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Lily Allen's joke about her kids 'ruining' her career is a spot-on comment about motherhood

No, most women can't "have it all."

lily allen, alily allen kids, motherhood, work life balance
Canva, Raph_PH/Wikipedia

Lily Allen shared how her kids "ruined" her career. She is not alone.

“You can have it all.”

This has been a post-3rd wave feminism promise sworn to women. That you can have a big family, a high achieving career, a fulfilling relationship, a never-ending sense of purpose, no bad hair days, healthy lunches that make themselves, and so on and so on.

But many, many women will quickly dispel that myth. There is still measurable inequality between men and women when it comes to being able to advance in their careers and have children. Even the ones who do seem to “have it all” are the exception to the rule, and likely have sacrificed other aspects of their identity.

That goes for pop stars too, apparently. While appearing on an episode of the Radio Times Podcast, British singer Lily Allen spoke candidly about her own experience of not being able to move up in the music industry after becoming a mom.

Allen shot to prominence in 2006 thanks to her hit song “Smile.” Only two years later, she earned a nomination for best alternative music album at the 2008 Grammy Awards for debut album, "Alright Still.”

But instead, Allen followed in the footsteps of celebrities like Rick Moranis, and chose to focus on her children.

"Some people choose their career over their children, and that’s their prerogative," she explained. "My parents were quite absent when I was a kid, and I feel like that really left some nasty scars that I'm not willing to repeat on mine. I’m glad that I have done that, because I think they’re pretty well-rounded people.”

In other words: “My children ruined my career,” she joked, before adding “I love them and they complete me, but in terms of pop stardom, totally ruined it.”

Though Allen has no regrets, she brought up the story to address how unrealistic it is for most women to be able to do both, and being told otherwise by society is less-than-empowering.

"It really annoys me when people say you can have it all, because — quite frankly — you can’t."

Between pay inequality, difference in work life balance, corporate attitudes towards pregnancy leave, and already being less likely to advance than their male counterparts even without the factor of children (not to mention the world not fully being set up for two working parents with zero community support) it feels safe to assume that Allen is touching on something fairly universal here.

Though her pop star chapter might have reached a close, Allen seems to still be living a pretty cool life— from her swanky New York apartment with David Harbour to winning awards for her stage acting. So though she might not “have it all,” she certainly has some pretty cool things going for her.

Identity

Celebrate International Women's Day with these stunning photos of female leaders changing the world

The portraits, taken by acclaimed photographer Nigel Barker, are part of CARE's "She Leads the World" campaign.

Images provided by CARE

Kadiatu (left), Zainab (right)

True

Women are breaking down barriers every day. They are transforming the world into a more equitable place with every scientific discovery, athletic feat, social justice reform, artistic endeavor, leadership role, and community outreach project.

And while these breakthroughs are happening all the time, International Women’s Day (Mar 8) is when we can all take time to acknowledge the collective progress, and celebrate how “She Leads the World.

This year, CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, is celebrating International Women’s Day through the power of portraiture. CARE partnered with high-profile photographer Nigel Barker, best known for his work on “America’s Next Top Model,” to capture breathtaking images of seven remarkable women who have prevailed over countless obstacles to become leaders within their communities.

“Mabinty, Isatu, Adama, and Kadiatu represent so many women around the world overcoming incredible obstacles to lead their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA.

Barker’s bold portraits, as part of CARE’s “She Leads The World” campaign, not only elevate each woman’s story, but also shine a spotlight on how CARE programs helped them get to where they are today.

About the women:

Mabinty

international womens day, care.org

Mabinty is a businesswoman and a member of a CARE savings circle along with a group of other women. She buys and sells groundnuts, rice, and fuel. She and her husband have created such a successful enterprise that Mabinty volunteers her time as a teacher in the local school. She was the first woman to teach there, prompting a second woman to do so. Her fellow teachers and students look up to Mabinty as the leader and educator she is.

Kadiatu

international womens day, care.org

Kadiatu supports herself through a small business selling food. She also volunteers at a health clinic in the neighboring village where she is a nursing student. She tests for malaria, works with infants, and joins her fellow staff in dancing and singing with the women who visit the clinic. She aspires to become a full-time nurse so she can treat and cure people. Today, she leads by example and with ambition.

Isatu

international womens day, care.org

When Isatu was three months pregnant, her husband left her, seeking his fortune in the gold mines. Now Isatu makes her own way, buying and selling food to support her four children. It is a struggle, but Isatu is determined to be a part of her community and a provider for her kids. A single mother of four is nothing if not a leader.

Zainab

international womens day, care.org

Zainab is the Nurse in Charge at the Maternal Child Health Outpost in her community. She is the only nurse in the surrounding area, and so she is responsible for the pre-natal health of the community’s mothers-to-be and for the safe delivery of their babies. In a country with one of the world’s worst maternal death rates, Zainab has not lost a single mother. The community rallies around Zainab and the work she does. She describes the women who visit the clinic as sisters. That feeling is clearly mutual.

Adama

international womens day, care.org

Adama is something few women are - a kehkeh driver. A kehkeh is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, known elsewhere as a tuktuk. Working in the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Adama is the primary breadwinner for her family, including her son. She keeps her riders safe in other ways, too, by selling condoms. With HIV threatening to increase its spread, this is a vital service to the community.

Ya Yaebo

international womens day, care.org

“Ya” is a term of respect for older, accomplished women. Ya Yaebo has earned that title as head of her local farmers group. But there is much more than that. She started as a Village Savings and Loan Association member and began putting money into her business. There is the groundnut farm, her team buys and sells rice, and own their own oil processing machine. They even supply seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture. She has used her success to the benefit of people in need in her community and is a vocal advocate for educating girls, not having gone beyond grade seven herself.

On Monday, March 4, CARE will host an exhibition of photography in New York City featuring these portraits, kicking off the multi-day “She Leads the World Campaign.

Learn more, view the portraits, and join CARE’s International Women's Day "She Leads the World" celebration at CARE.org/sheleads.


Health

Over or under? Surprisingly, there actually is a 'correct' way to hang a toilet paper roll.

Let's settle this silly-but-surprisingly-heated debate once and for all.

Elya/Wikimedia Commons

Should you hang the toilet paper roll over or under?



Upworthy book

Humans have debated things large and small over the millennia, from the democracy to breastfeeding in public to how often people ought to wash their sheets.

But perhaps the most silly-yet-surprisingly-heated household debate is the one in which we argue over which way to hang the toilet paper roll.

The "over or under" question has plagued marriages and casual acquaintances alike for over 100 years, with both sides convinced they have the soundest reasoning for putting their toilet paper loose end out or loose end under. Some people feel so strongly about right vs. wrong TP hanging that they will even flip the roll over when they go to the bathroom in the homes of strangers.

Contrary to popular belief, it's not merely an inconsequential preference. There is actually a "correct" way to hang toilet paper, according to health experts as well as the man who invented the toilet paper roll in the first place.

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Mom teaches daughter a perfect lesson after she threw her new pencil case in the trash

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Photo from Pexels.

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When Hassell gave her daughter the pencil case, she threw it in the bin complaining that everyone already had it. That's when Hassell decided to teach her daughter the perfect lesson.

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Some girls out at a bchelorette party.

A recent story posted on Reddit shows how sometimes trusting your gut can be the best thing you can do, even if following it will seriously impact your friendships. It all started when a 24-year-old woman with the username Yslbabycat went to a bachelorette party with 5 other friends in Italy.

For brevity’s sake, we’ll call our main character YBC.

One night, the six girls went bar and club hopping and met some new friends. “We met some young people, and they invited us to a party. We went and danced and met more people. The night kept going on longer, and we were very far from our lodgings. These young men with 2 women in their group told us to stay with them for the night,” she wrote.

That’s when she had the first strong gut feeling.

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3 moments that might convince you Edgar Allan Poe was a time traveler.

In the case of Poe, it was his fiction that was, well, stranger than fiction.


I'm pretty positive that Edgar Allan Poe had (has?) the power to travel through time. Hear me out on this one.

It's not just the well-known circumstances of his life — orphaned at a young age, father of the mystery novel, master of cryptology, maestro of the macabre. Nor am I referring to the head-scratching details of the days leading up to his death: how he was found on the street near a voting poll wearing someone else's clothes, and during his subsequent hospitalization, he was alleged to babble incoherently about an unidentified person named “Reynolds."

And I won't even get into the confounding reports of a nameless figure who, for seven decades, would show up to Poe's gravesite in the early hours of his birthday with a glass of cognac and three roses.


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When her 5-year-old broke his leg, this mom raised $0. It's actually inspiring.

Her crowdfunding alternative is so obvious, it's shocking America hasn't taken advantage of it.


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Photo via iStock.

Freddie was doing tricks down the stairs of his front porch when he fell off his bike — and his bike fell on him.

"[He was] just crying, wouldn't let us touch his leg, couldn't put any weight on his leg. We knew," mom Ashley says.

Ashley rushed Freddie to the emergency room, where an X-ray confirmed the bones in his left shin were broken in half. He needed to be sedated, his bones set and put in a cast. It was an agonizing day for the Teers. But it's what happened next that was truly inspiring.

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"We assume that more efficient networking of the brain contributes to better integration of pieces of information and thus leads to better results in a general knowledge test," biopsychologist Erhan Genc, from Ruhr University Bochum, said according to Science Alert.

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