Nightly News   |  April 14, 2013

Can women have it all?

When it comes to having a career and family, most women can’t have it all without making a lot of sacrifices. NBC’s Michelle Franzen reports.

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>>> for generations now, women have been taught that they can have a family and a career. it became known as "having it all." and many used it as a measure of their success, even if it came at a high price. but for some, the notion was, and is, a myth. nbc 's michelle franzen takes a new look.

>> reporter: you want to just keep christopher here?

>> den knees jeffries runs a family business in queens , new york . a daycare center that her mother linda started 30 years ago to make sure she was properly looked after.

>> i just worried all the time that my child wasn't getting what she needed.

>> reporter: now at 32, denise is facing the same challenge, balancing her work while she and her husband bring up two young children.

>> this is number two.

>> that's number three.

>> reporter: life at home is a flurry of homework, cooking dinner, and bedtime stories .

>> it's absolutely not easy. but nothing worth having is easy.

>> reporter: one voice in a debate raging about the cost of success, fueled by books like "lean in" and "the atlantic monthly " story entitled "why women still can't have it all." and a new nbc news/" wall street journal " poll shows that almost two-thirds of men and women agree. when it comes to having a career and family, most women can't have it all without making a lot of sacrifices. among women 55 and older, 68% said having it all comes at a price. among 18 to 34-year-old women , 60% agreed.

>> i think my generation has created a misperception.

>> reporter: deborah is the president of an all- women school in manhattan. she says that her students will need to redefine exactly what success means.

>> if you just look over the past 50 years there was certain expectations around women in terms of being good mothers, good wives. we have added a set of expectations about being good athletes and being good career women but we didn't get rid of the older expectations.

>> reporter: back at home, denise jeffries says she still believes she can have it all.

>> purple cat.

>> reporter: -- or enough to give her children all they need. michelle franzen , nbc news, new york.