Do you think it's impossible for both spouses to have high profile, demanding jobs and still raise normal kids?
There are a lot of people out there who would answer yes.
I really like what Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has to say on this topic. She told Business Insider that she feels that if both spouses pitch in equally at home it makes a huge difference toward balancing work and raising kids. She says men assume they can have it all, while women assume they can not.
"That is largely true because we don't have an even split in the home," Sandberg told the Business Insider. "We've made much more progress in the workplace in the last 30 years than in the home." (I have to agree with her on that!)
Sandberg cites the statistics: Women do two times the amount of home work and three times the amount of child care. "If we would get to a more equal division of labor at home, more women can have it all."
Sheryl also points out this food for thought: We (Corporate America) don't make it easy for men to choose to do more at home. Most of the time, men aren't given leave after having a child, nor are they encouraged to leave work timely to pick kids up from daycare.
She says she has an awesome husband who shares the work at home. She and her husband (David Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey) have split their responsibilities at the home equally."We are at 50-50. It's hard to get there. We had to work at it." For example, the couple syncs their calendars and divides up who takes the kids to school or who goes to parent-teacher conferences.
Sandberg advises young women, "the most important career decision you are going to make is who your life partner is."
I noticed that the comments below the Sandberg's interview on the Business Insider page. Many of them were debating quality vs. quantity -- whether a parent like Sandberg who works long hours can make up for the lack of quantity of time spent with her children.
I say quality can make up for quantity when raising kids. But giving them your full attention -- real quality time -- is EXTREMELY challenging these days, especially when you're in management at a big company and technology keeps you tied to the office. Businesses need women at the top and families need men who are involved and pitching in. It sounds like Sandberg and her husband have figured out how to make it work for their family.
Readers, what do you think about the quality vs. quantity argument in parenting? And, do you agree with Sandberg that as more men take on home and childcare responsibilities, work life balance will get easier for all?