I'm currently travelling in Southeast Asia, where women's lives are rather different to the one I led in Brooklyn. Here's a taste from Vietnam, taken from When Heaven and Earth Changed Places by Le Ly's Hayslip. The spirit, if not the substance, may ring true for working mothers in the west.
'In the north, an unusual rice festival among minority groups involves a competition between unmarried women. The task is to cook a pot of rice, suspended from a pole attached to the woman's back by a sash. Each woman must quickly chew a stick of sugarcane to produce fiber for the fire, then balance a pot of rice over the fire. To make the task more difficult, each woman is also given an infant to hold and must contain a frog with a 1.5-meter diameter circle around the fire. The winner is the one who makes the best-tasting rice in the shortest time, keeps the frog contained, and sufficiently soothes the terrified infant.'