I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson
Kate Reddy seems to have it all. A high-flying career as a hedge fund manager, two young children, a devoted husband, great sense of humour and tremendous energy levels to keep juggling all the balls in air. But does she really? On closer inspection, Kate is frazzled, tired, saddled with tonnes of guilt and falling apart at the seams of her Armani suit. Kate's is our story. The story of modern women who aspire to have it all and realise that that's not part of the menu.
'I Don't Know How She Does It' is an excellent study in the dilemmas facing today's women. Do I get back to work after children? How soon? Am I neglecting my duties as a mother? Isn't my career important? Am I a bad mother for thinking that it is? Did I slave all those years only to give it up at the first sign of a nappy? How come guys are never confronted with these issues? Why is it all so bloody unfair? Am I allowed to think that a strategy meeting is more important than my child's first words? Whatever happened to gender equality? The quality of time spent with children more important than the quantity, isn't it? Is it?
The questions are never-ending and the answers never-simple. The book is told with great empathy laced with laugh-out-loud humour. The author makes you realise that it all comes down to choice. And so often, women don't have many. That, we can have it all. Only not at the same time.
Beg, borrow, buy, give up sleep, cancel meetings and stand up boyfriends if you have to. But read it.