Saturday, October 06, 2007

I don't know how she does it by Allison Pearson

I just finished reading I don’t know how she does it by Allison Pearson. When I bought it on a heavy discount (although I still cannot believe that it was originally for 1000 bucks), I did not expect it to be a great read. I got it from Landmark. I wasn’t even looking for it. But when I started reading this amazing book, there was no looking back. I would wait for opportunities to read it. It’s a fat book, so I took 4 days to finish it, but it was truly a remarkable journey!

Reading “I don’t know how she does it” was like going through a myriad of emotions. It would make you burst into laughter at some point, it tugs at your heart and leaves you feeling warm, on several other occasions. It is a story so common to all women, no matter if she is in India or Germany or Britain or South Africa. She has to be a working woman, not even a mother, to empathise.

Well, the book is about a working mother. She is not just another working woman, rather she has a very important position in her company and she is also a high flier. She has international clients to cater to and takes care of other people’s finances. She works for the love of it. We all know how a job gives you a high anytime. A homemaker might suffer from self doubt at some point of time, about her abilities but a working woman always knows that she isn’t getting paid for nothing!

It’s the usual story of this working mother running against time to match steps with the role of a mother and expectations from all the responsibilities she handles at her workplace. To add to her woes, she is a constant target of all those stay-at-home mums for not being a good mother! Well, obviously, if you look at it, it is but natural to be jealous of a working mother because she is seemingly enjoying best of the both worlds. But, even without being a mum, I can feel her pain. There are so many like her around us.

When I finished this book, and even when I was reading it, I wondered what I would do when I became a mother. I really cannot say anything for sure. You never know! But ideally, I would like to stay at home for my baby. I would like to see the joy of listening to her first words, seeing her walk for the first time, be there when she is hurt or when she needs me. Why do we want to be mothers? Just to have children? Because that’s what everyone does? Or because motherhood really is a joyous experience. Being scarily responsible for somebody so tiny and trusting! If life is not about being there for her on those occasions, then I don’t know what really life is!

I know it is difficult when you are used to the idea of Double Income, when you are used to splurging at the whims and fancies, when you are accustomed to your monthly salary; it is really difficult to let it all go. We all think we would manage. We would maintain a fine balance between home and family. We all know that is a myth. Don’t we all associate home with mother? Aren’t we too used to it!

While I was reading the Shopaholic series, I thought this is how I wanted to write. But after reading I don’t know how she does it, I feel, well, I guess this one is so much more better. So much more humorous, so much more lively, so much more real!