Is it truly possible to have it all? This is the million-dollar question for today's woman, and Helena Morrissey thinks she has the answer: a resounding 'Yes.'
The mom-of-nine, who also happens to run an investment firm in the city of London, has another very modest ambition: to “change history” for women struggling to balance a career and family life. The chief executive of Newton Investment Management aims to populate boardrooms with more women -- at least 30 per cent of them by 2015.
But the reality, according to research from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), is that many women are pursuing careers in lieu of motherhood when their marriage prospects are scarce.
"Most women don't realize it, but an important factor in a woman's career choice is how easy or difficult it is to find a husband," said Kristina Durante, of UTSA. "When a woman's dating prospects look bleak -- as is the case when there are few available men -- she is much more likely to delay starting a family and instead seek a career."
The irony: as a woman climbs the corporate ladder, become more educated or well paid, the less likely she is to find a mate. Researchers are calling the phenomenon a case of 'choosing briefcase over baby.'
But for Mrs Morrissey, who managed to have nine children while climbing the ranks to run a company that manages £50 billion's worth of assets, there was no sacrifice.
“I have nine children and I’ve seen first hand that it can be quite difficult to combine a career and motherhood,” she said. “I’d like to help other women, particularly those who decide to have a family that do want to have a fulfilled working life.”
Hence the 30 Percent Club, which Morrissey set up two years ago. “It was obvious to me we weren’t seeing much progress in terms of numbers of women at senior levels.”
We can only speculate as to the small army employed to support Morrissey, just as we can only speculate as to how much time and attention she is able to devote to each of those children.
While admirable, is her goal realistic? Can the average woman successfully balance motherhood and a career?
It's every mom's fantasy. No, I don't mean Ryan Gosling whipping open his shirt to reveal those 'Photoshopped' abs. I mean, the last diaper fantasy.
If every mom secretly fantasizes about ditching the Huggies, then Little Izabella Oniciuc's mom is one happy lady these days, as her babe is way ahead of her peers who are trained anywhere between 18 and 32 months old.
Oh, and Izabella's only six months old.
According to 26-year-old mom Raluca, Izabella makes a “boo boo” sound when she needs a no. 2.
“When Izabella was born she made a clicking sound for milk," said the British mom. "After a couple of days the sound developed into ‘Eh, eh’, meaning she was hungry. “Now she says ‘Ah’ for mum and ‘Ger’ for dad.”
Dad Finn, 45, credits his daughter's "remarkable development" to listening to Mozart in the womb. Hm. Wasn't all that Einstein stuff debunked as tripe?
But clinical psychologist Dr Claire Halsey swears that little Izabella has the key components of potty training -- timing and communication -- down pat.
If she can communicate when her bladder and bowels are full, not to mention make recognizable, meaningful sounds, then she must be 'trained.' But this doctor warns against early training, and for good reason.
Girl genius or happy coincidence?
Are you potty training your little one? Here are some of the most common potty training mistakes.
Face it, we're all guilty of it. We want the men in our lives to show their sensitive side, yet when they do we invariably tell them to buck up. And that's a dangerous trend in new dads, who may suffer from postnatal depression, too.
When the Daily Mail's resident doctor Robert Lefever reported on a small study by Oxford University scientists about paternal depression, he sarcastically asked what's next, will men suffer from PMS, too?
Other journalists then chimed in, equally unsympathetic to the plight of new dads.
"I would have been more concerned that the mothers in question were having to put up with such exhausting narcissists as partners," said Barbara Ellen of the Observer, "men incapable of hiding their sulky self-absorption, even while being watched by researchers for a period of, wait for it, three minutes. Even serial killer Ted Bundy managed to look 'normal' for longer than that." Ouch.
While it would be way off base to suggest that men get the equivalent of post-partum depression (PPD) with its clear physiological triggers, some are certainly afflicted by an equally real depression as a result of the new stresses and lifestyle changes of their new role.
As the Guardian points out, it's sad that science and media spheres are so glib and dismissive about the illness. The whole problem is this 'suck it up' attitude that forces men to internalize their emotions and to avoid dealing with -- or reaching out to receive treatment for -- depression.
Is there a double standard when it comes to men's health?