you, etc. can't have it both ways

can't have it both ways

Cannot have two contradictory things at once. I know you love ice cream, but you can't eat it every day and lose weight—you just can't have it both ways.
See also: both, have, way

you, etc. can’t have it ˈboth ways

you must choose between two things even though you would like both of them: You want an interesting job that pays well, and yet one where you don’t have many responsibilities. Well, you can’t have it both ways.
See also: both, have, way