Initially, I blogged about feeling overwhelmed. But I’ve decided to change directions with this post and turn it into a Great Debate. Read on.
I feel overwhelmed, like, all the time.
I work full time, take care of two dogs, volunteer for a couple of nonprofits and fit freelance into whatever remaining hours I have.
And I’m not even the busiest of my friends!
I have girlfriends who do everything I do — plus raise kids, take care of their parents, run marathons and somehow manage to keep their hair and nails looking great.
It occurred to me that there’s this pressure on women to do it all, to be Super Woman, to be the perfect mother and wife and employee and friend. We have to be at meetings on time, prepared with PowerPoints and perfectly edited reports. We have to plan the office birthday parties and throw baby showers for our coworkers. We have to plan potlucks for our kids, pay the bills on time, shop for groceries, wash the clothes and, on top of that, maintain (or fake it) the 25-year-old figure we haven’t seen in 10 years.
Is this fair?
I thought about this the other night when I caught a glimpse at the trailer for the new movie, “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker.
The movie is based on Allison Pearson’s bestseller by the same name, in which Parker plays a high-achieving Manhattan woman who’s juggling everything from her career — she’s the breadwinner — to faking a store-bought mince pie to look homemade.
Here’s the movie trailer
We all know women like that. The coworker who seems to meet all her deadlines — early — and still have time to chair several committees, coach her daughter’s soccer team and bake a mean bread pudding. Or the friend who can juggle motherhood, two jobs and finish law school — and still keep her body fat percentage in single digits.
We may not like these people — on the grounds of pure envy, of course — but we strive to be like them.
I wonder: do men feel this same pressure? Do men feel this need to be the perfect dad, husband, brother, coworker, friend? Are men programmed the way women are, to feel this urge to do it all?
What do you think?