Friend of mine (who manages to work very hard and still be a very good dad– far as I can tell)k posted this on Facebook:
Successful career women are almost always — perhaps even literally always — asked in interviews how they deal with the infamous “the work/life balance.” Women who haven’t married or had children are quizzed on why they haven’t — can their withering wombs be chalked up to a heavy workload? — and women who do achieve the mythical “balance” are forced to describe, over and over again, how they’ve possibly managed such a feat. Men, on the other hand, are rarely asked how they balance family time with work…
So kudos to Amanda Steinberg, founder and CEO of DailyWorth, a successful online finance community for women, who told The Grindstone that being a mom is “challenging,” yes, but that doesn’t mean she’s striving to balance the supposed scales. When asked about work/life balance, she said:
I don’t strive for a concept of balance — I never have. It almost seems like a silly idea to me — that life should play out in some sort of contrived separation between “work” and “relaxation” or “family time.” As a CEO and mom, I’m always working and always “mom.” They exist in an almost blended fashion. I lean in both directions depending on which needs me more in that moment.
Ummm, nice try. I’m guessing Amanda Steinberg is not a particularly dedicated mom . What a crock– “always working and always mom.” I’m all about work/life(/blogging) balance, but when I am teaching my class or running regression models on election data I’m not “dad,” and when I’m changing diapers or reading Wocket in my Pocket I’m not “working.” I make a conscious decision to spend as much time doing the latter (okay, not really the diapers) as I possibly can while still being a responsible scholar/professor/adviser/blogger, etc. That’s work-life balance.
Yeah, it is certainly noteworthy that we look at this very differently with women and men (one of the reasons I often feel more of an affinity with working moms than fellow working dads), but let’s not pretend it’s something that isn’t real or can be finessed through semantics.