some ways to keep Christ at the center? Are there any scripture verses you think are especially good to meditate on when concerning your future? What do you think are some ways you can incorporate your family in the decision-making process? Are there any things that you would say to ‘avoid’ or ‘not-do’ when it comes to how one applies to college?

    Thank you so much!

    HIS and yours,

    • GirlDefined says:

      Yazmin, I am so proud of you for seeking the Lord concerning your future. I love the way that you have involved your family and made them a part of your life. That is a rare thing to see these modern times.

      I once heard a girl say, “I’m going to apply to two schools. Whichever one I get accepted into, I’ll know that’s God’s will for me.” I personally think that is a horrible way to go about applying to a school.

      I would recommend looking into the different college options and carefully praying over each one. When I graduated from high school I had several different basketball scholarships. I took several weeks to carefully pray over the opportunities with my parents. It was amazing to see how God made His will known. I ended up not taking the scholarships and instead started working locally in my own city and got heavily involved in ministry opportunities. Looking back I am so grateful I took the time to pray, with my parents, over the opportunities.

      I know that if you seek out God’s will for you future, He will make it clear. He says in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

      This verse says that if you trust Him with ALL your heart, lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in ALL ways, He WILL make your path straight.
      I’ve seen God do that in my own life and I am confident He will do that for you.

      I would recommend involving your parents as much as possible in the decision making process. They can offer a lot of wisdom and can, many times, see things that we can’t.

      Some of my favorite Scriptures to meditate on are Psalm 100-105. I also love Proverbs 3.

      Just remember that there isn’t a 5 step answer system. You will have to seek God and then walk in faith. He doesn’t always show us the full picture at once. We have to take one step at a time and He will continue to guide us.

      Praying for you and for your future <3


  12. Jesusfreak17 says:

    Okay, so me and my family are beginning to look at colleges but I’m not convinced it’s really God’s will for me. But my parents and both sets of my grandparents all went to 4-year colleges and consider it extremely important. Also, I’m definitely smart enough to go to college and a lot of my friends are super smart too. Even the ones who aren’t smart seem to assume that I love school… but I really don’t. I love learning but not necessarily in the format of school, college or otherwise, and my primary dreams are becoming a mother and being a missionary to Mormons. I’m still praying about it and I haven’t made a decision in any way, but does anyone have any advice on how to bring the possibility of not going to college up with my parents without totally confusing and disappointing them?


    • Anna says:

      Hi! I commend your desire to live in accordance with God’s will for your life, which often looks different from one person to the next. I’d like to throw it out there, though, that as a wife and mother, my college degrees have been immensely important and shaped the way I parent. I am so, so thankful for the knowledge I gained through my higher education and the ways it has served my day-to-day life. Not that every parent has to have a formal higher education, but I’d be hesitant to say that it isn’t necessary or worthwhile to have a degree if you long to be a mother. (And sadly, I have seen many parents- including Christian parents- fall prey to parenting tactics that are not developmentally appropriate for their children. I believe that a lack of knowledge about childhood development is the main reason so many parents choose parenting techniques that are ultimately detrimental to their child.)

      Additionally, as someone who has worked in missions, education and work experience are EXTREMELY important. When I was in college I had the opportunity to study abroad in a developing country where I worked for a Christian ministry; there, I learned that all the good intentions in the world aren’t enough to ‘solve the problems’ that be. We are called to be excellent at what we do, which oftentimes does necessitate proper foundational knowledge in order to be an effective missionary or ministry leader.

      Not to tell you what to do- pray about your options and be sensitive to God’s leading, as well as the wisdom of Christian mentors in your life. I just think education could be very helpful in your pursuits 🙂

  13. Elyonara Borges says:

    Hi! Thank you for this post. I really loved it. I study English at a university here in Brazil, and I pray that God can help me to use what I am doing right now in my single years when I get married one day. For sure, my family (my future kids and my future husband) will be my priority, I won’t make them the “second plan”. Everything that I want is just to do God’s will, because I know He has the best for me. I know He can make beautiful things in my future life as a wife and mom, and also I know that He has planned everything, and I’m sure I followed His will when I started the university. I’m glad I can trust He has good things for me now and in the future. Again, thank you so much for your words.

    Greetings from Brazil! May God bless you! 😀

  14. Phoebe Saywell says:

    What you are saying is really good, but before a girl meets a guy or has a family investing time in a career isn’t a bad thing. I agree that just serving yourself is wrong but you shouldn’t be lazy right? Before girls are married they need to be a bit independent 🙂

  15. Edidiong Bassey says:

    God called every woman for a purpose, and not just to be a mother.

  16. thehappygirl says:

    I bought into that lie in college. Man, I was going to have it all! Career, money, nice home, hunky husband, sweet children, fulfillment and happiness. Boy was I wrong! I like the simple math approach, Bethany. We should choose what is going to really matter. Let’s make two scenarios here….

    Scenario 1: I pursue a career. I have money, power and respect. My new car is in the drive and my home is lavish and expensive. My hubby and children feel neglected, but I just don’t have time to deal with them.

    Scenario 2: I make my future family my priority. I’m a stay at home mommy and home school my sweet babies. They grow up to serve God. My husband and I have a happy fulfilling marriage and love life. We don’t have the nicest car or finest home. Sure, financially it may be tough, but those things are just temporary. We put the Lord first.

    So… It’s my time to die. I’m lying on my deathbed… What will my regrets be? What will I be happy about? Thinking like this always helps me get my priorities straight. Thanks for another great post, Bethany. 🙂

  17. Courtney says:

    I think we can have it all but in moderation. It’s all about finding the right balance. Like for my career I will go as high up that seems fit for my family. And I will be there for my family always but not be overbearing. So yes I think you can have it all but in a different measurement.

  18. Gwyn says:

    How does all this work for men though? Is a man throwing away his life by focusing on his career? Will he have no one at his deathbed if he chooses this option? If both people in a marriage adopt the family-first mindset how will they survive financially?

    I know as well as any other woman that having a career and being a mother is possible, but one must be prioritized above the other. However, I think marriage is different. Men can be really incredible, loving husbands while still excelling in their careers…. So where is the difference? They have as many hours in a day as we do! I am currently in a serious relationship where both of us are very career-oriented, but this never conflicts with our dedication to one another. We may not be able to have it all, but we can have more than one thing.

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