"They wanted so much, our mothers. I think about it sometimes. I don't know how they did it. They wanted their lives back but still felt responsible for ours.
I miss having her to talk to, there's so much I'd ask. She was a secretary in a private school and I think of the paperwork and the staples, the dry air and the paycheque and the feel of a day's work behind her and how much she must have wanted it. I don't think my father liked it. But men get as much without judgement. Or so it seems when you're not a man, and you watch them pass freely from the breakfast table to their cars in the morning. It look so easy. Of course it's not, it's not easy for anyone. But it's harder for a woman, the costs are physical. Men don't feel the pain of possibilities in the same way, the permanence of choice. At the end of her life, bed-bound by illness, my mother said to me, Don't let anyone tell you you can have everything. You can't. A woman has to choose."
from Into That Darkness by Steven Price