This article, “Why Women Still Canâ€™t Have It All” By Anne-Marie Slaughter created a big hub-bub when it was published recently by the Atlantic Monthly, and the author subsequently earned a book contract from it. It’s an interesting piece, rethinking the workplace where any lady who decides to have children automatically compromises her spectacular ascent up the corporate ladder. This is not an article, as the author says up front, about women who have to take like three buses to go clean toilets for minimum wage. (I can’t even…how do people live.) This is definitely about higher-earners who do have to work for financial reasons (since most households are supported by dual-income owners now) but since they’re richer ladies, they have a bit of wiggle room and can kind of pick jobs that are “fulfilling,” not just bringing in some dinero. What I like about the article is that it not only states that women and men are not treated equally in the work place, particularly when they begin to become parents, but she also offers a set of solutions. How about that? Not just complaining but coming up with some answers? Nice.
This is a topic I think quite a bit about since I don’t really see the kids for more than five minutes of QT on some days, so I feel a bit guilty, but at the same time, what’s best for my family is that I go out and make as much money as I can and stay content (which I achieve by working full-time. I am someone who really needs to intellectual stimulation and adult interaction, as well as, you know, holding-and-hanging-with-the-babies time. During maternity leave, Husband was like Dude, I can’t wait till you go back to work.) Still, studies show moms who work parttime are happiest, then come the moms who work fulltime, and in last place, stay-at-home moms.
France offers working moms subsidized day care and allowances for exercise classes that let you get your gut sucked back in (pilates? no idea what it is). I thought for years they were happy, but then read a Times piece on how if you don’t want to go back to work, you feel like a real weird-o in Paris.
I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe it’s one of those things where there is no perfect answer, just one that keeps evolving.
I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe it’s one of those things where