Sunday, September 06, 2009
[Let me summarize for everyone who has never been married or had kids - YOU CANNOT HAVE IT ALL - NOT WITHOUT A LOT OF PAIN. Couples who both work and try to raise their kids too, are exhausted, don't have sex, and waste the extra money on crap they don't need such as luxury cars. Couples with one person - EITHER MAN OR WOMAN - staying home with the kids are going to have a cleaner house with better food to eat and healthier children who receive more attention and probably get better grades, don't drink, smoke, or abuse drugs and don't get pregnant at 15.
BUT, that means one parent will have to feel a bit left out of the career world and you will not drive a Mercedes. Its called SACRIFICE. Families sacrifice. That means EVERYONE. Guess what? Hubby may be doing a job he hates because THE FAMILY needs the money and he's ignoring the new, sexy secretary, and gives his paycheck every week to the bank for mortgage, credit card payments, after-school clothes, and car payments. He does this because he loves his wife and children, but somehow this never counts as a sacrifice, or as an honorable thing to do. Its ASSUMED and its taken FOR GRANTED. EVERYONE sacrifices in a family. Its how families function. Get used to it. Selfish people get divorced or get used by other selfish people. Jesus Christ. Look around and grow up, already, people.]
Having it all is a myth girls, so just make sure your daughters marry rich men
After years of fighting, it is not the glass ceiling but working mothers’ dreams that have shattered. Is there a new way forward?
When it comes to mothers and work, the question I would most like to be answered is: “Would you like your daughter to have a life like yours?” If you asked a man the same thing about his son, the answer would probably be: “Yes, give or take the odd thing.” But for mothers the case is usually different. For an increasing number of women, the answer now seems to be a resolute: “Absolutely not.”
This was certainly the answer I got from a friend last week — an ultra-successful, glass-ceiling-busting woman with an enviable job — when I asked her about her two little girls and what she’d like them to do when they grow up. “I’d like them to marry rich men and do a little light charity work,” she said. Of course, it seemed laughable. But she was deadly serious.
Last Sunday, in the pages of this newspaper’s Magazine, Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, the likeable and apparently sane presenter, and his daughter Cecile did the Relative Values column. Cecile, a spirited 13-year-old, said: “Daddy . . . says, ‘You’re not clever’, which is pretty much true, I’m not very bright, but I love fashion. Daddy says that if everything goes wrong with fashion I’ve always got a safety net, which is to marry a rich man.”
Admittedly, two hard-working, successful individuals wishing nothing more than haut-bourgeois domesticity for their daughters does not exactly constitute a sea change: perhaps they’ve both gone temporarily insane. But the idea that clever girls crave domestic bliss, too, seems to be gathering momentum. The other week saw the publication in America of Smart Girls Marry Money, which “challenges the ideals and assumptions women have blindly accepted about love and marriage, and shows how they’ve done so at their own economic peril”.
“Mercenary marriages,” the authors claim, “make the most sense for future happiness.”
So I asked some of my friends who work in offices if they hoped their daughters’ professional lives would end up being like theirs. “What?” said one. “See your babies for about 45 minutes a day, like I did for years? I don’t wish that for my daughter.”
But, but, but . . . “I’m just being honest,” she continued. “We have a very nice life and I’d like her to have a very nice life too, obviously, but not like this.”
It’s not that my friends don’t support the advances women have made. “I want to say yes,” said another, “but I can’t. You’re asking me if I want my daughter to have a life governed by compromise and guilt. No, is the short answer.”
Another summed matters up neatly: “When my daughter was little, her school friends thought her nanny was her mother. I’d turn up to the nativity play and 10 little children would say, ‘Who are you?’ That would be a pretty weird thing to wish on my own child.”
There was a little more joy from the stay-at-home-mother camp, but not much. “I’d like her to spend as much time with her children as I have with mine,” said one woman, “but I’d also like her not to wake up in the middle of the night wondering what happened to her brain, her life, her ambitions, her dreams. Not wondering, really: panicking.”
“I would like her to have a life like mine,” said another. “Except I’d like her to be in a civilised world where going back to work is an easily achievable goal. I feel I’ve been put out to pasture and I’m only 36.”