Who’s Eating all the Cake?

Who’s eating all the cake?

You?  … Your Partner?  …  Your Boss? … The Kids?  …. Your Siblings? … Your Work Colleague?


Tina Fey

In this world where “Lean In”, “You Can Have it All”, Equality, Feminism, Targets, Quotas ….. have women gone from the belief that we can have a very decent crack of having it all to …. you can get back onto the career path after having kids, and yes, your work will give you that opportunity to work part-time, and yes, you’ll be able to manage drop off, pick up, and yes you’ll do dinner, and yes you’ll witching hour, and yes, you do most of the housework (still), oh and jamming in some quality time with kids at the end of the day before you have to log back on and finish off work at night …. does it never ever stop??? Yes yes yes yes to everyone else but YOU.

And seriously, YOU.  Yes YOU.  Where is the time for you? That moment when you can just have your mind wander off whilst you’re folding the washing drinking your luke warm glass of wine ….. Is your life timetabled out to within an inch of its life that the possibility of a lazy day or a relaxing with your partner, not running around to pick up, raises a lump in your throat, stings the eyes and you just are so perplexed as to how you got on this running machine that feels like it’s never going to stop ….. SO,

Who can have the cake and eat it to?

Thought we could right? Yep, about 4-5 years ago when flexible working arrangements started to be discussed under the Fair Work Act that we thought we could have it all.  We thought Hell Yes, we can shoot for the stars, have kids, have work, love partners, enjoy life and DO. IT. ALL.  But as reality hits, it’s turned out to be exhausting, anxiety driven and relentless.

Natalie Reilly wrote a great article in The Age(1) last month where she talks about working mothers being 18 per cent more stressed than other people.  Researchers from Manchester University and the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Essex University in the UK looked at 11 indicators of chronic stress, including blood pressure and hormones, in 6025 women; they found that working mothers of two children record 40 per cent higher levels on those stress indicators.

But sadly, that article seems to nail all the issues that we have been speaking about for the past 4-5 years, and Annabel Crabb’s book “The Wife Drought” highlights.  “Women Need Wives and Men Need Lives …..

Michelle O’Bama nailed it: That whole ‘so you can have it all.’ Nope, not at the same time,” Obama said, according to the The Cut. “That’s a lie. And it’s not always enough to lean in, because that shit doesn’t work all the time.”

Taking turns and sharing the cake seems to be how we roll these days.  And is this true even, as the tide is turning so more women are having the opportunity to be move involved in the workforce, how do we make sure that EVERYONE has the opportunity to participate and contribute to their own career, lifestyle and family fulfilment.

Our latest PodCast “Chewing the Fat on Flexibility” talks about this very issue.  How important it is for conversation, agreements, discussion, wobble room on the home front.  Agreements and support for partners, by partners, is key to making this work.

How will we ever create a new way of living, working, socialising, parenting and being if we cannot start with our homes?   It isn’t about everyone having it all, it’s about the family unit creating an opportunity for you to achieve your goals in life.

Is there any need / requirement for a 40 hour week at work?  More and more studies and business cases are being trialled – 32 hour week, 4 day week, flexible working arrangements being implemented in organisations.  BUT, are they really flexible working arrangements if you feel the glare of your Manager watching your every move, because you’re the only part-timer in the Team.  You feel pressure to logon after the kids are asleep to finish something off.  When will we get the balance right?

It all starts with conversations, trialling new ways of working and that’s where FlexConnect can help you.  Whether you are

  • an employee re-entering the workforce
  • wanting to job-share your role
  • negotiate flexible working arrangements
  • a Manager who wants to introduce flexible working arrangements with your organisation
  • an Organisation who wants to walk the talk and actually apply flexibility

we can help you.  We have practical tools, tips, coaching to help you succeed, and be a place where flexibility shines.

Isn’t it time for everyone to take the time, to eat the cake and enjoy it too?

FlexConnect equips Organisations, Managers & Employees for Flexibility



E hbutler@flexconnect.com.au

T 0413 15 88 77