I watched the film “I Don’t Know How She Does It” last night, starring Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex in the City fame. I had wanted to see it when it came out a few months back but as I only seem to get to the cinema to watch children’s films these days (not that I’m complaining as I genuinely love them!) I was more than happy to wait to see it on DVD and I wasn’t disappointed. [Please note: spoiler alert….]
In case some of you haven’t heard of this film it is essentially the story of a high flying career woman attempting to juggle her career and busy family life – the story line being taken from the book of the same name by the author Allison Pearson (I haven’t read this). Clearly the film title alone resonated with me as a busy working mum trying to juggle everything and I guess I was intrigued to see how/if someone else was managing to do it all/ have it all.
I’m not great at writing film reviews so I won’t attempt it – but I did enjoy the film and found I could identify with a lot of the protagonist, Kate’s, struggles. The idea of wanting to be great at everything- hold down a successful, rewarding job/career, be the perfect mum who goes to all the school assemblies, bakes cakes, is always there for the children and at the same time looks great, feels great and still has time to be a great lover too :-) I’m worn out just writing this down!! In the film, the protagonist is physically juggling all these roles but not quite ‘present’ in any of them. One foot in one foot out syndrome….And this is kind of how I feel – trying to be everything to everyone but not quite doing anything properly. I work freelance from home so my home life and work life have a major overlap and it’s difficult to separate one from the other- sometimes I’m getting distracted and doing the washing up/laundry during work hours or I’m working when the children go to bed to make up the time, so there are no clear lines only fuzzy ones. It’s a real juggling act in that sense- but then equally I feel privileged to be able to work in this way- some of the mums I know have 9 to 5+ jobs in London, commuting everyday with little or no time for much quality and that is a real struggle. How do you find time for yourself, let alone everyone else? All these demands placed on us….so exhausting….
What was interesting though was the end of the film, its outcome. Initially I was a little disappointed as Kate has to admit that she can’t have/ do it all and work has to take a back seat. This left me seriously disillusioned and wasn’t what I wanted to hear but then I realised that wasn’t the ending at all. The ending was that she stopped being a slave to work, she asserted herself, stood her ground and said to her boss I’m great at my job, I love my job but I have a life too. She didn’t say she couldn’t handle the hours, the travel, the commitment, etc. She said I’m valuable, you need me, I’m great, so let’s find a solution that works for us all. So she was happy, husband was happy, work was happy (or flexible at least), kids were happy and I got my happy ‘she managed to do it all’ ending. Phew! The important message here was that she took control of her life- she realised her limitations and took a proactive role in creating a situation that worked “for” her and not “against” her and THAT I thought was inspiring…..
Oh and incidentally Pierce Brosnan – who plays a high-flying executive and who is 60 years old I might add – looks hot in this movie. How comes a guy can still genuinely look hot at 60!!?? So unfair ;-)
I’m not quite sure how this post fits into my greenermums blog, but I wanted to share these thoughts with you as I know how difficult it is trying to be Wonder Woman….
Here I’d like to quote my sister-in-law who said to me the other day regarding her feelings about juggling motherhood, work and maintaining healthy relationships: “I am the silent daughter, sister and friend. I am out there somewhere but you’d hardly know it.” I know a lot of you will understand this and I thought this was wonderful and so well put…
Let’s all give ourselves a break, a pat on the back and take a deep breath….we ARE wonder women…(and wonder men too if there are any reading! :-))