Friday, January 27, 2012

Having it All

I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson
Kate Reddy has it all. She's a high powered hedge fund manager always flying overseas, except she still has time to spend with her children, and plan their birthday parties, and bake for school bake sales. Except the image Kate presents the world, isn't quite the reality.

Seeing the previews for the movie, I didn't have a strong desire to see it. I just thought the whole movie looked cheesy. But I thought instead as a book, it could work. And while I did work, I wasn't really a fan of the message the book seemed to portray.

I wanted the book to be a woman who has a hard time juggling everything, but by the end figures it out. Instead it almost seemed to say you can have the high powered career, or you can spend time with your children, but you can't have both. Throughout the book Kate tries hard to manage being the mom she wants to be, as well as the career she always wanted, but instead winds up almost failing at both. The message that you need to pick one path or the other wasn't something I enjoyed, because in the future I'm hoping to find a way to manage both.

With these negatives, I still did enjoy the book. I thought there were a lot of cute scenes with Kate and her children. I enjoy the somewhat of a twist that occurs with her job close to the end. And I loved the fact that it's in England.

But while I enjoyed the story and the characters, again the message the book presents didn't work for me. It had potential to be something great, but it just didn't work for me.



  1. I hate to say this because part of me wants to believe that people can have the best of both worlds.

    Since moving to NY I've met women who have very challenging, high level, amazing careers and children. Watching them juggle both is humbling and most have a spouse who stays home or full time help in both child care and house keeping. Some have both the SAHM spouse and full time childcare. With some positions you can't have it all, if you travel all the time or regularly work until midnight and leave the house at 5am the next day, you're not going to see your kids.

    All of that being said, I believe for the average woman who works 9-5 with the occasional of late nights or travel it is possible to have both the career and the kids. It's just a matter of finding employment with a company that's not going to penalize you when you have to go pick up your kid for 5th time that month who's claiming to be sick. :-)

    For the women SJP plays in that movie, I think it's impossible to give both career and children the same amount of attention. One or the other has to give and it's a big reason why there aren't more women in the top positions of major corporations.

  2. I tried to read this one a few years ago and didn't like enough to continue reading it.

  3. I completely agree with you! I never worked in NYC but I did work as a CPA and there can be a lot of travel as well as hours. However, I never put my job first and I was never punished for it. In fact, I got great reviews. I thought the message was that you had to choose and I didnt really agree. I also didnt love the main character. When she wouldnt hug her son because she was afraid she would get dirty, I cringed.

  4. I was somewhat disappointed in the book and movie. By the way, THANKS for The Hunger Games suggestion. I'm HOOKED! I also tagged you in a post on my blog but don't feel like you have to participate :)