Leanne Schoen, assistant manager at Gaia Retreat and Spa at Brooklet, balances work, marriage and kids.
Leanne Schoen, assistant manager at Gaia Retreat and Spa at Brooklet, balances work, marriage and kids.

The things women do for love, and for life

By Shan Goodwin

Women want careers, kids and lifelong partners, but what they're getting is fatter and more stressed.

An eight-year Federal Government study of 40,000 women ? Women's Health Study ? examining three generations has announced its findings.

Leanne Schoen, an assistant at the Gaia Retreat and Spa at Brooklet, has managed to balance the big three, but says there is certainly a gap between what women aspire to and how they end up living.

Most trade high-profile positions, or put careers on hold, to have children, and many end up stressed from trying to be a supermum and work too, she says.

Helping to run the luxury Gaia resort, Ms Schoen said she met women every day who had tried to pack too much into their lives and were looking for quiet time to sit back and think about their lives.

More than 90 per cent of younger women surveyed said they wanted to have children by 35. They hoped to combine work and motherhood and most aimed to pursue a professional career. Just four per cent aspired to be stayat-home mums.

However, the research also found that women in paid work who lived with a partner and had children were under the most pressure.

Levels of obesity among Australian women have also doubled in the past 15 years. One-in-five young women are now overweight.

Researchers said the disparity between women's lives and their aspirations suggested 'they may experience difficulties in balancing their lives'.

That is the juggle-struggle that is playing havoc with women's health, Ms Schoen says.



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