The Daily Juggle
The Daily Juggle
Is it ever really possible to say no?
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There is a mini rebellion happening within the ranks of time-poor career mothers. It seems the floodgates have flung open and women all over are outing themselves as the kind of woman who thought she could do it all, but has been forced to admit she can't. Think Anne-Marie Slaughter, Debora Spa and this columnist every day of the week.
The general consensus is that women like us should just start saying no. I really like the idea of it. I do. But let's examine the practicality of the 'no' option.
Can we really say 'no' to:
- Long working days: It'd be a short career if you were to say no to your workload. But fortunately technology has enabled us to say no to long days in the office churning through the to-do pile. Instead you'll find many career women planning, writing reports and sending emails late into the evening.
Verdict: A compromised no.
- Housework: Unfortunately our bathrooms and floors won't clean themselves if we choose not to do it. Yes, our partners and children can and do pitch in but if you want your home to resemble one from Stepford Wives then you will undoubtedly still be 'refining' their good work. Outsourcingthe cleaning and cooking is the way to go but both come at at price. Our ability to say no to these things is therefore dependent on the size of our incomes.
Verdict: A dependent no.
- Children: No is something they say, not something they are open to hearing. If they are very young then how do you say no? If they are teenagers, then you try saying no and tell me how that worked for you. This is a difficult one. Children of all ages need our time and energy. And let's face it, most of us chose motherhood because we wanted to be parents, not just have children. A subtle but important distinction.
Verdict: Not likely.
- Our partner: Most reasonable partners will understand that there are times when it is obviously a no. But there are only so many times one can say no before it impacts the relationship. Sometimes a yes can also be the perfect antidote to stress.
Verdict: a cautionary no.
Do you find it tough to say no? Where have you been able to find compromise in your life?