Our Thriving Children

Planting the seeds for lifelong success

Working Mothers, Raising Children: Something’s Gotta Give

The demands of raising children and building careers often collide. The needs of both domains are often in head-on conflict, especially in a child's early years. We return to the question of 'Can women actually do it all?' The answer could be "Yes". Read More

Trying to have it all, just like everyone else

I am a mother of an almost 3 year old girl, and have a full time job, which includes night shifts. To say that its difficult, would be an understatement.

I have found it difficult to 'find balance', and have had to really ponder what I need to do for personal happiness. Of course, that is spending time with my child. So my goal is now to eliminate as many distractors. Obviously I can't stop working, but I realized I was spending way too much time running errands. I would end up going on scavenger hunts for various children's items, or items for myself, that would consume an entire afternoon. Not to mention the second trip I would end up making when something didn't fit and needed to be returned.

In the evenings, after my daughter was asleep, I would spend hours browsing the internet for kid's books and etc. instead of spending time with my husband.

I recently discovered subscription shopping as a way to curtail my inefficient shopping trips. I am embarking on an experiment. I think using subscriptions for those various miscellaneous items will help me save time, and leave me to spend time with my family. So far, I am in month 3. I think its going well. Time is difficult to measure, so I am also measuring money spent. Take a look at my blog, and see what you think!

You can have it all...

I'm sorry, but I really believe you can have it all. In this day and age, the expectations of the roles of mother (and father) have rightfully morphed. As women take on more responsibility and leadership in the workplace, men are taking on more responsibility and leadership in the home. Men are able and willing to do more nurturing and caregiving - and relationships with their children benefit from it.

This is the true definition of partnership and is vital to achieving real balance. I honestly do have it all - I have raised two confident, well-rounded young adults who are in college establishing their own path in life. As parents, my husband and I have provided a nurturing environment while each having successful careers. We have demonstrated that the responsibility for developing a strong family is equally shared by mother and father. It can be done!

I don't have children yet,

I don't have children yet, but when I listen to parents it seems like a lot of the problem with "having it all" is that women are expected to "do it all." As in, take on the bulk of the parenting (including car pools, taking time off for illness, packing school lunches, etc) and the bulk of the other unpaid labor in addition to maintaining full time work. That seems like a recipe for disaster.

Most people who I hear saying they feel comfortable with their lives are people who have divided parenting and housework work much more equally, which I hope to emulate.

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Tovah Klein, Ph.D., is the director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and an Associate Professor of Psychology. 


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