A must read on work-life balance

“We are the first generation of women with our fathers’ job and our mothers’ responsibilities.”

If this quote just took your breath away, then you must go read this article from Dr. Isis.

Like right now.

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9 thoughts on “A must read on work-life balance

  1. I don't read her blog these days, but that was a really good post. I never thought about it that way: that we're trying to be our mothers AND our fathers!

  2. I actually wouldn't have found this article except for the help of Twitter (just for you, CPP :), since Isis didn't post the link on her blog. I'm so glad I did though, since I've been struggling so much with the guilt of not being able to do it all. It's nice to realize that nobody ever did both jobs at once…so why should I keep trying?

  3. Dang it. Blogspot ate my long and very thoughtful comment.

    Basically I said that my mom worked and her mom worked and her mom worked etc. I married a husband who does his share (his mom also worked, as did her mom). I have no guilt. And a house that is only spotless right before company comes but I don't care! My family is just advanced, I guess.

  4. I read the book Isis cites “I don't know how she does it” years ago. It's a good read, I recommend it. I would still classify it as chick lit, but definitely interesting for working women with kids.

  5. I heard the same interview Dr. Isis did. Full credit to her for writing a great post, but that quote is from the interview she referenced, not her.

    I don't feel much guilt, either- perhaps because, like @nicoleandmaggie, both parents working is what I grew up with. My mom did stay home with us when we were little, but she is kind of a baby/little kid person, so I guess I don't really compare myself to that. She was (and is) an awesome mother, and is my role model as a mother in many ways, but I honestly know that I would fall even shorter than I do now if I tried to be a stay at home mom. It is just not a job I would excel at.

    I do have it easier than my mom in one way- my Dad is a slug around the house. My husband is not. He does his fair share and thinks that is just how it should be.

  6. My mom was a school teacher, and she worked very hard at her job. But I remember her always being there when I got off the bus after school, and we still talk about how great our summers home together were. She always had dinner ready when my dad got home, even if it was an easy microwave meal. And she made sure the house was always neat (if not completely clean). Dad worked a 9-5 job “downtown” and took care of the yard on the weekends (a second job he actually took quite seriously). So it was pretty old school – with my mom taking care of most of the kid and house duties, and my dad earning most of the money.

    I have good memories from that time with my mom, and I want to give those to Monkey. I need to remember, though, that – while she did work very hard as a teacher – she was able to be home a lot more than I will be with an academic career. I won't be able to do all that she was able to do at home, especially since I don't walk through the door until 6:30/7pm most nights. On the other hand, I need to also remember that I don't need to put in 10-hour days at work all the time. My guilt stems from really wanting to do both jobs really well, while at the same time trying to find ways to cut back on both. Luckily, Hubby is a huge help at home – likes to cook dinner, picks up Monkey from daycare, and helps me clean on weekends. I absolutely couldn't do it without him.

  7. I've got great memories with both my parents, even though they both worked full-time.

    Maybe that's why I don't feel guilty. My childhood was still pretty awesome (absent the having to go to school part).

    Yes, I helped out more around the house than kids with SAHM. I learned how to cook and mend and iron and fold laundry starting at age 7. I had before and after school care. I was more free-range and self-sufficient than most kids with SAHM (as was my mom and her siblings). But I don't feel like I was in any way deprived. I felt proud of my abilities and how our family worked as a unit with everyone involved rather than mom taking care of everything and dad bringing home the money. My favorite memories are folding laundry with my mom or cooking with my dad.

  8. I've got great memories with both my parents, even though they both worked full-time.

    This is where I need to grow, since I didn't spend nearly as much time with my Dad growing up. I need to grasp that time spent with Hubby will be just as memorable to Monkey as time spent with me. (Maybe it's a control issue, too; I have been known to be somewhat of a control freak.) Monkey won't be deprived by me not always being there. In fact, he'll probably be more enriched by having time with both parents. 🙂

  9. “In fact, he'll probably be more enriched by having time with both parents. “

    YES.

    And he'll also be enriched by every other experience he has, with you or without you. In planned activities or free-form on his own. The home base is important, but it doesn't have to be 24-7.

    Plus, time use surveys find that the amount of time that moms spend directly interacting with their kids does not change whether they're working or SAH (though time spent with dad does change). Most of us seem to find the optimal amount of direct interaction no matter what we're doing.

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