Thursday, July 10, 2014

Can Women Have-It-All?

It seems, Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo has stirred up a hornet’s nest by claiming—women can’t have-it-all. Working women from all corners of life are now bashing her up for her brutal honesty. The first time when I read the interview, I was so taken by it that I shared it on Facebook right away. I loved her honesty when she claimed that there were times when she had been a bad mother—a term which I use every day for myself when I leave my 2-year old for office. For those who have been living under a rock, in the Aspen Ideas Festival when reporter David Bradley asked her the age-old question whether women can truly have it all, this was her response:

I don't think women can have it all. I just don't think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all... Every day you have to make a decision about whether you are going to be a wife or a mother, in fact many times during the day you have to make those decisions... We plan our lives meticulously so we can be decent parents. But if you ask our daughters, I'm not sure they will say that I've been a good mom. I'm not sure.

I would call that impressive. Not just that, it also made me realize no one has it easy in life. I loved the fact that she gave us a peep into her life in not so many words. We working women are always facing this dilemma of how to attain a work-life balance. There are days when things are smooth, and then there are some when it could have been better. By accepting that probably she did not give enough time to her daughters while they were growing up is probably a reflection of a remorse that she maybe harbouring inside, or maybe not (I am not psychologist), but atleast she said it out loud. 

Besides this current jargon of having it all is all Hebrew to me. What defines having it all? That word is too idealistic to be true. We all know, career and motherhood can go hand-in-hand, our mothers had done it. There will always be glitches in life and every one faces it be it men or women, single or married, working-mom or homemaker. I am surprised with the people’s reaction. The hate blogs and articles that are cropping on the wake of this interview are mostly from working women—where they are boasting about how easily they have been managing both sides of the coin.

But when bloggers claim Nooyi is endorsing working woman as bad mothers, I vehemently disagree because her interview was an honest reflection of what she has to deal with, and how many times have we heard a person of her stature speak up about their shortcomings in such a matter-of-fact way (she could have said the same in guise of humor and satire). Her interview was not about the archaic war between stay-at-home and working moms.

Life is tough, and we are constantly making decisions and choices, sometimes we succeed, other times we fail, but in the process we grow as a human and try to survive each day the best we know how. The world is increasingly becoming less tolerant and opinionated. Let’s not shred someone for letting us peep into their life. Embrace it, take the good, eliminate the bad, and move on.


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