[ Soledad ] O'Brien said sometimes she has to pour her whole self into her work and at those times she's probably a crappy mom. But at other times she puts work on hold so she can focus solely on her family, even if that makes her a bad journalist in the eyes of others. She said she realized she can't always be great at all her roles in this world and that's OK.
[A]nother woman juggling a career with motherhood....was asked the key to balance. She leaned into the microphone and said, "Balance is a unicorn."
Of course, you've heard women say, "Nobody asks men, 'How do you do it all' " And that is very true. Nobody does. When Marcia Clarke was trying O J Simpson for murder, people asked with outrage, "Who is taking care of her children?" to which I and several others responded, "The same person that is taking care of her male co-worker's children - the spouse."
The other thing that gets to me is that a man can stand up at a microphone, after 30 years of service in the Senate or something, and publicly say to crowds of people and multiple television cameras that he worked 80 hours a week while his wife did virtually all the raising of children without anybody uttering the words "You were a bad father," even though he was.
Rarely will anyone claim that a man was a bad parent if his job is either very powerful or earning him and his family millions of dollars per year. Even those who like to wag their fingers at mothers (but not fathers) who don't worship "balance" have no problem if a man is an absentee father if the power or the money is rolling in.
There are supposed to be two parents, last I heard. Heterosexually speaking, a mom and a dad may not be interchangeable in their functions and their talents. And that's probably a good thing. But when one PARENT is busy and not there for the child, the other parent should make themselves unbusy and present. And hopefully the unbusy and present parent is not ALWAYS the same parent over and over again..
A child needs BOTH parents to be parents, yes?
When two people are functioning as partners and parents --once the mother separates from the child after birthing and breast feeding-- there really shouldn't be a reason for a mother to feel guilty because she's not with her children 24/7. That's what husbands, mothers, in-laws, and the rest of the village is for, yes?
The reasonable reason to feel guilty, I would think, is when your child barely recognizes you and doesn't seek comfort from you, because you've become a virtual stranger due to being at work all the time -- no matter how much money and/or power is rolling in. When fathers learn to feel this same reasonable guilt for the same reason and take steps to avoid ever having to feel it, we'll all be better off.
Maybe one day Soledad and mothers all over the world will stop calling themselves the occasionally "crappy mother" as measured by an unrealistic standard and get used to the idea that fathers should feel just as responsible for the day-to-day raising of their children.
Maybe if men feel just as responsible for the day-to-day raising of their children too, maybe they won't count themselves as good fathers once they are divorced and only see their children every other weekend. And if men don't feel like "good fathers" for seeing their children every other weekend, maybe they'll be more invested in staying married --which, again, requires day to day engagement with their children and their wife.
The days of a man being "just a provider" ought to be over by now. And the days of men feeling like "the beast of burden" of their families would be over by now if the men and women who love hard gender roles and also the idea that motherhood is somehow more magical and important than fatherhood would stop and smell the rosy feminism just waiting for them to partake.
File this under *Feminism was supposed to make life better for men (fathers) too.*