Isla Fisher on working moms: ‘You can’t have it all and you shouldn’t want to’

Isla Fisher

The lovely Isla Fisher covers the spring issue of Gotham magazine to promote her (thankless) role of Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby. I don’t expect this post to gather much interest like most posts on parenthood simply because poor Isla has fallen by the wayside in Hollywood. She was really cute and funny in Wedding Crashers several years ago, but then she signed up for some terrible flops like Confessions of a Shopaholic and settled into voice work while also taking some time off to raise her two children with husband Sacha Baron Cohen. I get the feeling that a lot of people confused Isla with Amy Adams for awhile, but Amy’s career has really taken off in the past handful of years while Isla’s has languished somewhat. Now Isla returns in Gatsby, and she’s also appearing later this year alongside Morgan Freeman and Woody Harrelson in Now You See Me. OH, and she’s also in post-production on an untitled Elmore Leonard project in the role of Melanie Ralston, who was played in Jackie Brown by Bridget Fonda (who herself has pulled a decade-long disappearing act). Weird.

In this Gotham shoot, Isla is styled right out of the Jazz Age with a fringy, flapper-esque dress and a couple of floaty, ethereal gowns. She looks entirely gorgeous, and the interview is slightly eventful as well as she admits to being completely overwhelmed by the experience of filming Gatsby alongside Baz Luhrmann and actors like Leo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. Isla also discusses the extended break she took from Hollywood to have two daughters and stay at home with them during their respective infancies. Like Drew Barrymore’s recent declaration that you can’t have it all in terms of maintaining both career and motherhood, Isla expresses her belief that you shouldn’t even want to have it all. Here are some excerpts:

Isla Fisher

Working on The Great Gatsby: “It was thrilling and terrifying. Given the caliber of the director and cast on Gatsby, I definitely felt out of my comfort zone. I did feel like I was going to be called out and sent home at some point–you always feel very insecure, at least I do. The set was like a playground of rich costumes (his wife Catherine Martin does them) and color and music and laughter. Everybody cares on a Baz Luhrmann film set because everyone is so effing grateful to be there.”

Will she ever collaborate with hubby Sacha Baron Cohen? “Personally, I think we collaborate on enough behind closed doors. We’re working on some really important collaborations, and I think that’s more important. Obviously, I’m a big fan of his. My favorite movie will always be Bruno, and my favorite line will always be when he looks up at the sky and goes, ‘So many stars in the sky. Makes you think of all the hot guys in the world.’ So freaking random and funny.”

On balancing work & motherhood: “I took three years off. It’s not like you’re taking a break and looking on IMDbPro to see your StarMeter falling. You’re doing the most important, incredible thing. When you come back in, the perspective has changed. I truly believe you can’t have it all and you shouldn’t want to.”

[From Gotham Magazine]

Hmm. I certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to have it all because I think most women do. I think most of us would love to find enough hours in the day to make a ton of money while still managing to be the perfectly attentive mother as well, but that’s just not possible. Something always has to give even if it’s just a matter of a few hours of sleep. Even Ivanka Trump, who is on the extreme end of working motherhood with her 16-hour work days, doesn’t really have it all, but she has enough of what she wants to make it work for her.

More and more these days, it sucks to realize that women will always be judged for their respective choices in the working motherhood discussion. It seems that you can either have an amazing career and miss some of your kid’s milestone moments, or you can be a stay-at-home mom and sacrifice financial stability and a retirement fund. It’s a tough choice for sure, and there’s some middle ground there but not much to be found. Of course, men are rarely faced with the same choice, but that won’t be changing anytime soon.

Isla Fisher

Isla Fisher

Photos courtesy of Gotham Magazine

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87 Responses to “Isla Fisher on working moms: ‘You can’t have it all and you shouldn’t want to’”

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  1. T.Fanty says:

    She’s kind of right in that sense. As the post points out, women will ALWAYS be judged for their choices and there’s a pressure to be career woman and perfect mother. Preferring one to the other is okay, but that’s not how our choices are presented to us.

    • whipmyhair says:

      I know you can’t have it all, but is it bad to try?This is fron a child free perspective but I don’t think it’s necessarily bad to want things.

      • Jenny says:

        I absolutely don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting it all. However, for most of us, having it all is impossible and we need to keep that in perspective. No woman should have to feel like a failure or be judged for the choices she makes about career and parenting.

        I just wish workplaces were more supportive in terms of flexible schedules or in-house daycares. Imagine if office buildings had daycare and/or the cost was mitigated by the employer. It would be such a draw for potential employees, especially women, and I think it would help to increase productivity as well.

      • anotherrandom says:

        I kind of agree with Jenny. I think she (Isla) was kind of saying there shouldn’t be this pressure to have it all. So many women think they have to and get stressed out from trying to be supermom and the workplace mvp.

    • bluhare says:

      Wanting it all doesn’t mean you do everything at the same time. She’s got it all. She just doesn’t realize it. Just because you don’t have enough energy/time/wherewithall to do everything at once doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

      • Marianna says:

        I agree, you can have it all (if you’re willing to work for it) but just not at the same time. If you try to have it all at the same time, some thing has to give and usually it’s the kids. You can tell your kids, “later, I promise” but not your boss.

      • kibbles says:

        I think if you asked most people if they thought Isla Fisher or Ivanka Trump “has it all” or at least close to it, you’d get a resounding yes. Any woman who is in a good marriage or relationship, has children, is rich, and has the choice to take a break from her career or still continue to work and make tons of money is extremely lucky and definitely does have a life that is close to perfect compared to most people. It mostly depends on whether a woman comes from money, had the opportunities to get a good education or job opportunity after graduation, has a supportive spouse, and has an understanding boss or a company that provides child care a parental leave. Unfortunately, most companies and countries in the world do not offer these incentives to both mothers and fathers and it will take a long time before we get to that point. Maybe Isla will never win an Emmy or an Oscar because she sacrificed better roles to stay at home with her family, but we’ll never know nor should she contemplate the what-ifs. She should just be thankful for all the opportunities she’s been given and is still able to work and make more from one movie than what most moms make in a decade.

  2. KLO says:

    She is lovely.

  3. I like her more than Amy Adams. Amy may be the more acclaimed actress but Isla seems so likeable and she is way prettier.

    Can’t wait for Gatsby!!!

    • Andrea says:

      Oh I majorly disagree there.

      I think Amy is just as pretty. They are both Pretty women.

      Amy is more naturally shy but she’s also more talented and seems a little more ambitious.

      I like them both but Amy seems like the real gem to me. I actually don’t like what Isla says here about having it all bc she tries to speak for other women as opposed to just speaking for herself.

      Ironically, when Amy Adams was asked that question she spoke only about HER choice and never used the word “you”.

      • JenD says:

        Andrea, I agree. Saying “you” seems like a judgment call on all women, like there’s something wrong that I want to have a successful career AND have a child. I just had this lecture thrown at me last night. What is right for one woman isn’t right for all.

      • serena says:

        I think Isla is talented too but she didn’t really have any big role and chance to demostrate it.

      • lurker says:

        Isla says “I truly believe you can’t have it all…”. To me it sounds like she’s underlining that it’s her personal opinion. I like her answers (as excerpted here). She’s either smart and grounded, or smart and a skillful in public relations.

    • Andrea says:

      I like her but ever since she made that snarky comment years ago about Amy Adams being “so much bigger than her” (in size). I’ve thought she was kind of a mean girl. She essentially told people that Amy was fatter than she was.

      I also don’t care for the need to use the word “you” here. “you shouldn’t want to.”. Just speak for yourself! Just say your perspective and stop trying to speak for other people! That’s such a bad habit people are in.

      I like Isla. But Amy Adams was always the bigger talent to me which is why Adams became the bigger star. But I hope Gatsby works out for her.

      • LAK says:

        That statement is factually true on so many levels though.

        Physically, Isla is a pixie. Most people, bar Kylie Minoque, are going to be bigger next to her. Why be offended if a tiny, pixie short person says people are bigger than they are. More often than not they aren’t saying it to be rude or comment on weight specifically.

        Careerwise and famewise, Isla is stating a fact. Amy IS bigger than her.

      • bluhare says:

        People today use “you” in place of the old fashioned/British “one’.

        I don’t think she was pointing a finger and saying “YOU”.

      • Suze says:

        Isla is very beautiful and tiny. I think Amy is larger in the sense that she’s taller and her frame is larger.

        Amy is not remotely LARGE as in fat or ungainly.

        I actually prefer Amy as an actor – although that may be that she just picks better roles.

    • Echo says:

      I prefer Isla too! She’s a real hidden gem. She is so lovable and I think she just needs a better role to display her talents. I still love watching her in crap movies though, she has that power to keep me interested.

  4. Domestic_diva says:

    A. She looks great wow soo pretty B. I don’t think when she says U shouldn’t want it all she’s being negative in any way. She’s saying don’t feel guilty about that fact if u choose to give up ur career to parent don’t second guess it and if u choose career over staying home go with it. Be realistic and happy in ur choices

  5. Amelia says:

    It really bums me out that apparently the popular notion is that women can only choose one option when presented with the career vs. motherhood conundrum, yet men get both.
    I saw someone comment about this on the Guardian’s CiF and I thought they made a very good point when they mentioned that Sacha Baron Cohen has the best of both worlds.

    • T.Fanty says:

      I don’t know why, but In my career, I get so many men commiserating about how hard it is to balance work and family. Yet, I never see any of them leaving early to pick up their kids. It drives me crazy.

    • Domestic_diva says:

      I think the big thing Is it depends on the job and the mother I’m a flight attendant and I make great money i have a 1yr old and am pregnant with number 2 I know though that I won’t go back to flying after this baby comes the guilt I felt at being away from number 1 soo often was crushing id be in te hotel in ters now a mom who can work 8-5 m-f and be home on weekends might feel she can have it all I know I can’t and I’m ok with that I’d rather raise my babies and be with them and lose $50 an hour

      • T.Fanty says:

        It’s SO dependent on the job. For me, the hours are ideal. I have a few set hours per week, but can work the majority from home, as long as I produce. But the environment can be so hostile. When I was pregnant with the first Fantling, an institution I had been with for four years suddenly declined to renew my contract, and I heard that colleagues were gossiping about how stupid I was to get pregnant because nobody would hire me. And other mothers I know have had much more not-quite-illegal discriminatory experiences.

    • LAK says:

      Men don’t have both. They choose career over kids. Not necessarily out of personal choice.

      Like @Fanty, I’ve worked mostly with men, and they do feel the guilt, but they still put in those long hours because they have the help to pick up the slack. In the form of the mothers.

      If women thought the same way they would understand that no one, rich or poor, can have it all; and there would be less guilt about either accepting/paying for help or making a choice to have one thing, but not the other. That’s what men do.

      The social conditioning of women being in sole charge of housewifery and nannying has to be undone, just as men had to accept that working outside the home, paid/unpaid wasn’t their sole charge and women could do it too. It will take many more decades to happen.

      • Marianne says:

        It has already happened. It just comes down to money– which parent earns the most and has the most reliable employment. There are lots of stay at home dads. It’s just usually the man earns more, at where I am from, and I live in a large city. I don’t think any of it has to do with sexism so much as paying bills. Also, a lot of women stay at home because their job doesn’t pay enough to make it worthwhile after paying daycare, gas, car payments, parking, work clothes, etc. myself, I was earning 45k and only taking home about $800 a month after everything and not seeing my kids more than a couple hours a day….

      • Chutzpah says:

        Except men do get a hell of a lot closer to having it all than women ever can – the men you feel sorry for at work missing their childs upbringing still actually get to have a child – if a women chooses career and doesn’t get a man happy to stay at home ( and ive not met many that will) or she’s in the sort of job that the slightest hint of trying for a child and your promotional ladder is whipped up – she gets no kids – full stop.

      • LAK says:

        Marianne – i am not calling it sexism in the classic sense since it’s not the men holding us back. mostly. Whether a man is high or low earning, he is able to have children. Men are brought up conditioned to think that whatever children they have will be looked after by someone else, all the Housewifery will be done by someone else. They accept that they need to work harder to afford all that help.

        At it’s most basic, a stay at home spouse is nothing but a paid employee with bonus things like love and emotional support for the working partner.

        Women need to think like that. It’s not about turning us into mini-men. We can’t do everything. no one can. And men don’t.

        We ask for help when we are at work. Looking after a family is work, so why the guilt and shame at asking/getting help with the family when we don’t feel guilty or shamed if we ask for help at work?

        And in your particular example, if worst case scenerio your husband wasn’t in the picture, you would find a way to make that $800 work for you. Men don’t have a safety net, women in a partnership do. Single mothers soon learn to think like the men in terms of accepting or hiring help.

        Chutzpah – I am not disagreeing with what you are saying, but some of this stuff is what we need to fight to change rather than accept as status quo. Afterall, 100 yrs ago, women weren’t thought capable of rational thought, let alone ability to work in what was deemed a man’s job. We’ve proved them wrong, so we need to change other things. While i am here, i would recommend a book by Sandy Sandberg on the subject of working women. She has alot of pragmatic things to say, but the thing that stood out for me is that alot of women’s work troubles are oblivious to men because women don’t speak up. She’s not advocating huge earth quake shaking changes but small changes that little by little change the work culture to suit women as well as men.

    • Kelly says:

      Exactly. Women can have it all as long as the men do equal work in the household. Just because Isla Fisher says it does not make it so. Really who cares what she says? Just because she sacrificed her career does not mean others have to or should. That’s up to her.

  6. ds says:

    But what does “having it all” really stand for? My mom raised me and my sister and was involved with every single aspect of our lives; she is to this day our best friend and the only person we can rely on. At the same time she managed to start and develop successfully her own company… We went to kindergarten, maybe celeb kids don’t… We had lunch every day and a healthy environment… It’s all about what you expect being a mom is I suppose. To be honest sometimes I wonder how my mom did it and I admire her for that.

  7. hoopjumper says:

    She also did Bachelorette last year, with Kristen Dunst and Rebel Wilson. She was hilarious.

    • Becky1 says:

      Agreed-she was really funny in “Bachelorette.” I’m not a fan of hers, but she was definitely the best part of that movie.

  8. Maria says:

    i think its a mixture of this western focus on making as much money as possible and telling women that they can have it all. noone can have it all, its always the direct way to be miserable.

    And no men dont have it all either. men can be succesful in their job and be a biological father but not a father who raises the children.
    Men dont get judged when away, true but they get judged when they stay at home.

  9. Amy says:

    One of my mottos in life has always been (okay, since my early 20s when I was making babies and watching all the other women my age make lots of money and get important in various spheres) “You *can* have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.”

    PS Thirty years down the road, I can report that I was right.

    • Domestic_diva says:


    • Andrea says:

      You and I share the same philosophy. But I also think every woman has a different idea of what “all” means.

    • SydneySpy says:

      This is exactly what I wanted to say, Amy. It’s true also, that working/parenthood is such an individual thing. For example, I suffer with a congenital disability, and there are so many jobs I am unable to do, so “climbing the career ladder” was never an option for me. I retrained and became a teacher after my hubby died, but there is no way I can get to the top in my profession, given my disability and age now. That’s ok, though, cuz I have so many other things in my life. I have grown-up kids, who are now facing this very dilemma. Everyone’s circumstances are different. I see my friends with young kids, having to do the great juggling act, who are constantly stressed and seemingly run ragged, trying to balance everything. I reassure them that when the kids are older, they do find more balance; that they will likely have it all, but not all at once.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      Exactly, Amy. Different things come at different times for different people. I can have it all, and I do. I have education, a good career, good money, and now I’m about to have a family, albeit through step-children. And since I worked hard when I was younger to set myself up in a good professional with flexibility (I’m a psychiatrist in private practice), I have the time to devote to my family. I have it all, just didn’t have it all at once.

  10. Andrea says:

    My comment above went in the wrong place. Sorry about that.

    I’m just sick and tired of women not just speaking for themselves. Isla falls into the trap here by saying “you shouldn’t want to.”. No, Isla. Women are all different and we all want different things and have our own lives. Just speak for yourself!

    • Pastyousayyouneverknew says:

      +1 I mean, what does she even mean by that? Why shouldn’t you want “it all”? Sounds very pessimistic and negative to me and as if every woman has had her experiences and thinks like her. Ugh.

  11. Lisa says:

    I don’t really think that men “have it all” either, it’s just that they aren’t expected to. Men are expected to go to work and leave children in the care of someone else, whether that be the child’s mother or a daycare provider. It’s understood that men will work before, during, and after having children and that they’ll miss 5 days a week of their children’s lives. They don’t ‘have it all’ either. But they’re being judged on a completely different scale. In most cases society would look down on them if they didn’t leave their child and go to work. Whereas women are somehow supposed to be completely present for work and completely present for their child at the same time.

    • Joanna says:

      Exactly. And women pick up the extra work around the house, more so than men. They bitch about it but don’t make their man do more. they just do it all and then are resentful with their men for not helping out more. In my opinion, more women need to take a stand and get their man to do more, instead of just living with it. and then complaining about it.

    • Isa says:

      Yes my husband feels a lot of pressure to provide for our family.

  12. serena says:

    She’s really gorgeous, I’ve liked her since Wedding crasher and I continue to support her. I hope she’ll get noticed more with those movies now.

    • Joanna says:

      she was hilarious in that movie!!!

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      Completely agree. I have seen that one, Shopaholic, Bachelorette, and Definitely Maybe…none of them may have been big box office hits, but she is so cute and funny in all of them. I really like her on-camera personality and look forward to her future projects.

      Sidenote: Also love Amy Adams and really wish they werent so compared all the time. What is this – war of the pretty gingers? Whether Isla or pop culture fanbase started pitting them against one another, I dont care. They are both adorable and super talented and I really think there’s plenty of room in the industry for the both of them! Lord knows HWood could always use another ginger.

  13. Christina says:

    You can’t have it all… says the woman with a glamarous, extremely well-paying ‘job she loves, and who is married to a man worth tens of millions.

    Spare me, please.

    • Suze says:

      Exactly – she may not be able to have it all but she has a lot.

    • Andrea says:

      The irony too is that both she and Amy Adams had babies right around the same time.

      Isla took time off. Amy took a little break but was back with The Fighter right away.

      Amy has been honest that what she does works for her and that she can’t speak for other women. She has also said that she knows she is lucky to be able to bring her daughter with her to film sets bc other working women don’t have that option.

      There is no one right way after you have a baby and no one can speak for others.

      • Christina says:

        Plus, very few women have the luxury of being able to take three years (or even one year) off work and then be able to step back in from where you left off. It’s all very well for her to gush about how ‘You’re doing the most important, incredible thing’ when you’re amazingly rich and can afford never to work another day in your life and still live in great luxury.

        And if being a full-time mother is so important and incredible, why is Isla back working now? It’s not like she needs the money. Spare me these massively priviliged celeb mothers telling ordinary women what they should or should not want from life.

  14. Jamie says:

    I’m 23. I skipped college to work, buy my own home, have a lovely daughter who is almost 2 now. I work Monday – Friday. Day shift and was just promoted to the administrator of my program.

    I’m also not a movie star or a millionaire and I think I have it all. So suck it, isla.

  15. Mauibound says:

    Gorgeous photos!

  16. Joanna says:

    I think she’s saying you can’t do it all perfectly and you shouldn’t expect yourself to. and you shouldn’t. you don’t see men feeling bad b/c they can’t balance work and family, or at least I don’t see it. All you can do is the best you can do. and don’t beat yourself up over it.

  17. Cam S says:

    My Mom HAD TO try and have it all. After my Father died, she had no choice but to work two jobs (the woman never took a handout from anyone while raising me). Some people don’t get to choose.

  18. Lemony says:

    I don’t entirely agree with her comments but I love her as an actress. She is gorgeous.

  19. Bijlee says:

    This woman is crazy. Look at what a douchebag she married. I’ve always liked Amy Adams so much more. She’s so sweet and kind. And wy cuter than this woman.

  20. cos says:

    Christina says:
    April 23, 2013 at 8:48 am
    Plus, very few women have the luxury of being able to take three years (or even one year) off work

    This is the real story. Most women do not have a choice.

    • Amy says:

      I’m one who would stay home if I had the option. And it’s not “amazing career,” it’s cold financial reality.
      I don’t judge anyone’s choice either way. We can really all just speak for ourselves.

  21. j.eyre says:

    She is beautiful and I think she will be quite good as Myrtle.

    I feel like she is implying actresses are the only ones who suffer if they take time off. Most of us commit career suicide if we take time off. And it stings when you realize how much you want to work and no one will hire you because you have a hole in your resume.

  22. Daisy Mae says:

    Poor Man’s Amy Adams

  23. TheyPromisedMeBeer says:

    “Of course, men are rarely faced with the same choice, but that won’t be changing anytime soon.”

    And that, Bedhead, is precisely the issue I have with these Hollywood moms saying “You can’t have it all”. Forget that they might be a little out of touch with the fact that most moms HAVE to work these days to keep afloat – it’s the implication that women are the only one who should have to make that decision that bothers me the most.

    So I’ll keep dreaming that if/when I settle down and have a family, I’ll have “it all” with a man who is willing to split the duties of “it all” with me so we can have “it all” together and equally. And I will brag to the nines about it. How bout them apples?

  24. CharlieS says:

    I think her comments are not complete and are personal to her. I don’t think her “you” is accusatory in any way. And about men not being forced to choose. I think that will change. When we had our first kid, Mr.S took the bulk of the one year leave (we live in Canada, parents can share the leave) and his work freaked asking how we could afford for him to take so much time off. He just looked at them and said “My wife makes the money so that’s just how it’s going.” There were a few people surprised that he wasn’t the breadwinner. We’ve always made our choices for what works for us.

  25. Annie says:

    I’m going to put an example out there that is maybe too unreachable for normal women, but look at Victoria Beckham. She married a soccer star, had FOUR children and still pursued a career in fashion. Look at Heidi Klum. You CAN have it all but you do need some help. The women I know who work and have children have people who help them clean their homes and have their kids in day care all day or with nannies. It must not be easy to leave your baby with strangers when it’s a newborn and you have to work, but people do it all the time. Of course money is a factor in these situations but that is why you have to incomes. It’s possible.

    My grandmother started a restaurant chain on her hometown and she had 7 children, all under 14, when she opened the first restaurant. She was in charge of everything.

    Yes, you can at least try to have it all. It will not be easy but it can be done. You won’t be with your kids as much as they would need you to. Maybe people will judge you for it. But it’s your life and people need to stop limiting women because they’re women. If men can have it all, so can we. We just have more difficulties because people judge us, but honestly, screw people’s opinions, you can’t win, you will never win over everybody. And a lot of women talk out of jealousy, regret and resentment because as the years go by they realize that being a stay at home mom is not really all that fun. It gets lonely and you sacrifice a lot. So if someone like Isla tells you she’s at home with the kids because women can’t have it all you better believe she tried and she couldn’t have it all. I mean, her career has not moved that much since than shopping addiction movie and the wedding crashers. If she had better offers she’s be there, working non-stop.

    But even to a degree, Isla does have it all!! Career, man, kids. WTF is she talking about. Don’t discourage others if you could do it.

  26. Just Me says:

    I think the problem is that with words like “you” (as in – “you can’t have it all”) these women intentionally, or unintentionally, are speaking for other people, instead of just stating their own personal beliefs. Like, if she had just replaced “You” with “I,” I’d not have had a problem with it. When you start speaking for other people, thats when they get pissed, and rightfully so. If she buys into primitive gender roles & she’s happy with that, you know – that’s cool. More power to her. Seriously (seriously!). However, don’t righteously assume that everyone else should, too, just b/c it’s your opinion that they should. I am of the firm belief that I can do any damn thing I put my mind to, and if that’s having it all, by God, I can do that too. Notice the usage of pronouns here…

  27. NEENAZEE says:

    Check out this OpEd from The Atlantic by the first woman to fill the policy planning post at the State Dep’t… conveniently titled Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.

    While I don’t agree with Isla’s sentiment that “you shouldn’t want it,” the piece does make some very interesting (and all too familiar) points.

  28. JL says:

    Having it all depends on circumstances and attitude. You have to want what you have and be happy where you are.

    I have an enviable income for either a man or a woman. I have a loving husband and a great life with many perks.

    I was never able to have children.

    So do I whine and cry I don’t have it ALL, disparage mothers or women who don’t work outside the home or do I thank God for my blessings and enjoy what I do have? Do I hide my head in shame for not being a mother? Do I allow people to call me selfish or strange not knowing a damn thing about my situation?


    I choose to enjoy the life I have, I can’t change it, I’ve worked hard and now I’m enjoying life and want what I do have not what I can’t have.

  29. mimi says:

    Once again, someone is explaining to women that they have to choose (career vs. kids and family), to compromise and even worse: they SHOULD NOT want to have both.

    Can you imagine any successful man ever stating something like that to other men/ fathers?

    This message is horrible.
    Women fall into this trap- stay home for a couple of years and then they discover they are having huge difficulties going back to work. If they manage to get a decent work- they will suffer a pay cut/ or would not earn as much as they could have had they worked for these years.

    They retirement savings are lacking due to those lost years and if they separate from their husbands (50% of marriages) they find out that they made these compromises and now they have a real financial and professional problem.

    So the last think woemn need to hear is a wealthy movie star who married really “well” pontificate about how they should not want to be successful professionals for at least a couple of years, be independent and able to continue with their work.

    No. We should all WANT to stay home, and make sure our husbands are free or have more flexibility to continue with their careers while we are doing all the big sacrifices and we SHOULD want that.

    I, for one, REALLY WANT a partner who would share the responsibility and care of our children rather than one having to do more (for some reason).

  30. Emily says:

    It seems that you can either have an amazing career and miss some of your kid’s milestone moments, or you can be a stay-at-home mom and sacrifice financial stability and a retirement fund.

    Nonsense. My mother has an amazing career and missed none of my “milestone moments” as a child. Same with my father. They’re not rich, but they’re doing exactly what they want to do and they have retirement funds. This “can’t have it all” nonsense is ridiculous and it needs to die. So does the idea that it’s not a big deal if Dad isn’t there for your childhood.

    Hollywood is utterly ridiculous; I was about to call them retrograde, but that’s an insult to all the women with jobs and men who were attentive fathers in history. Why is anyone listening to an actress about this? Rather than an historian, a sociologist, etc? Actors and actresses are some of the most insulated, least educated, least intelligent people on the planet. This particular one is just flat factually wrong, but they usually are.

  31. pandabear says:

    you have my attention! she’s one of my top ten favs by far! she was so cute in bachelorette (with dunst) even though that movie was lame. she is hilarious, smart, healthy and has great head on her shoulders. and a cute marriage. the whole package.

  32. Agnes says:

    I still get her confused with Amy Adams, I have to admit.

    She’s lovely – the photo shoot is great.

    As someone who’s half-assing it at work, AND at home, because I still have to work, want a career, want to be successful, and want to be a great mom, but there aren’t enough hours in the day, I have this to add – I find it impossible to commiserate with, or take advice from, celebrities, people who are in a completely different economic situation than I am. Once you’re balancing everything to pay for the rent, food, daycare, law school loans, and a million other bills, I’ll listen to you, Isla.

  33. Elena says:

    There really is nothing wrong in “wanting it all”, but only if you really do. Because not every person, man or woman, does, and I don’t think that’s wrong either.
    There’s a difference between working as hard as you can to achieve your dreams and goals and balance them, and striving to live up to other people’s expectations of what your life should be about.
    Go and get it,I say, but don’t feel like a failure if you don’t succeed in everything and don’t manage to fit it all in a lifetime. Not that it’s impossible, it’s just not always necessary.
    And you could sure do without the stress, lol!

  34. Elena says:

    There really is nothing wrong in “wanting it all”, but only if you really do. Because not every person, man or woman, does, and I don’t think that’s wrong either.
    There’s a difference between working as hard as you can to achieve your dreams and goals and balance them, and striving to live up to other people’s expectations of what your life should be about.
    Go and get it, I say, but don’t feel like a failure if you don’t succeed in everything and don’t manage to fit it all in a lifetime. Not that it’s impossible, it’s just not always necessary.
    And you could sure do without the stress, lol!

  35. Hanna says:

    I live in Sweden and here it’s very common for parents to split the parental leave when kids are young. Once they starts nursery/kindergarden most couples also split the sick leave and takes turn leaving them and picking them up every day. We have two kids and I never felt that I had to give up on career or time with our kids. What I’ve given up though is time for myself 😉

  36. Shoe_Lover says:

    Bedhead- Bridget Fonda was in a car accident about a decade ago which i read somewhere caused extreme ongoing pain which is why she no longer works

    • Jayna says:

      She was great in Single White Female. I bet she really kicked herself for turning down Ally McBeal after it turned into a hit and made Calista a lot of money.

  37. Kristine says:

    I don’t know who she is but she’s pretty. I also love it when I see a woman representing my ginger heritage.

  38. Lucy Goosy says:

    MY GOD she is beautiful!

  39. GeeMoney says:

    You women on this site who are criticizing Isla Fisher for her comments are ridiculous and insanely judgmental. Get a life already.

    It’s her opinion – and she’s entitled to it. Not to mention, I bet Amy Adams’ kid grows up to hate her because she worked all the time through her childhood compared to Isla, who actually took time off to spend with her kid.

    • Just Me says:

      “You women on this site who are criticizing Isla Fisher for her comments are ridiculous and insanely judgmental. Get a life already.”

      “I bet Amy Adams’ kid grows up to hate her because she worked all the time through her childhood …”

      Wow “GeeMoney.” Hateful, much? Please don’t stand there and pontificate to the rest of us, when you yourself just layed out the harshest, most hateful, criticism yet. Don’t worry. I’ll hold your place in line with the rest of us who need to “get a life.”

  40. Greenieweenie says:

    To me, this is akin to saying: society wont let you have it all…it isn’t organized around allowing women to both work and be available to their children even though it COULD be because many other countries manage to do this much better than the US–so lower your expectations. Don’t demand that from society. Accept that you can’t have it all.

    Which is bullshit. We only can’t have it all in THIS social framework. That doesn’t mean we can’t have it all in ANY social framework. Demand more from a social structure that is organized around being male with minimal obligations at home. Because that isn’t a social structure that is considering the needs of ALL of its members…just half of its members. And it’s limiting the choices available to the other half.

    So this time, it’s about choices for women. Next time, it’s about choices for…I don’t know, some other group. And before you know it, choices are limited for an awful lot of subgroups except the one selected to be winners: white men. As always. Because they’re the ones who wrote the rules in the first place.

    And then it starts looking an awful lot like 1950 again. Before subgroups demanded the right to exercise freedom of choice. Lets rewrite what Isla’s saying in terms from those times: women, you shouldn’t want to be employed outside the home because that’s just not reality. Black Americans, you shouldn’t want equal rights because that’s just not reality. Suddenly, her “opinion” doesn’t look so tolerable after all.

  41. Hakura says:

    I adore the vintage-inspired clothing. Makes me wish I had lived during that time (though the opinion of women’s rights were sorely lacking back then, so maybe not).

    She really is beautiful. I also think her comment was trying to say that you shouldn’t *have* to have it *all* to avoid judgement. That making your children(for those who have them, not saying *not* having them is negative) your number one priority is how it should be, even in this age of women pressured to maintain careers.

    (No implication meant that all working women *don’t* put their children first, but there has to be a division of said priorities to maintain a career too.)

  42. kbm says:

    This article has a lot of thoughtful honesty in it. At the heart of it, more (boring?) policy changes are needed to get women the flexibility they want (culturally and physically)