Dear Ambitious Women, Before Children

Micaela Shaw
2 min readJul 16, 2019

Dear Ambitious Women,

I know you think you have a decision to make. We were raised telling us “girls can do it all!” And society likes to pretend it’s not a thing, but it’s there. A thing. You’ve known it all along.

It’s hanging above the chic light fixture at brunch, as your friend lists off the things she wants to do before kids. It’s in camping out in the lines of vaginas in mini vans, waiting for school pick-up. It’s in italics on the daycare pick-up form, the one you fill out the second you conceive, in between the line charging you $1 for every minute you arrive after 5PM and the mandatory 30 hours/years of “volunteer” time.

It’s even in the explanations of the mentors you look to in the C suite. The token Head of Marketing or Head of People, mixed in like a checkbox against the line of boys. “My husband has a more flexible job,” she says. “My husband wants to coach little league while I stay late.” The choice sits heavy between you and your partner in baby-making, smearing the evidence across the sheets.

You read books about career women who made it only to realize they’re all freelancers, because no one with a career, and a band of kids, and a marriage that’s intact, has time to write a book or the self assurance that they’re actually doing it right to begin with.

Here’s the good news: you can do it. You and your husband/partner/future ruler of the 1st world can make it happen. You won’t have much time to write a book about it.

You will fight about who is picking up who from where. You will tire of the fight and get a housekeeper. You will tire of the fight and get a nanny. You will tire of the fight and Uber Eats dinner. You will tire.

But you will do it.


Someone who’s got it, despite what it looks like