One of the illusions that women have been handed over the years is that we can have it all. We can have an incredibly satisfying marriage, a thriving career, be a wildly successful mother with happy, glowing children and find personal fulfillment. Now, I love that idea, but it is just not realistic. You can have it all, but not all at the same time.
To climb the corporate ladder requires that you put your job first. You must be able to answer any call, go in at any time, and drop everything in order to be there for work. This is difficult when you have one sick child and another one that has a recital the same time as the board meeting. Children take up a lot of time and do not care that you have a project due. In order to raise happy children, you need to give them time.
I am not saying that you have to be a stay-at-home mother either. That is not the only way to raise well-balanced children. What you may need to do, however, is work your job without being the star performer while you are raising your kids. Once they are grown, that is the time to pursue your career dreams.
It may not seem fair. I agree, it is not. But it is realistic. So, again, you can have it all, just not at the same time. It is a matter of taking turns and achieving a balance in your life. Some times we get the process right on, some times we are way off. But do not give up. You will find the right balance for you and your family!