Can women have it all? The debate continues

The July issue of “The Atlantic” has reignited the debate about if women can have it all and the AJC’s Helena Oliviero has waded into the discussion.

From the AJC article:

“…“Why Women Still Can’t Have it All” by Anne-Marie Slaughter, recently reignited the debate about juggling work and family life. Slaughter stepped down from her job as director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department. She left partly because she needed to return to her job at Princeton University once her two-year public service leave was over. But she also left because she missed her spouse and two teenage sons, and they needed her.”

“The magazine article went viral; it reportedly had nearly a million views online within a week. Responses ran the gamut: Some welcomed a conversation about more flexibility in the workplace, some saw the piece as whiny and still others lambasted her for equating feminist success with “having it all.”

So can women really have it all?

From “The Atlantic” article:

“A rude epiphany hit me soon after I got there. When people asked why I had left government, I explained that I’d come home not only because of Princeton’s rules (after two years of leave, you lose your tenure), but also because of my desire to be with my family and my conclusion that juggling high-level government work with the needs of two teenage boys was not possible. I have not exactly left the ranks of full-time career women: I teach a full course load; write regular print and online columns on foreign policy; give 40 to 50 speeches a year; appear regularly on TV and radio; and am working on a new academic book. But I routinely got reactions from other women my age or older that ranged from disappointed (“It’s such a pity that you had to leave Washington”) to condescending (“I wouldn’t generalize from your experience. I’venever had to compromise, and my kids turned out great”).”

To this particular remark of “I’ve never had to compromise,” I would say BS!

I am always observing how mothers handle their career and family and the compromise is they either have someone handling their home duties (IE their husband, nanny, relative) or they are prioritizing and the compromise is they’re house is a mess or they never cook and that’s OK!

I don’t think the promise of feminism was that women would never have to compromise. I think the promise was that we would have a choice to do what we wanted to do and would have options to balance it.

The AJC’s Olivera found experts saying similar things – life is easier if working mothers realize they will have to make comprises.

From the AJC:

“Employed women who expected that work/life balance was going to be hard are probably more likely to accept that they can’t do it all,” said Katrina Leupp, a University of Washington sociology Ph.D. student who also teaches at the university.”

“Leupp, who is analyzing survey responses from 1,600 women — first interviewed in their late 20s and then again as 40-year-old mothers — said women who expect some challenges are more likely to be comfortable making sacrifices, such as cutting back on work hours and getting husbands to help more. Those expecting to be “super mom” are more likely to face depression, she said.”

“Despite the sharp growth of dual-career households and a more egalitarian division of family labor over the past several decades, women typically still take on most of the child care responsibilities. (And fathers typically do more paid hours on the job).”

“But mothers are more likely to feel guilty when work spills into home life. A 2011 study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found women, particularly those with young children, were far more likely than working fathers to be distressed by a BlackBerry buzzing during nonworking hours at home.”

To the last point, I think husbands are definitely more willing to help around the house but I’m not sure women are willing to release on some of their “motherly” duties. I’m not sure if mothers are unwilling to let husband take on more (they don’t trust them) or if they are just physically wired that way.

So what do you think:

Can women “have it all?”

Is compromise necessary?

Does the younger generation (20s and 30s) have a better understanding of that than older generations?

91 comments Add your comment

Bree

July 9th, 2012
1:36 am

Each person’s definition of ‘All’ isn’t quite the same. Not every husband is the same. Not all children are the same. Moms have to get/give the best of themselves based on that. Having it all for me is a healthy & happy family. There was a time I wanted to shatter that glass ceiling, or at least touch it with my finger tips. But it’s not worth me missing certain things in my girls’ lives and it’s certainly not worth me having a failed marriage…or three or five.

I love being with my children and I love that I spend as much time with them raising them with our perspective on life. I don’t want some random daycare or nanny doing it in my absence. I like to open the door for my husband when he comes home from work. The house is clean, dinner is done, and we have more than 2 hours together as a family before we start preparing for the next day. Our time together feels good and unrushed.

But consider a single mother (willfully, due to death, or some other scenario). It’s difficult for her but with the right support system and some very mature and understanding children, it may work. But the same can be said for working parents that are married as well. Balance is difficult but we all attempt to do it daily. Some people are better than others but every household is not the same.

I am not working. I’ve been interviewing for almost a year. I know I have it ALL if I never get back into the work force. The time with my family now and will forever be priceless. Yes we miss out on some things and we’ve had to cut back but everyone is happy. It’s less stressful. And God provides. I thank God for my husband because he simply wants me happy and he does & tries his best to see that we have as close to and beyond all. And as long as we have all we NEED, he’s done his part.

Being wife and mother is a full-time job. And it’s a job with very little to no vacation time. :) The benefits are amazing though. I know in time I have to go back into the workforce in some capacity but until then I’m going to enjoy my ALL while I can.

Fred

July 9th, 2012
3:03 am

No, no woman can have it all, no man can either. It is not possible, that is why we prioritize. To think that you can have it all is just setting yourself up for disappointment. We are not tv characters. I think that tv and books have lead us to believe that having it all is possible.

Aquagirl

July 9th, 2012
6:14 am

I think husbands are definitely more willing to help around the house but I’m not sure women are willing to release on some of their “motherly” duties.

The way you phrase this says it all….husbands “help” around the house. Gee, it’s not like it’s their house, their children, or their laundry, is it? Ultimately they’re not responsible for those things in the same way women are.

FCM on my cell

July 9th, 2012
6:41 am

Well lets see, economy, divorce rates, those with jobs have to pull more duties because companies are leaning staff, scools areexpecting more learning at home b/c yeachers arent allowed teach….come on this is not a surprising story. Gloria Steinheim was aoron.

FCM on my cell

July 9th, 2012
6:53 am

That should say sSteinheim was a moron. She is the one who said we could have it all. Her words helped devalue males, and are a good part of the breakdown of the American family.

gtmom

July 9th, 2012
6:56 am

Yes.. Working mothers compromise. There is no way to “have it all” unless your husband is willing to be a stay at home dad to get things done during the day. I am away from my house 12 hours + a day. But I am home when my husband gets home and almost always have dinner (5 days a week) – home cooked meal. Our house is almost always clean too. But I wouldn’t say it is because I spend a lot time cleaning. It is clean because no one is ever there. I get home before 5 on most days. But I leave my house around 430ish almost every morning so that I can do these things in the evening. To be able to do what I do, I go to bed the same time the kids do. I haven’t sat in my living room in years to watch a movie with husband or kids. I am on the go from the time I wake up and do not stop until I go to bed. I have only been one date night with my husband in the past two years. I am just too tired to make it past nine o clock on any night. No, I don’t have it all. My kids have it all. I miss work to be at their school and then go in extra early to make it up. Leaving the house before 4 am is not having it all. I compromise… I compromise my own time for a little sanity. I envy those who get to enjoy a couple hours of personal time when the kids are in bed. Maybe once we come out this recession, I can quit my job and live off hubby’s paycheck. And make everyone in the family a little happier. He seems to miss me.

Jeff

July 9th, 2012
7:24 am

No one can have it all. To think you can is a sign of narcissism. For those claiming husband don’t “help” indicates YOU aren’t actually willing to share the authority over the house. Wan frye husband to help while expecting him to do everything just like you is unrealistic and greedy. Greedy in the since that you want all the power over the home, the attention that comes with he label of a mom that does eveything, he sympathy, the you go girl phrases.

We’ve conditioned males to sit silently and write checks. While we’ve conditioned women to never be called on the carpet for their behavior. No wonder relationships are much harder.

BlondeHoney

July 9th, 2012
7:26 am

We have the freedom and choices to have it all as women, we just can’t do it all and therein lies the real issue. Please, ladies, don’t lose sight of the fact that in the not to distant past women had to stay home and be housewives, there were no other options open to us. Now all doors are open to us, and WE can define for ourselves what having it all means because it is different for everyone. That’s where not doing it all kicks in because no matter ho we define “having it all” means to each of us, something else is going to give. You ladies who have chosen to be full time wives and mothers, I applaud you, but you are choosing to give up things just as much as working moms do. Don’t blame the feminist movement or call someone a “moron” for fighting for you to have the freedom to do and be whatever you want.

becky

July 9th, 2012
7:27 am

Having it all – exactly what does that mean? I went to work when my youngest started school in 1988. If learning your priorties and having quality time is having it all then I had it all. Today my girls are all business women and have husbands that do their share of the housework and the 1 grandchild, his dad participates as much as his mom. It is good to hear them say, “mom, taught us to leave our personal lives at home and our business lives at work and family always come before work” so I think I had it all and taught my girls how to do the same. Having it all is different things to different people – you can’t put a blanket over it.

Jeff

July 9th, 2012
7:40 am

Sorry, autocorrect on iphone bit me.

I certainly don’t beleive that my statements apply to all women any more than they apply to all women. They are merely from my life experiences and observations.

DB

July 9th, 2012
8:06 am

Yes, absolutely, they can have it all. The trick, though, is that they can’t have it all at the same time. And the definition of “all” shifts as we grow older. There’s only 24 hours in a day, and there’s only so much of you that you can spread around without becoming a shadow of yourself. You decide what is most important to you, set priorities and you do the best you can.

Augusta

July 9th, 2012
8:18 am

My defination of “It all” is very different from your “it all”.

And yes, woman can have it all. It just depends on what “it all” is…..

I have a wonderful job, fabulous husband, teriffic kids, supportive family, a beautiful home, two cars in the garage, plenty of food in the cabinets and money in the bank. So yea, I have “It all”.

Oh, and I have happiness and good health.

FCM

July 9th, 2012
8:38 am

Blonde Honey…read it again, I called her a moron b/c I don’t have the option to be what I want. I wouldn’t mind if women were expected to stay married and have a husband provide like the not so distant past had! I called her a moron b/c her stance caused people to think women should work, and if they didn’t want a life outside the home there was something wrong with them. I called her a moron b/c her actions contributed to the devalue of men in the home and the break down of families in America.

FCM

July 9th, 2012
8:40 am

Women today who want to stay at home are considered lazy or spoiled.

iRun

July 9th, 2012
8:45 am

FCM – all women like Steinem did was fight for women to have options. Options OTHER than relying on the largess of men. If that is what you call devaluing men then sure. But why should men measure their value by control of the fate of women? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate. Find something other to do.

iRun

July 9th, 2012
8:46 am

FCM – what a crock. Women who choose the option of being SAHM are not viewed as lazy or spoiled. However, in this economy few women have that option. Who are these people who think SAHM are lazy, etc?

dc

July 9th, 2012
8:48 am

I am baffled by the fact that in many families in our community, the husband is still “expected” to work, while the wife gets to choose whether she wants to or not….seems at least in that case like the women got a huge move forward while the men didn’t (choice).

BlondeHoney

July 9th, 2012
8:51 am

FCM, the people who think that the is something wrong with women who want to stay at home and raise a family are the morons. Why don’t you have the option to be what you want to be? If you want be a full time housewife and you are financially able to do so, why do you care what other people think? I would imagine you would get less pushback in this (conservative) state than others. The point is you DO have that choice to stay home or not, a choice that was not available to our grandmothers. If some idiots interpret that as women HAVING to work outside the home, it’s on them I can’t own that but I can ignore that. We can agree to disagree.

JATL

July 9th, 2012
8:52 am

It greatly depends on what you consider “compromise” and “having it all.” I think woman can -and many do -have successful careers and great families, but the issues start arising when a woman or her partner or society thinks that she should have this amazing career (or just a full-time job), perfect children, a Better Home and Gardens/Martha Stewart house, yard and lifestyle, a perfect body that requires hours per week of working out and a mind-blowing sex life -plus all the “little” things like being neck-deep in the kids’ activities, etc.

Personally, I’m not domestic. I hate all of that crap! I do really enjoy hanging with my kids, working and working out. The cooking, cleaning -all of that is not for me. Sure, I cook once in awhile, and cleaning can be outsourced, but for some I guess that would be a “compromise” -not to me. As far as crafty projects and being on top of all of my kids’ activities. No thanks. I had rather have a root canal than do a craft project! I love to decorate for holidays, but that’s as far as it goes. So my kids won’t have a mother with award-winning home cooking or who spends hours making their home look like Martha just swept through -and I don’t think they care. Our house is nice and well-decorated the way I like it. It’s usually messy, and I don’t care. I also REALLY enjoy working at my job/career. If I hated it and bemoaned not having the time to bake brownies for bake sales and whatnot, then I suppose I would feel compromised, but I don’t.

I go to recitals, games, programs, PTA meetings -all of that as well as working with JA in my oldest son’s classes and reading to their classes on occasion, but I’m the mom who will willingly right a very nice check to you if it means I don’t have to scurry around coming up with whipped topping, egg cartons and two dozen gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan brownies for the bake sale. So, it really just depends on the person, but I don’t think women or men who set themselves up with impossible standards can ever hope to meet them.

BlondeHoney

July 9th, 2012
8:53 am

Thank you, iRun, you said it perfectly.

JOD

July 9th, 2012
9:13 am

I don’t think I can ‘have it all’, but I have most of what I want. I have a great, flexible job, but I am not at the level where I wanted to be early in my career. Why? Because I took time away when DD was an infant, and upon returning to work chose a more flexible role and schedule than the crazy demands of an executive role. But I did have that choice, and I chose to be available for my child.

Voice of Reason

July 9th, 2012
9:24 am

My wife has OCD issues. I am more than willing to take on some of the responsibilities around the house that she usually takes care of and I have told her this, but she is not willing to relinquish control to me.

It’s like if she gives up some of those duties it somehow means that she has been defeated and she absolutely refuses to let that happen.

It’s getting worse the older we get too.

Me, I like a good work/life balance with the understanding that the needs of my family always come first.

Tired

July 9th, 2012
9:26 am

I read the Atlantic article a few weeks ago thinking it was about all women, but it turned out to be just about mothers. That said, it is part of adulthood for all of us – male, female, parent or not, working or not – to make informed choices and to accept the benefits and detriments of them. If you work a lot of hours and have children, you will miss some events/races/performances/etc. If you don’t work for 3 years you will most likely have a difficult time re-entering the workforce and re-building a career.

The other thing no one has is universal approval of their choices, whatever they may be. Why people get indignant about that is beyond me.

Techmom

July 9th, 2012
9:45 am

If “have it all” is defined by the media, then nope, I don’t have it all. If “have it all” is defined by me, then yes, I think I’m pretty close. Could I do/have more? Probably but I choose not to. It’s a balancing act that I continually work at and most days, I’m happy with where I am.

Are there days when I wish I worked in an office and saw people face-to-face. Yep. But there are more days when I’m happy to roll out of bed and have time to get a walk in and enjoy a cup of coffee at home before starting my computer and never having to start the car. There are days when I feel completely blessed that I’ve been home for my son every day since 3rd grade and he didn’t have to go to after-school care or come home to an empty house. There were days when I picked him up while in the midst of a conference call on my cell phone but I was still able to pick him up. Maybe not the perfect situation for everyone but since I have to work, I made the best of it.

yuki

July 9th, 2012
9:47 am

JATL, I think you said it perfectly. You and I sound similar. I’m not a domestic person either. A lot of times my house, although nice, is messy because it’s hard to pick up after not only two kids but a husband as well as cook, do laundry, bathe kids, etc after work. My husband helps but quite honestly I am the main caregiver to the kids. I just don’t let it bother me. I can have a neat house when I’m older. I’d rather spend the time with my kids.

I never dreamed as a little girl of being only a wife and mother. I knew early on I was going to be a business person of some sort. And I enjoy my job. I’m finally where I want to be and I’m happy. I like making my own money. I watched my mother (who didn’t work) fight with my Dad (who is a bit frugal, to say the least) for years about money. She would have to beg, or ask, or hide if she wanted to buy us something a lot of the time. I told myself I will never be that way. I miss my kids during the day, of course. But, that makes our time together in the evenings, weekends and vacations even that more special. I think people should do whatever works for their family and stop criticizing people who don’t live as they do.
I think “having it all” is a different definition to everyone.

catlady

July 9th, 2012
9:54 am

“…compromise is they either have someone handling their home duties” Ouch! THEIR home duties? Those duties are for those who live at the home, which is much more than just the woman!

Maybe my experience is just so different. My former husband was not interested in any home duties. He was “tired.” His part time work and staying up late practicing music (bringing in no money) was too hard. After we divorced, ALL the home/yard duties continuted to be done without him–all by me and my maturing children. It was OURS to do.

catlady

July 9th, 2012
9:58 am

As for “having it all?” Most of us do what is called satisfice (satisfy and suffice).

JOD

July 9th, 2012
10:22 am

@Catlady – I like that…’satisfice.’

@Techmom – When DD goes to Kindergarten next year, I’m trying to figure out whether we’ll have to use after-care or if I can pick her up and manage her being home while working. Any tips on how you made it work?

FCM

July 9th, 2012
10:25 am

Blonde Honey I am single mom of 2. He said that since women wanted to work he expected me to pull in a paycheck. While I was indeed holding down a job (that paid as well as his), he also expected me to do all the housework (cooking, cleaning, laundry etc) he didn’t even mow lawn (the place we rented from did)…and to do all the stuff necessary with the children. He was of the opinion th He was of course an @$$ but unfortuntately I have heard to many variations of the “women wanted to work so go get an income” theme.

Tonya C.

July 9th, 2012
10:32 am

I stand with FCM. Women’s Lib did more damage to black households than any other community. It removed the option and made being a career woman the standard. Black men, who were still reeling from the effects of slavery and Jim Crow, became marginalized in their own homes. My view may not be popular, but I won’t lie about how I feel.

I stayed home for two years, and can vouch for the lazy and inept view from many in my own community. Gloria Steinhem glorified all that was being an independent woman without acknowledging very real drawbacks.

motherjanegoose

July 9th, 2012
10:37 am

ALL is different for everyone…..

Before I read the blog today, I was thinking near this topic. Being self employed, I am on the road and then home for a few weeks with little or no work. I have options. I did not travel as much when my children were smaller. When they reached Middle School and HS, I branched out. Some thought it was horrendous that I was gone. I never understood why it was acceptable for a Dad to be gone all week long ( as some are) but a Mom could not be gone 2 or 3 days per week…two or three times per month. I am also home a lot of the summer, as schools are closed and not much is going on. When the kids were small, we were able to do all sorts of fun things in the summer together as I had weeks off. I am still doing things with my college aged daughter now.

I am home this entire week. Today, I was thinking about how, if I were given the choice and money was no problem, would I want to just be a SAHM. NO THANKS… even at 52! I started out as Suzy Homemaker in our marriage. I cleaned, cooked, baked, even sewed clothes and curtains for our house. I also taught school. That does not interest me any more. I still cook dinner a few nights each week and even made a peach cobbler last night. My daughter jokes that when she comes home from college, it is not for a home cooked meal…it is to cook for us. She loves to cook and is excited about Pinterest…me not so much. A different stage in my life.

I am happy that I have the option to travel for work and meet all sorts of wonderful people locally and across the country. It has been an adventure for sure. My Mother rarely stepped on a plane by herself and if so, there was someone at the other end to meet her. She would never consider renting a car and staying in a hotel alone. She also never planned a trip without someone else’s input and $$$.

I have enjoyed my job/travels and also my family. It works for me. I do not feel satisfied simply with a clean house nor putting dinner on the table but I do feel excited when I am able to share my ideas with teachers and children…that is just me.

motherjanegoose

July 9th, 2012
10:43 am

Sorry for my grammar and any typos.

@JOD…can you get a neighborhood teenager to watch her after school? My daughter did this for our neighbor. She met the boy at the bus afterschool. That way, you have the option to meet her and visit for a bit. Most teens in our neighborhood get home before the ES kids. Just an idea.

Aquagirl

July 9th, 2012
10:51 am

Women’s Lib did more damage to black households than any other community. It removed the option and made being a career woman the standard. Black men, who were still reeling from the effects of slavery and Jim Crow, became marginalized in their own homes.

Poor men….such delicate little flowers.

I’m still not understanding the idea of working wives threatening men so badly. If a husband’s self-esteem is so fragile maybe he needs to spend more time in therapy, not complaining about his wife or Gloria Steinem or whoever.

Tonya C.

July 9th, 2012
10:58 am

Aquagirl:

It’s not about being delicate flowers. It’s about an already shaky or lack of self-esteem, families that were JUST starting to find their footing, and a community that needed male leadership. It was already a precarious situation that was made worse. It’s easy to poke fun when you don’t have to see and feel the effects, but with a 70% OOW birth rate and boys born in the last decade having a 1 in 3 chance of ending up behind bars, you tend to look deeper than others.

Never mind. I don’t really contribute to threads of this nature for this very reason. Women’s lib worked for some, but the belief everyone got the same benefits from it aren’t reality.

Techmom

July 9th, 2012
11:00 am

@JOD – I managed to get my employer to agree to allow me to work from home; though it took me turning in my letter of resignation before they did (8 years later, everyone works from home and we don’t even have an office!) Luckily at the time, my assignment was pretty flexible and I could work my hours whenever I wanted. I would get up early and start work between 6 & 6:30am, get my son up to get ready for school (by then he could get himself ready, I just had to make sure he got out of bed) so I could get an hour or so of work in before dropping him off at school. I’d then come home & work until it was time to pick him up. Usually by then, I had gotten in at least 7 hours of work so I only needed to squeeze one more in once he was home. I tried to get as much of the ‘heavy thinking’ stuff done when he wasn’t home and tried to schedule any meeting/conference calls for before I had to pick him up but he learned really quick that when I was on the phone, he was only to bother me if it was an emergency (again though, he was 9). Usually by the time he changed clothes & had a snack, I was either done working or done within a half hour.

My assignment now isn’t as flexible and I work with so many West Coast people that I don’t start work until 9 since I usually have 4 & 5pm meetings. If he was still young and I had to work this schedule, I’m pretty sure I’d have to put him in after-school care. It was easy enough to manage him being quiet for an hour but I don’t think he could have done it for 2-3 hours every day.

missnadine

July 9th, 2012
11:04 am

I think husbands are definitely more willing to help around the house but I’m not sure women are willing to release on some of their “motherly” duties.

I also took offense at that line. Drives me nuts when the word “help” is used, but at least she didn’t say that her husband is “babysitting”. Think about this: it is rare to hear of a man worried about the work/life balance.

Aquagirl

July 9th, 2012
11:14 am

Never mind. I don’t really contribute to threads of this nature for this very reason. Women’s lib worked for some, but the belief everyone got the same benefits from it aren’t reality.

Well, if you don’t like someone challenging your assumption so many black men are in jail because ZOMG GLORIA STEINEM!!!!1111!!!! then I can see why you don’t “contribute” to these types of threads.

If men need absolute economic power and a house where they’re the center of attention then they need to grow up. The problem is with them, period. Not women who won’t kowtow to their ego.

Fred ™

July 9th, 2012
11:29 am

I love being name jacked.

JATL

July 9th, 2012
11:29 am

The so-called “breakdown of the family” and this idea that ANY man, no matter what his race, was/is made to feel marginalized in his own home because of feminism or any feminist rests on the belief that women ARE lesser than men, and should be subservient to them -letting them control the finances and what is done in the home as well as out of it. The whole “American family” idea was based on daddy working and mommy staying at home and taking care of everyone and everything. Well guess what? A lot of us DON’T WANT TO DO THAT, and if a man can’t handle that idea, he’s pathetic. I don’t care what “community” a man belongs to -he needs to grab his sack and man-UP -get an education, get a job and realize that relationships and children are two-party systems. If he feels marginalized or jealous that the female in the household demands or gets an equal voice and equal standing, then he needs therapy for his self-esteem issues.

Fred ™

July 9th, 2012
11:30 am

I’m still not understanding the idea of working wives threatening men so badly. If a husband’s self-esteem is so fragile maybe he needs to spend more time in therapy, not complaining about his wife or Gloria Steinem or whoever.

Actually I have experienced the opposite. Women who can’t handle a stay at home dad without being threatened. :D

Fred ™

July 9th, 2012
11:34 am

Oh and Aquagirl? You nailed it with your 6:14 when you said:

The way you phrase this says it all….husbands “help” around the house. Gee, it’s not like it’s their house, their children, or their laundry, is it? Ultimately they’re not responsible for those things in the same way women are.

theresa

July 9th, 2012
11:47 am

The ajc article references stats that men are “helping” more ith childcare and housewor but for whatever reason women still do the preponderance of that work even though more are working 40hr jobs outside the home

Aquagirl

July 9th, 2012
11:49 am

I have experienced the opposite. Women who can’t handle a stay at home dad without being threatened. :D

My God, he’s doing the dishes! He might as well take out her ovaries with a pair of pliers! :)

And thanks for your comment on my 6:14, it’s worthwhile to read some of these “can women have it all?” articles and note the language. It reflects the reality both men and women feel it’s her job to take care of the house and children. Ultimately if the kids have scurvy from eating pizza every night or go to school naked for lack of clean clothes, she feels guilty. The man might feel bad but he doesn’t immediately ask “what can I do to prevent this from happening again (aside from getting my wife to fix the situation?”)

Tonya C.

July 9th, 2012
11:54 am

Aquagirl:

Quite the contrary. I just don’t need the condescending tone. I respect your opinion. It’s your reality and is no less valid than mine. Period. We don’t share the same views on this, and again, that’s fine. But I’ve never believed in the super independent woman thing, and I never will. That’s cool. It takes all kind for the world to go round.

You are happy with the way things turned out. I’m not. But I also don’t declare myself a feminist in the least, so it is what it is.

Augusta

July 9th, 2012
11:55 am

Apparently I’ve got it good, based on some of these comments. My husband is not just a “wage-earner”. He is a MAN in every sense of the word. He has 4 beautiful children that he is fully involved with. He is very handy around the house, and I don’t have to get after him to do things. Since I’m home all day, I tend to notice things, and mention them to him. If I can’t fix it, he can. He has never been nagged to do ANY THING around the house or with the kids. He takes all 4 kids every Saturday morning to breakfast and run errands. It’s “daddy time” for all of them, and they really look foward to spending a few hours alone with him. He gets 4 hours of quality time with the kids, and I get a nice morning to myself. He has never viewed this as “babysitting”. You don’t babysit your own kids.

Tonya C.

July 9th, 2012
11:58 am

And as to women having it all, it depends on how well they want to do it all. You can have it whatever you think your all may be and not be doing much of it very well. You can have some of what your all is and do everything great.

I don’t find value in work other than a paycheck. It doesn’t define me, or give me fulfillment, and it isn’t a definition of my goals or ambitions. It a job. Others have a career, and that gives them everything work doesn’t give me. But I resent having MY choices limited by the assumption I want a career, which has become more than the norm. I would like a balance or at least a real choice.

BlondeHoney

July 9th, 2012
11:58 am

FCM, you are 100% correct that he is an a@@. At least my ex pulled his weight equally because we both worked full time (I had the health insurance coverage in my job) and he recognized that we both had to do our equal share; he’s my ex for other reasons but not this issue. Now my ex MIL is another story; she used to tell me how “grateful” I should be for all the “help” he gave me around the house. Sheesh.

kimmer

July 9th, 2012
12:07 pm

Women can certainly choose to do what they want but overall, nature is not equal when it comes to child rearing. There are certainly exceptions but overall, nature has disproportionately relegated the primary job of bearing and raising offspring to the female. Humans are no exception to this because as general rule they are biologically more predispositioned to do this. Given Homo sapiens advanced intellect and self-awareness, humans can and do blur & redefine these roles which is OK too but as a general rule more women are going to take the lion’s share of child rearing and this is going to affect their numbers disproportionately in the workforce. You know, when you think about it. Raising children is ultimately why we do most of everything else in life including those without children who are all about careers. No children. No customers. No career.

JOD

July 9th, 2012
12:11 pm

Thanks, MJG and Techmom – It’s as I thought…we’ll probably have to do after-care for a years. Unfortunately, elementary kids get out first in Cobb. No complaints, but it would be nice to have that time with her!

motherjanegoose

July 9th, 2012
12:26 pm

Re: Nagging….

Here is a question I have…Who is considered to be more of a nag…a man or a woman?
We went to a couples seminar. The speaker was funny. One point he mentioned was that men do not like to be nagged. On the way home, we talked about that comment. In our house, no one has to remind me to get toilet paper, shampoo, ketchup or milk. No one has to remind me to clean, cook or do laundry. No one reminds me to walk/feed the dog or bring the papers in. I have been known to fervently remind/ nag about putting things away, remembering to pack certain items for a trip, making sure there is plenty of gas in the car before we leave, taking the trash out and taking the can to and from the curb, mowing the lawn, closing the garage door at night, locking the house, etc. I absolutely get the nagging rap unless I let it go and then I am accused of being grumpy.

FYI…I cannot relax on a trip if I think our house is unlocked, the oven is on or the garage door is open. It puts me in a panic when we are driving on fumes and I do not like the challenge of wondering if we can make it to our destination before we run out of gas. I rarely let my car get below a 1/4 tank, as I am stuck out on the interstate often with no hope of getting gas. Perhaps that is just me. Call me a nag…I guess I am.