I Don't Know How She Does It: Affirming or Offensive?
I don't know how you do it. I get told that often by moms of only children or people with no kids. I don't know how you do it is what I often tell moms of four kids or more or who work full-time and still manage to coach the soccer team and write thank-you notes.
I don't know how any of us do it.
The kid/work/extra-curricular/housework/husband scramble is overwhelming no matter how many kids you have or what your work situation is. It is real, it is stressful and it is the topic of many, many conversations online and in real life.
The 2002 book "I Don't Know How She Does It" was consumed by many working moms who recognized themselves in the frantic need to do it all and also find a way to balance. Though the ending was a disappointment to many who thought the message [spoiler alert!] was to give up work. But in 2002, author Allison Pearson gave a voice to what many women were feeling but unable to articulate.
Fast forward to today, and the movie, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, is spurring the conversation again but it seems that people aren't taking to the movie as easily as the book. (For an extemely interesting press conference turned consciousness raising session, read this piece by non-mom Jessica Grosse.)
Ali Martell, writer of Cheaper Than Therapy, writes that she hated the book and will not be seeing the movie at all. She wanted to relate to a character who focuses on:
THIS paraphrased statement
“Without work, I’m not me…but without you, my family, I’m NOTHING.”
Because I think this probably holds a lot more truth for a lot more people than Kate Reddy—print version—does.
It certainly does for me.
When the book came out almost a decade ago women were looking for affirmation that their lives were crazy and that balance was difficult, if not impossible to attain. It was relevatory to many women to see their inner feelings portrayed on screen. But now, nine years later, there are lots of places for women to see and discuss their issues with balance and "having it all". So this movie feels a a few years too late. I wonder if it took the men who run Hollywood a number of years to catch on to the fact that women work. So now, I'm wondering if a character in a high-paying job who flirts with her boss, tries to do it all and then gives up her job is a role model for today's good-enough mom?
What do you think? Will you be seeing the movie?
Want more chaos? Last year, I told the world that I allow my seven-year-old to walk to school, without any supervision.