After all, as even the smallest glimpse into the lives of women writers -East and West, past and present – keenly shows, every case is different. There is no single formula for motherhood and writing that suits us all. Instead, there are many paths on this literary journey, all leading to the same destination, each equally valuable. Just as every writer learns to develop his or her own unique style and is yet inspired by the works of others, as women, as human beings, we all elaborate our personal answers to universal questions and needs, heartened by one another’s courage. Elif Shafak – Black Milk
This is what summarizes what Shafak has learnt through her journey. And in my opinion, it summarizes the struggle of women who are entangled in the dilema of career versus family.
I was discussing this with a friend of mine, and at the end I told her:
Just remember that only you and your partner know what’s best. Pray for God to show you the right way and the strength to follow through implementing the decision (that’s what Istekhara prayer is all about). And remember that everything goes at its own pace, whether its family or professional achievements. And finally, only you put the standards of being a high achiever, not your family, friends, boss, society.
I can’t claim that I work by this rule all the time. Occasionally I pass by severe under-achievement phases, and I truly hate it. But to be honest, I also know that even if I chose career over family, from time to time I would have similar depressive thoughts. So in conclusion, both sides most probably face the same problem, only from different angles, so this entails that there is no one right answer to all. And as Shafak said, every woman will elaborate her own answer to universal questions. I pray that we accept our decisions, and try to fulfill our dreams.