In the new film I Don’t Know How She Does It the plot revolves around a woman (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) struggling to have it all. It all being both a doting mother and wife as well as a high-powered career woman. From what we have seen in the trailers, it is definitely a struggle and apparently many women do not envy that struggle. In a new survey commissioned to coincide with the release of the film, there was found to be a whole generation of women who “don’t know why she does it” instead of “how she does it.”
The survey found that 44% of childless women feel sorry for working mothers trying to balance everything. A quarter think working mothers always look exhausted and one in five say it looks so difficult it makes them think twice about having children. Half of childless women over 30 look at stay-at-home mothers and think it will be difficult for them to get back on the career ladder and a fifth believe they’ve lost their identity. Meanwhile 26% admit they are fearful of the effect motherhood would have on their career. As harsh as all these percentages sound, this mode of thinking makes sense when you think about the number of studies and stories we hear about women struggling to get back on their career path after children enter the picture.
Some other interesting stats from the survey showed that their is a lot of animosity between working mothers and their childless colleagues. One in six childless women feel working mothers are treated preferentially in the workplace. We wrote about women resenting their co-workers who left them behind with extra work when they went on maternity leave and even after they returned. Findings also showed that 42% of professional women without children feel constantly judged by working mothers and a quarter feel they are regarded by working mums as hardened career women simply because they don’t have children. These results indicate that it as if not having children automatically sends a signal to their colleagues with children that they are more ambitious than them.