I Don’t Know How She Does It

Based on Allison Pearson’s critically acclaimed bestseller, I Don’t Know How She Does It is a film about the struggle, the joy and the heartache of being a working mother, wife and woman.
I read Pearson’s novel when I was in the thick of raising small children (the first time around) in the UK and without the support of extended friends and family. I recall feeling physically stressed reading her to do lists and the epic struggle to find time for being a wife, Mum, fund manager and simply “Kate”in 24 hours. Who would crush store bought pies to make them look home baked? Kate is a time poor working mother who manages to convince herself that she can control it all and have it all, whilst wearing heels. The film is a somewhat slicker and smoother ride through Kate Reddy’s life but it does touch on all of those gender issues based around career and parenting, self fulfilment and identity. Why do women multitask? Why do they gate keep? Why do women think they can and should have it all?
We live in a culture of idolatry, where we pursue things without any regard to the sad human cost involved. The idols of power, control, comfort and approval all characterise Kate Reddy’s life. At times sacrifice is expressed in a neglected child, a forgotten appointment, silence between husband and wife or kids logistics in exchange for real conversation. Both the film and the book are worth a visit. Neither suggests that our idols need sacrificing or that our idols propel us far from our Creator and into chaos. But I do think Reddy’s world should make us stop and reflect on our own circumstances.
I am a mother of five and wife of one and I know the craziness of family life and the temptation to think, yeah…I don’t know how I do it? But it gets done. Good on me. The reality is I don’t do any of it in my own strength. And if I am ever tempted to think that, I am a fool. I don’t know how anyone does it without Him. 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46.1

One thought on “I Don’t Know How She Does It”

  1. I really enjoyed the book, but found the movie quite disappointing. You make a helpful reflection. I know I don't get through each day on my own strength.


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