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  • Deborah A Allen

You can have it all....


That was the line spun to girls back in the 1980s when I was still at school and people tried to tell us that the age of the woman had finally arrived. I’m sorry to say but it’s a lie still being churned out to girls today.

You may dispute this and point out a few successful women in business or politics but let’s face it those women are the exception not the rule and here’s why.

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Let’s start with a few simple sums. There are 24 hours in a day and each person can only be in one place at a time so...

24 hours...

Minus 8 hours to sleep = 16 hours

Minus 8 hours for the career you are supposed to have = 8 hours

So, you now have 8 hours left in each day.

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But you can still have it all. Oh yes because in the world where you have it all you have a house and a husband (or partner of choice) and kids and a dog….

So, in those 8 hours you will…clean the house until it shines, cook like Nigella Lawson, be a mother like Mary Poppins and a sex goddess combination of Marylin Monroe and Dita von Teese.

You will make your children happy by playing with them, taking them to and from school, reading to them, attending school plays, baking for the bake sale or school charity, attend sports day and parents’ evenings, arrange and supervise play dates and of course help them in their chosen sport or hobby.

You will make sure there is a tasty and nutritious meal on the table each evening and an equally portion controlled vitamin rich packed lunch for them.

Oh, and don’t forget breakfast, the most important meal of the day!

You will walk the dog, feed it, groom it and take it to the vet when necessary.

You will clean your house so that there are no nasty germs lurking on table tops, counters or under the toilet rim …shock horror.

Then you will make sure that you are clean sweet smelling and sexy as hell for your partner whom you will please in bed until they swoon from delight.

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Plus….

You will make sure there is time for you to have nights off, date nights with your partner, nights out with the girls, holidays, days at the zoo, the beach, walking in the country.

You will also find time to get your hair and nails done find time to apply make-up, dress nicely and do your twice weekly work out at the gym because no one loves a fatty do they?

And while you do all this you will smile, because you have it all but….

Looking around what I actually see are women balancing a lot of spinning plates, they are desperately running back and forth trying to keep everything going, being all things to all people, the consummate business woman, the best friend, the perfect mother, the perfect housewife, the best lover and they are failing.

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Because the truth is there just are not enough hours in the day to have everything, something has to give. Even if you are at the top level in your chosen career it only means that you will be able to afford to employ other people to do things for you and while it makes no difference to a house who dusts it or polishes it, to children there is a world of difference if its mummy who comforts them when they are sick or a childminder, no matter how much they might like their childminder she /he isn’t mummy.

Notice I say mummy and that’s because even now in the 21st century when a child is sick the school will invariably call the mother it doesn’t matter if mums’ career is world class and dad is a dustman they still see children as being the responsibility of a mother.

If you have people round and your house is a tip 99.9% of people will cast a sideways glace at the woman of the house and label her a the slovenly pig who does no housework , they don’t care if you have been up since 5am being wonder woman slaving for a boss and running yourself ragged after kids they still expect the woman to present a clean house.

It’s the same with food it’s the woman who is expected to make sure her family is well fed. Take a look at Tv adverts, how many show a man changing a nappy or making a meal, pushing a vacuum cleaner or ironing??? If that’s not enough to convince you that society still has the woman firmly placed as being the homebody who cares cleans and holds everyone together I don’t know what will.

I’m not saying we don’t need to break moulds and stereotypes because we do but don’t fall for the lies don’t fall the phoney idea that you can have it all because the fact is you can’t, the plain truth is someone will always loose.

The real truth is, women are pushing boundaries, women are saying No to the stereotypical idea that they have to bear children and stay at home all their lives, women are still striving to break through as equals in a world still not ready to accept them as such, but the fact is that in life we all have to make choices and having it all is not an option for 99.9% of us.

Don’t fall for the lie, it’s not designed to boost the spirit of women its designed to break us as we strive to achieve the impossible and think we are to blame when it doesn’t work.

Feel empowered to say no and make choices that suit you, your partner and your family.


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