Cathy Spencer asks . . . What’s the price of “having it all”?

There’s a song Peggy Lee made popular in 1962 that celebrates the power of women called “I’m a Woman.” Here are the opening lyrics:

Well, I can wash out
Forty-four pairs of socks
And have them on the line
You know, I can starch
And iron two dozen shirts
Before you can count
From one to nine

Well, I can scoop up
A great big dipper
Full of lard from
A drippins can

Throw it in the skillet
Do my shopping and be back
Before it melts in the pan

You’ll notice that a woman’s worth was determined by her prowess with the household chores back then, but this attitude began to change with the start of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the late 1960’s. The movement celebrated the power of the sisterhood and demanded things like equal pay for equal work and political representation.

The feminist movement has made significant strides since 1962. Now women are being told that they can have it all. They can have a powerhouse career, just like men, without having to sacrifice family life. In the last few years, however, there’s been talk about the toll this attitude takes on our emotional and physical well-being. Women who strive to reach the pinnacle of their professions while trying to be perfect moms and wives are becoming exhausted and stressed.

The underlying theme of my contemporary romantic comedy, The Dating Do-Over, is women with different attitudes toward what they want from life. The heroine is Viv Nowak, an elementary school teacher with a sympathetic heart and abominable taste in men. She expects an engagement ring when her live-in lover of six years lands a terrific job in a new city. Instead, she gets dumped . . . on Valentine’s Day.

Do-Over revised ebook Even as a child, Viv had always mothered someone. What she wants most in life is to get married, have babies, and stay home to raise them. Her two best friends are a fiercely independent single mom/teacher, and a real estate banker who puts her career before her love life. The banker thinks that Viv is a feminist throwback, but she’s wrong. If there’s one thing that the feminist movement has done for women, it has given us choices. Maybe not as many as men currently have, because women are still logging more hours at work and at home than their mates. And not that there aren’t consequences for the choices we make, because it takes a load of hard work and stamina to be a success at anything. But if women support the choices their sisters make and acknowledge that there is no one true path to happiness, we empower ourselves and gain a freedom that we’ve never had before.

About the Author

C Spencer print copyCanadian author Cathy Spencer writes the award-winning Anna Nolan cozy mystery series, as well as regencies and contemporary romance. She loves thinking outside the box and the sheer craftsmanship of writing, and plans to keep doing it until they drag the keyboard out of her cold, dead fingers.

Connect with Cathy at her website (, on Facebook (, and at her Goodreads Author’s Page ( where she takes questions from readers. She’d love to hear from you!

What’s the most romantic thing that ever happened to you?”

Valentine’s Day Contest

Rheo Thompson mint chocolate smoothies 

Cathy’s running a contest to celebrate Valentine’s Day. All you have to do to enter is submit a brief paragraph about the most romantic thing that ever happened to you. The first prize is an autographed romance novel (either The Dating Do-Over or The Affairs of Harriet Walters, Spinster) plus Rheo Thompson Candies Mint Chocolate Smoothies (approximate value $25). The contest finishes this Friday, February 13, so click on this link right away to enter: And don’t forget to come back on Valentine’s Day to read the top 3 stories!

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