I recently overheard a conversation between two high-powered women complaining about how only women get asked how they manage a career, marriage and family. The question, they believe, is patronising. Why don’t men have to put up with it? I wonder whether women are being short-changed by having to bear the cross of ‘multitasking’. Have you noticed how men happily cheer us on and agree as we climb on to our pedestals shouting about all the things we can do (at the same time) that they can’t? They don’t really care because they know we are going to end up doing it all for them.
Dare I say, ladies, we have been duped. And a lot of the blame falls squarely on our shoulders. Are we really surprised that we burn out from doing everything? Does it make sense to say the question, ‘How does she do it?’ is patronising because clearly women are doing it all, willingly so? I am more concerned with a different question: why are we doing it all? Often, it’s because we believe if we don’t do it, no one will.
Having it all – a successful career, healthy marriage and happy family – depends more on whether you want it all or not. I wonder whether part of the problem is that we want it all at once. Maybe it is more important to tick off our achievements systematically, instead of trying to achieve everything at the same time – thereby giving ourselves, and those around us, the short end of the stick.