Juggling: Nine to Five and More

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Our generation (boomer and beyond) embraced the dreams and expectations fostered by the woman’s movement. This section of the book addresses the reality. We thought we could have it all, but some of us discovered that success is the result of luck as much as it is of controlling our destiny. And, no matter what changes have taken place, the “suits” are still in charge.

The essays in this section provide encouragement and generous doses of reality. In almost all of them attention is given to the concept of compromise. Boomer women have come to know compromise all too well. Everybody needs our services. Husbands our age have expectations. Children want Mommy to do everything. Bosses or clients aren’t interested in our home life. So how do we keep all the balls in the air.

Our writers document the challenges of trying to raise a family while pursuing a career. They talk about what has to be let go –- the concept of being a perfect mother, of being able to devote to career as many hours as it demands. Some writers had to give up one profession and search for one with more flexibility. One writer had to break out of the mold her culture demanded of her.

These are tales of women in transition, women learning new lessons, starting their second acts. Two essayists, one from India, one from New England, describe their path from traditional housewife to entrepreneur. Both are sharp and smart. They took advantage of every possibility that presented itself, have healthy marriages and have achieved business success.

Other women, also go-getters, carved their career paths within the corporate structure. They too maintained healthy marriages and experienced great success, but, despite their considerable achievements and talents, the system eventually squeezed them out.

Our essayists offer testimony and words of advice. And for those times when you think you just can’t manage, remember what one writer says, “This too shall pass.”