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13th Mar 2024

Lily Allen is normalising not having it all and it’s so refreshing

Kat O'Connor

Lily Allen doesn’t believe you can have it all

The days of giving up your career when you get married are thankfully no more. I remember hearing about how my nanny had to stop working because she was now a married woman and couldn’t quite believe it. It just felt so alien to me. Nowadays we’re able to juggle both our careers and motherhood, but can women have it all? Lily Allen recently sparked a debate online after admitting that her career was affected by having children.

The Not Fair singer told the Radio Times podcast that her “children ruined my career”.

And her honesty is a breath of fresh air.

The pop star was one of the biggest stars in the world following the release of her debut album Alright, Still. Her music soared to the top of the charts, and she was on the cover of every magazine, winning Brit awards, and touring around the world.

She was a major star but she believes motherhood tainted her career.

She said: “Yes, my children ruined my career. I love them and they complete me, but in terms of pop stardom, they totally ruined it.”

Allen continued: “I get really annoyed when people say you can have it all because, quite frankly, you can’t.”

“I chose to step back and concentrate on them”

Allen explained that she doesn’t regret becoming a mum because she adores her daughter so much. She was aware that she’d risk her career when she became a mum but she wouldn’t change it.

“Some people choose their career over their children and that’s their prerogative, but my parents were quite absent when I was a kid. I feel like it left some nasty scars that I’m not willing to repeat on mine.

“I chose to step back and concentrate on them. I’m glad that I’ve done that because I think they’re pretty well-rounded,” she explained.

Allen’s comments have made me realise that trying to be a ‘career gal’ and a ‘perfect mum’ isn’t always going to be possible, and accepting that you can’t have it all is almost like an act of self-care.

Lily Allen may have offended people by saying her children ‘ruined’ her career, but her honesty is so vital here.

“Not having it all figured out doesn’t take away from your worth”

How real she is has made many women realise that the pressure we’re under to figure everything out can be too heavy sometimes. And isn’t accepting the fact that maybe we can’t have it all okay too? We can go through phases of excelling in our careers and then thriving in our personal lives. Both cups don’t always have to be full all the time and it’s down to each individual to decide what they want.

Maybe I won’t have a stellar career if I have kids. Maybe I won’t be able to be a stay-at-home mam when I have a family.

One thing I know for sure is Allen’s comments will help people realise that you don’t need to have it all.

Not having it all figured out doesn’t take away from your worth or value, even if society makes you feel like it does.

Society doesn’t deserve the power to pressure us into ‘having it all’.

Lily Allen’s candidness will help normalise not having it all in a world that’s obsessed with living a perfect life.