Can a woman have a successful career and balance a family at the same time? Yes, of course she can, but there are going to be challenges; there are going to be sacrifices. We all know that. No matter which "work" we decide to focus on, kids or outside-the-home job, we are going to have questions about whether we are making the right choices.
Enter stage left Gina, a playwright whose brainchild Rapture, Blister, Burn previewed this week at the Hampstead Theatre, and, under the umbrella of the 'can women have it all' debate, simultaneously discussed housewifery, porn, casual sex, families, feminism, marriage, careers, submission, and everything in between.
Too often childcare and the running of family life are still seen as primarily the mother's responsibility. Mothers who return to work immediately after having a baby, leaving the baby in the care of their husband or another family member, are labelled "bad mothers". The term "bad father", by contrast, is very rarely used.
The trick is, to not feel the pressure from all sides, but instead to accept that you can have it all as long as you have help. If giving up work to have children is what's important to you, then do it. If you don't want to give up work but do want to give your children enough of your time, then look at working part time or taking some time off before going back to work.
A fundamental question discussed in all forms of media is "Can I have it all?". At the micro level, the answer can be best illustrated in the Pickwick household through the topic of cake. The Pickwick family are fans of cake, setting upon it like a pack of hyenas around a decaying carcass, wherever it can be found. Mrs Pickwick however is a woman for whom cake and guilt are regular bed fellows, convinced that cake will be her downfall but at the same time enjoying the descent.
We are living through a time of endless choice and unlimited convenience. Whether we're deciding on cars, mobile phones, holidays or simply which sandwich to have for lunch, the range of available options can be genuinely overwhelming. Yet with so much effort dedicated to giving us what we want, and enjoying unprecedented levels of income, entertainment, and calories as 21st century Britons, we don't appear any happier for it. In return for having Everything Now, we have to work harder and longer. According to the TUC, UK employees work some of the longest hours in Europe, so it's no surprise that unhappiness at work is often cited as a major cause of this broader discontent.