Starting in the 1960s, women started to push for more equality in the workforce. It’s a battle that still rages and the challenges are many. Women, and even men, in Arkansas will likely agree that the standard that has been put forward to this point is that somehow it is possible for women to have it all – a family, and to exercise the freedom to strive for the heights of their careers.
Finding the right work-life balance can be difficult in the best of circumstances. Very often, women can wind up carrying greater responsibility in terms of child custody in divorce. Whether it’s by choice or social expectations, trying to be a co-parent and the best you can be in your chosen profession can create unhealthy pressures.
Having an attorney who understands the dynamics that decisions regarding custody arrangements and parenting plans are likely to have on you and your children is something to strive for. It might also be helpful to take a look at your personal priorities and be pragmatic about what is practical for everyone’s best interest.
The spark for this bit of musing is the proposition presented in a recent Washington Post article featuring what amounts to a change of heart on the part of Anne-Marie Slaughter.
For those who may not know, Slaughter is a law professor, a former State Department policy wonk and currently leads one of the largest think tanks in Washington. She’s also the mother of two sons. In 2012 she stirred the culture pot by writing an essay in which she declared women can’t have it all.
While that statement spurred anger in some, many welcomed it as an eye opening admission from someone with experience. Further, as the article in the Post observes, Slaughter has tweaked that position even more.
She now holds to the notion that no one, man or woman, can have it all and that they shouldn’t have to fret about it. There’s a need, she says, to put much greater emphasis on recognizing that caregiving of others, as represented in parenting and other roles, is the core work of the whole society.
What she’s talking about is respect for the role of caregiving, regardless of which parent happens to take the lead. Whether society ever comes around to her position will have to be seen.