Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Having it all

In an interview she gave this week, Australia’s first woman Governor General* Quentin Bryce warned women to avoid the “superwoman complex”, the idea that you can and must have it all, and all at once.

"I've been saying to young women, you can have it all but not all at the same time, and how important it is to take very good care of yourself, of your mental and physical and spiritual wellbeing," Bryce said, which incidentally is the same advice my mother gave me a few years ago.

Ms Bryce went on to say that after several years of struggling to balance family and career, she found herself sick, exhausted and discouraged. After evaluating her priorities, she said she "got rid of that superwoman idea of doing everything perfectly - of being the perfect hostess, wife, community worker, etcetera.”

The full article is here.

Ms. Bryce is a very impressive woman, and I think she’s addressing a very important issue here, one that women of my generation will really struggle with. We watched our moms try to do it all; we saw them get exhausted, sick and discouraged and sometimes we simply saw very little of them. Now, many of us find ourselves wondering, “Do I want that for myself? Do I want that for my children?” and of course, the question which our mothers, exhilarated and inspired by Women’s Lib and the new opportunities it afforded, would have answered with a resounding, exhilarated “Yes!”:

Is it really possible to do it all, have it all, and most importantly, enjoy it all?

What do you think?

*The GG is the liaison between the Crown and Australia’s elected government and is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. The GG technically has the power to fire the PM, though this has only happened once since Australia became a nation 107 years ago. Aw, aren't constitutional monarchies cute?


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