Dear Women Who Have Done It All
I’ve just got one question, how? How do you combine high profile, hardworking, careers with raising children? Seriously ladies I want some answers and I want them now.
In my life achievement now boils down to whether we can see the kitchen bench and everyone has left the house wearing clean undies – I struggle to see how you lead countries, run big corporations, work ungodly hours in high stress jobs while there are kids at home demanding time and attention.
Does it come down to money? Earning the big bucks gives you more options? I desperately want a Nanny, not for the children they are long past that stage, for ME. Someone who cooks my dinner, ensures I’ve got clean clothes to put on in the morning, brings me cool drinks and Panadol when I’m ill, someone whose only priority in life is making sure I’m OK.
Does a Nanny make the difference in terms of doing it all?
Looking at some of the high achievers in Australia it’s not like you went the no children policy, in fact some of you were high achievers in that regard as well, Governor General Quentin Bryce you had five children, Gail Kelly, CEO of Westpac you stopped at four, but that included a set of TRIPLETS.
I look at you all on paper and it all sounds so calm, ordered, successful. Your bios read like a step-by-step case study in focus, drive and determination but please tell me there were days when the wheels fell off.
My goals aren’t as lofty as yours, I don’t need to be the 32nd most powerful woman in the world (Gail, just in case you didn’t have time to notice that’s you according to Wikipedia via the Forbes list but you have dropped a bit you were 8th in 2010 – might want to work on that).
All I want is to write a 300 word blog each day. I don’t even have to leave the house to do it, but buggered if I can figure out how you find the time to think creatively, write interestingly and correct spelling and grammar mistakes while arguing with children, debiting the pros and cons of buying a new car with my husband, cooking meals, washing clothes and ignoring the housework to the point you can’t find the youngest child under the rubble.
I know you were busy doing really important stuff, but what I want to know is, did you have sleepless nights worrying about missing school concerts? Or did you manage to make it to the school events on top of everything else?
At the end of the day, as far as I’m aware, your kids grew up to be OK. But do they ever harp on about what you missed out on?
Most importantly of all, any regrets? Note I’m not expecting that you will say God Yes, if I had it to do again, I’d be happy in suburbia running the most successful P&C in the country.
As a mother who did the Gen X thing of opting out of the career race – what advice can I give my daughters of what it’s really like out there in the big bad world?
Please note high achievers – and I’m not just talking Quentin and Gail here – give it to us straight, without the PR spin of girls can grow up to be anything, do anything, have it all – how was it REALLY?
Signed Tired, Frazzled, Doing the Best She Can Mother.