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Blogs about "having it all"?
July 6, 2011 4:35 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for thoughtful writing by women dealing with the challenges of trying to "have it all".

I would like to do some reading, ideally online, about the personal perspectives of women who have the aptitude and desire to pursue ambitious professional or academic careers but who also yearn for a stable, happy romantic relationship and want to have children. I'd like to read about how individual women work through the difficult decisions, both big and small, involved in juggling children and careers, dating and ambition. Are there any blogs like this? Excellent articles I should read? Online communities where this is a frequent topic of discussion?

I'm not looking for articles identifying "frazzled feminists were wrong when they thought they could have it all!" as the trend-of-the-month (which is what Google is mostly serving up). I'm looking for smart, ambitious women talking frankly about their personal thought processes as they faced or are facing these issues. This includes young women who may just be beginning to think along these lines and haven't made any sense of it yet.
posted by ootandaboot to Society & Culture (20 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's a book, not a blog, but, Bossypants.
posted by mauvest at 4:38 PM on July 6, 2011


Recently in the NYT--Leslie Blodgett, CEO of Bare Escentuals.

I don't know that many people at her level blog, but the sort of pieces you're looking for are in Forbes, Financial Times (look at their Lunch With section and Mrs. Moneypenny column), Business section of the NYT, etc.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:39 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Motherlode on the NYTimes just did a book club on a book you might like- TORN.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:40 PM on July 6, 2011


Penelope Trunk isn't everyone's cup of tea but she certainly tells it like it is for her.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:43 PM on July 6, 2011


This is a recurring topic in the science blogosphere, and you'll probably find some relevant blogs by clicking around the "Scientiae" blog carnival, which features only blogs by women scientists. Hopefully their stories translate to what you're looking for.
posted by easternblot at 4:49 PM on July 6, 2011


Mama PhD
posted by k8t at 5:23 PM on July 6, 2011


You should check out the Wall Street Journal's The Juggle. It deals with exactly these topics.
posted by ilikemethisway at 5:49 PM on July 6, 2011


I like The Juggle too but have gotten weary of the comments section, which has a cliquey, judgmental group of regulars who pollute the place and make it hard to parse out comments that are actually helpful.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:09 PM on July 6, 2011


Another book instead of a blog, but I liked Flux.
posted by unannihilated at 6:53 PM on July 6, 2011


You might be interested in the book More Than 85 Broads. It has personal accounts from, well, more than 85 professional women. It's been a while since I read it, but I remember it provided me with comfort at a point in my life when I felt overwhelmed.

There's also a network for professional women called 85 Broads. They used to have a magazine, although I'm not sure if they still do. Their site does have blogs on it.
posted by larkin123 at 7:51 PM on July 6, 2011


Michelle Au's The Underwear Drawer was initially about life as a med student. There are a few articles about trying to balance medicine and motherhood and time for herself. She has a book out too.
posted by onegoodthing at 1:19 AM on July 7, 2011


Dooce has actually written some about this too. It's not her main focus, obviously, but she has been pretty frank about some of the challenges and benefits as she grew the site and her 'brand' (for lack of a better word.) There was a huge project at the Washington Post called On Balance. It's over now, but the archives might be worth a visit.
posted by barnone at 2:53 AM on July 7, 2011


The UK forum Mumsnet might be worth a look. I don't have kids but occasionally lurk on some of the less child-centred boards (it's often very funny and the style board is great) and there are often posts about this. It skews fairly middle class. Language is a bit salty if this matters to you.
posted by mippy at 6:43 AM on July 7, 2011


Here's a blog that overlap with some of the mentioned topics, written by an incoming med school student in the inaugural class at a new medical school: And Thus, It Begins. (Disclaimer: The author and I are friends from our time in our respective Master's programs)
posted by ThyroidBob at 6:48 AM on July 7, 2011


Katy Read's recent article in Salon addresses these exact topics.
posted by Ellemeno at 6:57 AM on July 7, 2011


And here is Katy Read's blog, What I Should Be Doing Instead.
posted by Ellemeno at 7:02 AM on July 7, 2011


I really enjoyed this week's New Yorker piece on Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. Her TED talk only touched on the issues of balancing everything, but did so in a really confident, positively prescriptive way.
posted by Mchelly at 7:15 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can condense every powerful woman I have heard speak on this issue (at various professional and MBA women's things) into a few key takeaways:

- have a job with a lot of responsibility that you perform well at (allowing you some flexibility)
- marry someone who is willing to stay home with your kids or has a more flexible job (lots of the women I know with high powered jobs have stay at home husbands, teacher husbands, graphic designer husbands, writer husbands, etc.)
- have enough money to hire a lot of help. Housekeeper, Nanny (two if needed) etc.

And they always say a lot of stuff about the guilt, etc. It may be something about the current culture of making kids the center of your universe that makes working moms feel especially guilty - and it does seem like mandatory school activities for parents at high end schools are really pervasive. I heard a very high level woman at my company say she had to take time out of the afternoon to bring cupcakes to the kids at her child's pre-school and hang out with them (she does not have time to make cupcakes - the nanny did it). And this appears to happen about once a month. I'm sorry, that's ridiculous.

The real issue IMHO that some high powered women are type A at work and at home. You have to give it up somewhere and let things be good enough to manage it I think.
posted by rainydayfilms at 7:29 AM on July 7, 2011


Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I'm checking them all out and have highlighted a few that seem to have particularly the type of content I'm looking for.
posted by ootandaboot at 8:26 AM on July 7, 2011


Whimsy & Spice.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:56 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


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