“A `wife’ can be male or female. Whether they’re a man or a woman, though, the main thing wives are is a cracking professional asset. They enable the busy full-time worker to experience the joy and fulfillment of children, without the considerable inconvenience of having to pick them up from school at 3pm, which - in one of the human experience’s wittier little jokes – is the time that school ends, a time that is convenient for pretty much no one. Having a wife means that if you get caught up at work, or want to stay later, either to get some urgent job finished or to frown at your desktop computer in a plausible simulacrum of working in order to impress a new boss while actually reading buzzfeed, it can be done. Many wives work, but they do jobs that are either part-time or offer sufficient flexibility for the accommodation of late-breaking debacles.“In the olden days, wives were usually women. Which is funny, because nowadays wives are usually women too.
The book is easy to read and extremely witty. Longtime readers of this blog will know that in the 9 years or so that I’ve been blathering here, I have had two children and four jobs, with weekly working hours varying from 1.5 to 7 days/week, in both office, lab and FIFO working environments. As my wife also works, figuring out how to juggle it all has been one of our greater challenges over the past few years. So I found the content insightful and interesting, if not a bit sobering. The sad fact of the matter is that there is no magic “have-it-all” solution. Each week only has 168 hours, and they all need to be covered. At the same time, this book makes it abundantly clear that, in many cases, it is women who are covering many of those hours, often by default.