Can Working Moms Have It All? I'm Not So Sure
Ask any working mom out there if she has felt uncomfortable leaving the office before 6pm and she’s bound to answer yes. Doesn’t make a difference how early you get in, how many lunch hours you work through and how often you end up working from home. People get “judgey” about what time you walk out the door at night.
Which is why it was unbelievably refreshing to read that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg leaves the office at 5:30 every single day...and she’s proud of it. In a video with Makers.com, Sandbergh said:
“I walk out of this office every day at 5:30 so I'm home for dinner with my kids at 6:00, and interestingly, I've been doing that since I had kids. I did that when I was at Google, I did that here, and I would say it's not until the last year, two years that I'm brave enough to talk about it publicly. Now I certainly wouldn't lie, but I wasn't running around giving speeches on it.”
Now, some would argue that as COO of Facebook, she has a hall pass to do whatever the hell she wants – unlike the rest of the working stiffs out there desperately trying to hang on to their jobs. But here’s the rub – she’s the COO of Facebook – and so there are a bunch of people (women AND men) waiting for her to screw up so they can grab her job. Granted – not many people are as qualified as she is, but still…
Sandberg's work-life balance was probably not easy to come by, but she has done it. She has proven that she CAN get everything she needs to get done, leave the office at 5:30 p.m., have dinner with her family and tuck her kids into bed at night. And that’s what every working mom dreams of – being able to do it all.
I have to be honest – part of me really doesn’t think women CAN have it all. I used to be the last one at work, eager to get promoted, killing myself to get everything done. But since I have had kids, I’m kind of happy to fly low on the radar – I don’t WANT to be the next president of the company. It’s sad, yes – and I’m sure I’m not alone. But at the end of the day – I want to see my kids before they go to sleep at night. And that’s more important to me than sending 50 more emails that nobody is going to read anyway!
What do you think? Do you think women can have it all?