My opinion by Mercury Reader Fliss Goldsmith “...As the years have passed it seems that ‘having it all’ evolved into ‘doing it all’ as we run ourselves ragged..”

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As a 21st Century woman my understanding of what ‘society expects’ of me is a far cry from that of my mother’s generation. We once applauded women who were homemakers, wives, mothers.

They were the cornerstone of the community and much heralded for being so. After the dawning of equality, or at least the perception of it, women decided they could have it all. Career, children, perfect house, social life, financial independence.

The new millennium promised a surge of female leaders and innovators who could also juggle their family life as perfectly as their mother’s before them and all with a plastic grin plastered across their faces.

We have more choice and opportunities than our predecessors could have ever dreamed of. Sadly as the years have passed it seems that ‘having it all’ evolved into ‘doing it all’ as we run ourselves ragged trying to fulfil a wondrous if not rather ludicrous vision of modernity. I am not saying that women have to choose between being a mother or homemaker and pursuing a career - rather that we should not vilify those that do.

We need to realise that some days it is ok not to save the world, it is ok not to be perfect and it’s even ok not to be totally ok. Perhaps if we cut ourselves some slack we could realise that what ‘society’ expects is only driven by our artificially high expectations of ourselves. While we have more options than previous generations we must realise that they are just that -optional and we do not have a duty to undertake all of them.