Oops, I Forgot to Have a Baby

by Orly Katz

That was the startling headline in one of the leading magazines: "Oops, I forgot to have a baby." The subject was age 40+ women who suddenly realized that, in the race for career, success, and salary, something had slipped their minds. They'd forgotten to have children -- to create a family nest alongside their career nest. The article explored the feelings of women who had devoted their entire lives to their careers and were now spending a good deal of their time and resources on fertility treatments that had no guarantee of success.

A recent survey of hundreds of women in the U.S. touched on a highly sensitive issue: How do you define success in your life? What would give you a sense of satisfaction and peace? The respondents were married and single women, some of them also mothers. They were all employed, in a range of jobs and ranks -- some business owners, others salaried employees, still others freelancers.

You might be surprised to learn that the survey results added nothing new to what we've known all along. The things we most desire in our lives are the things that always seem to lie outside our grasp. The responses gave further evidence that women aspire to four ideals in their lives which, for them, are the keys to satisfaction and contentment:

  1. Time -- time for their families, their partners, their friends, and, yes, for themselves. The pressures of our daily environment obscure everything else. We've got no time to breathe much less smile or just enjoy ourselves a little.
  2. Balance -- Women seek balance between their work and their personal lives. They want to succeed at work without missing out on a life! They want warm, loving families at the same time they hold satisfying jobs.

  3. Control -- Over themselves, over time, and over their future finances. They want to act, not react. Great numbers of women launch independent projects or become entrepreneurs. And 38% of all companies in the U.S. are owned by women!

  4. Purpose -- Women want a reason to get up in the morning. They want to bring about change, to contribute, to feel a sense of purpose. Women want to fill themselves with energy, passion, and drive to do the things they truly believe in.

Brenda Barnes was the CEO of Pepsi when suddenly, at age 43, she handed in her resignation. The Wall Street Journal devoted two whole articles to the story. The first discussed Barnes specifically. What motivated her to make this weighty decision? She was quoted as saying that after 20 years of missed birthdays, hotel stays, sleepless nights, and hours not spent with her husband and close friends, she decided it was time to stop. When else, if not now? She just set her mind to it and did it. The second Wall Street Journal article focused on reactions to Barnes' resignation. Who do you think was more supportive, men or women?

You're right -- it was men. They understood her reasons and backed her decision. Women, on the other hand, reprimanded her. They sent her letters with comments like, "How can you do this to us?

Barbara Barnes replied by saying, "I didn't do this to you, or you, or you. ... I did it for myself and my family. For me, the definition of success is choice. I choose spending more time with my family now. I don't want to miss another birthday. ... I'll now find something that doesn't force people to give up their lives for power!"

I present women with six very simple codes for applying the Law of Attraction in their lives. According to the Law of Attraction, the things that we think about are the things we attract into our lives, for better or for worse. We, as women, have particular patterns of thought and behavior that prevent us from attracting into our lives the reality we desire -- one of peace, quiet, and balance. Instead, we attract a reality of worry, tension, and guilt pangs. Isn't it time we made some changes?

Here are a few questions to consider as you set out to apply the Law of Attraction: