Careers and babies. Can they really go together?

My husband has a colleague who keeps complaining to him (he is her boss) that despite all her hard work she is getting nowhere in her career. My husband is sympathetic, but points out that times are hard, especially in their field, and he can’t help her any more than he is already doing.

I suggest, that with her working full-time, spending three hours a day commuting, as well as having a baby, she is probably worn-out, guilty and depressed and wonders why she bothers. I say, she should go part-time, and take the opportunity to spend time with her baby.

He says my thinking is out-of-date.

Yet, how wise is it really to expect to carry on full-steam in your career when you have small children? Yes, many families really need two full-time wages to make ends meet. Yet a few decades ago that was not the case.  Isn’t it more that our expectations have increased, both personally, in what constitutes a reasonable standard of living, and collectively, in the idea that having small children should be no impediment to getting on with life as normal?

What is important about a career? Is it about improving one’s status? Getting more money? To what end? To enjoy life better? The satisfaction that you are contributing something to the world? Do you need to keep climbing the career ladder to feel that?

When lying on our deathbeds, what regrets will we have? That we never made it big-time? That we could never call ourselves heroes or heroines? Or that we didn’t spend more time with our children?

Lairy ladies

Violence among women is something I’ve never actually witnessed.  I’m blissfully innocent of situations where alcohol-fuelled tempers flare and it’s handbags at dawn.

Only these days, the trend seems to be less handbags and more knives or glasses or even, not so long ago, a stilletto heel in the eye. To be frank, it’s all got a bit nasty.

There was a case in our local paper recently about a young law student out on the lash in some bar who took exception to another woman and head-butted her in the face.

A head-butt. It made me think what sort of woman would resort to a head butt? How could that possibly be an instinctive thing for a woman to do? What kind of background does she have, this law student who uses her own head to injure another person? Does she really have more testosterone than oestrogen? Continue reading “Lairy ladies”