I've come across a number of situations where professional women despise being asked how they "balance work and family" when they are being interviewed for their professional accomplishments. From what I can tell, the issue is that men are never asked this same question and it makes women feel like we are the parties mostly relegated to/designated with raising children in the family.
But isn't that the case though?
I mean, I'm speaking largely anecdotally for myself and the scores of women that I know but may be I'm wrong. Or maybe I'm right and we should be asking men how they balance work and family and listen carefully to their responses. We can't engage in discussions about gender equality (much less even pay equality) without ensuring that childcare is squarely on the table.
I admit that I am sitting firmly on the chair of privilege here. I will be the first to tell you that it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to be where I am right now without having had a village of support. Family, friends, and most importantly, paid child minders/nannies/baby-sitters/care-givers/etc. I've been a mom for almost eleven years and I haven't gone a month without paid support for my three sons, except during vacation.
I spent my early days as a mom as an investment banker so not only was I afforded financial privilege but I actually needed said childcare. Double income families (my husband is also full-time employer) generally need this support and I wonder how families without the financial means accomplish their career/business goals. I'm almost certain that there are a large number of women in the United States who need to make tradeoff's between working and caring for their children due to financial constraints.
This is a topic that I feel like we don't speak loudly enough about. HOW DO WE EXPECT WOMEN TO RISE UP THE CAREER LADDER IF WE ARE GENERALLY FIGURING OUT HOW TO GET OUR KIDS TO AND FROM SCHOOL? In addition to the myriad other responsibilities that young children come with? I did a quick poll of women that I know and it costs anywhere from $2,000 - $10,000 a month to pay for child care!
I'm literally asking the question, ladies, and hoping for some ideas! I'm currently without childcare and I am trying my best to mother three kids, run Bossy Cosmetics, and teach a course at Stanford next month! I'm looking for ideas and I'm hoping you have some. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org please.
Meanwhile, I posted this last week on LinkedIn. Enjoy!
These are my well-behaved princes. Kaito, Ikenna, and Emeka (L to R).