According to the movie, she DOESN'T.
But, I already knew that going in because the concept that any Mom can balance the demands of family and career without something giving is just ridiculous.
Similarly, I don't know how anybody can balance the demands of family and the full-time job of being a Mom/part-time PTA participant/unpaid maid, nurse, errand runner without dropping a ball somewhere in the process. That's also beyond me.
And, from one fellow ball juggler to another: even though it sometimes looks like the grass is greener, it probably isn't. In fact, it's probably AstroTurf you're looking at.
As the movie preaches, when these demands make our to-do list scamper off course, we sometimes make major changes about how we are going to run our lives. Sadly, though, it becomes obvious that the person who wrote the screenplay (and, probably the book) doesn't think either type of woman should be given much credit for making much more than to-do lists well.
Yet, I think the balance of American Moms get it right most of the time. So, that part of the message from the movie really hacked me off.
I love what Self Magazine Associate Health Editor Anna Maltby said about women: "My former pilates teacher said we focus on the 10% of ourselves we need to improve, when most of what we do, we do really well. When I'm feeling down, I remind myself I'm 90% awesome."
And, sadly, instead of celebrating the 90%, the movie camped out on that 10%.
To point: Career woman can't groom herself. Stay-at-home is overly groomed.*
Career woman doesn't have time for herself, her kids, or her husband but she has time to worry about stay-at-home Mom's opinion of her. Stay-at-home Mom has copious amounts of time for her gym trainer, the bake sale, self-grooming and complaining about how pathetic career woman is.
In fact, the entire movie pits stay-at-homers against career Moms and stereotypes them into the ground.**
The end result of my education from Sarah Jessica Parker and Pierce Brosnan, among others, is that career women don't really have a voice until they've made it to the top. Then, and only then, can they demand whatever they want without threat of reprisal. OH, and they certainly can't work alongside a man fifteen or so years their senior without becoming the love object.
The stay-at-home Moms taught me that everyone should begin their day at Equinox, with their trainer, after dropping off their progeny at the school, prominently wearing their Prada bag and Louboutin heels, and bringing a perfect, home baked item to the cake sale. OH, and that everything she does includes a side of gossip about how "lowly" career woman is for working in the first place.
In other words, I learned SQUAT from this movie, other than that, as a stay-at-home Mom, I should hate all working Mothers. And, conversely, all my friends who are working outside the home should hate me.
WHAT A FRICKIN' WASTE OF MY TIME!
I've learned, over and over and over again, that when I think my problems are bad, I should just go have a talk with someone else who is willing to share their problems. Once that little conversation is over, my problems always seem so light.
I highly recommend you plow the money you would have spent at the theater on buying a couple of bottles of wine and take-out from a local joint. Plan to meet your girlfriends somewhere where you can be your loud selves, eat too much, and really talk about life.
I'm pretty sure you'll find that every one of you has issues, career woman or stay-at-homer. I'm positive you'll laugh, you'll connect again, you might even find yourself crying. But, most importantly, you'll rediscover why you love the gals in your circle of life. And, you'll know again how you can lift them in pray, even when your lives are too unbalanced to get together more regularly.
In the grand scheme of life it is all about grace. Grace for our friend who is running herself ragged trying to perfect the whole thing. Grace for ourselves when we say "yes" to too much. Grace for our kids when they forget the project that is due tomorrow that requires supplies from the store that closes in ten minutes.
And, above all, remember that God thinks you are awesome 100% of the time. Even if you do, on occasion, pick a really pathetic movie.
*They obviously didn't follow ME around or they would have discovered "fashion" isn't in my language.
**Thanks, but I get enough class warfare through my evening news. I don't need more of it when I spend my hard earned money going to the theater.