In reference to “having it all,” Barbara Walters once said that you can have two of the three. According to the living legend, career, marriage, and motherhood are difficult to juggle, and something’s gotta give. So when When Sarah Treem, creator of Showtime’s ‘The Affair,’ wrote a revealing, raw article for Red about losing her marriage to her demanding career, it got me thinking. Treem asks whether a man could sustain the same lifestyle and whether it’s too much to dream that as a woman.
First, if a man were working 14-hour days and the woman was the primary caregiver to the children, she too might feel emotionally neglected. Furthermore, if that woman moved to a city she hated and gave up her own career to boot, I can also imagine the marriage would suffer. Would the woman be as apt to exit that marriage, or would she stick around longer since that arrangement is more socially acceptable? I’m not so sure there’s a double standard.The real issue here is the lack of support from employers, co-workers, networks, and studios for people in positions of power to sustain their personal lives. There has to be a way to offer more support, and as Treem suggests, if she simply asked for help, perhaps things would have gone another way. But because she’s a woman, she wanted the world to think she could do it all. This does beg a bigger question; however and it’s — should we even WANT to do it all?