Last night I went to see I Don’t Know How She Does It (having managed to clear away the Sunday lunch, supervised homework, collated the uniforms and put out stuff ready for lunchboxes – just in time to get to the cinema for 8). It was mildly diverting and entertaining, and had some funny relateable moments. Yet SJP’s character, Kate Reddy, didn’t really seem to be juggling all that much. She just seemed to be away a lot, which, as any working mum knows, is the easy bit.
I am looking at my to do list for this week:
Get verucca cream and up to date epi pen from the chemist
Beg/borrow/steal white robe for photoshoot
Order tulips from www.sarahraven.com for mother’s birthday
Buy rabbit hutch and accessories
Chase carpenter for skirting boards
Find missing bank statements for accountant
Fine tune talk for Appledore Book Festival
Book flights for writing course/order euros
Get new tracksuit trousers for youngest
Get middle son’s hair cut
That’s before I even take into consideration the school runs and after school activities (find double bass bow!), cooking, washing, cleaning, general admin/bill paying and shopping.
Oh, and the other important thing on my list for this week: write a book.
There are women all over the country with far more gruelling To Do lists than this. Women who can’t just say to their boss ‘I’m not doing the bits I don’t want to’, as Kate Reddy did in the film. Women who aren’t working for self approbation and to pay for the weekend home, but to put food on the table. Women who don’t have a choice. So before we start moaning about multi-tasking and juggling, we should spare a thought for those with punishing working hours, who have to make less than satisfactory childcare arrangements, who don’t have the luxury of flouncing around in Prada and flirting with Pierce Brosnan but who work their fingers to the bone, and are constantly exhausted, just to keep body and soul together.
Woman who Get On With It.