Monday, November 17, 2008

ask a stupid question...

I went for a short walk in my lunch hour today, and was stopped in the street by a couple of people from a local radio station. They were asking people if they thought it was possible for women to balance a career and family.
Oh the pressure! I was like a deer caught in headlights. Say something intelligent, woman!!!
I'm sure they picked me because I looked like a professional woman, (not THAT sort of profession!) attired as I was in my black wool coat and matching hat - the only other people on the street were men and a shabby-looking bag-lady so I guess I was the obvious choice given the question. I managed to come up with something that sounded reasonably intelligent, and then the guy stuck a microphone under my nose and asked if I would mind repeating what I had just said.
How the hell should I remember what I had just said???! The trouble is I don't really have an opinion on the subject so it was really hard to try and recreate the bullshit I had just finished burbling. Urgh, I felt like I was brain-dead.

In hindsight, what I should have said was this:
Of course it's possible - millions of women the world over do it every day. We kind of have to, if we want to have a house, and food on the table. But it's not ideal, at least for most. I think it's a case of priorities. Some women are committed to serious careers - and in that case I would guess that their family life would suffer, at some point, especially if they work long hours on a regular basis. Sure you can hire a nanny or whatever but you would end up spending time at work that otherwise would be spent with your family.
On the other side there are women who work only because they have to, and all their energy is focussed on their family. Those women are unlikely to be high-powered corporate types because given the choice they would sacrifice work to be with their family instead.

But anyway, I think it's a tired and irrelevant question.
Perhaps a better one would have been something along the lines of, "How difficult is it for a woman to have both a career and a family, and still maintain her sanity and identity?"
I'm sure they'd end up with much more interesting answers.


BazL said...

I for one don't believe that you can have a successful, high-powered career and a happy, well adjusted family. You can however have a "nice" job and be reasonably successful, and do the family thing. At the end of the day the woman holds the family together, without her it becomes dysfunctional!

Rose said...

I really think each situation is unique, what works for one family may not work for another. In this day an age most woman who have families would more than likely choose to with their families but as you say if you want a house and a car and the holiday every year then you got to work. I am sure you managed to do just fine, it reminds me of when we first got to Ireland and exactly the same thing happened to my hubby and I, can't even remember what the question was now, but my hubby answered it and when he got to work about 3 people said "hey, I heard you on the radio this morning!" - Must be the accent ...

angel said...

oooh terri- you coulda started your own little battle in the "mommy wars" there!