It’s official

December 2, 2008

balance1

Yesterday on the Kojo Nnamdi show they discussed Work-Life balance issues and it was made official: I live in the most up-tight region of the country. I know, I know it is a complete shock to me too.  

Parents here feel huge pressure to choose career over family.  Work-Life balance is out the window.  80-hour work weeks are not the exception, they are the rule.  So when you (read: mostly moms) have kids and can’t work until 7 or 8 every night, you are seen as no longer committed to the firm/company/organization.  Apparently in other regions of the country people leave work at 5 or 5:30.  Who knew.

For some women, the pressure leads them to seek out child care that allows them to put in those long hours.  For others, it means stepping out of the race to focus on family.  But here’s the kicker: stepping out of the race does not mean an end to the insanity- it just gets transfered to your kids.

But back to the Kojo show.  The aspect that I found most fascinating: while they promoted the show as being about how you can achieve a better balance in your own life, what they actually discussed was how you have to understand the culture of where you work and work within that culture.  So if you work for a big law firm that expects insane numbers of billable hours- you need to expect to be put on the mommy track.  Don’t rock the boat, just suck it up.  

And when your kid wants your nanny, not you, in the middle of the night, just remind yourself that you are on the right track.

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