Part 3 of my Lean In highlights.
On equality in the relationship resulting in happier relationships (p. 117) - I realized during my maternity leave, when I was doing more of the work around the house I was home and especially so because we had just moved, that I was not a fan of having to do more of the housework. It contributed to my resolve to go back to work full-time. Being a dual income household is nice too:
When husbands do more housework, wives are less depressed, marital conflicts decrease, and satisfaction rises.27 When women work outside the home and share breadwinning duties, couples are more likely to stay together. In fact, the risk of divorce reduces by about half when a wife earns half the income and a husband does half the housework.28
On drawing the line at work (p. 126) - something I have trouble doing and Greg has complained about:
He said McKinsey would never stop making demands on our time, so it was up to us to decide what we were willing to do. It was our responsibility to draw the line. We needed to determine how many hours we were willing to work in a day and how many nights we were willing to travel. If later on, the job did not work out, we would know that we had tried on our own terms. Counterintuitively, long-term success at work often depends on not trying to meet every demand placed on us. The best way to make room for both life and career is to make choices deliberately - to set limits and stick to them.
On how studies have shown that exclusive care by the mother (or not) doesn't really affect the kids (p. 136) - it does make me feel better knowing that:
Parental behavioral factors - including fathers who are responsive and positive, mothers who favor "self-directed child behavior," and parents with emotional intimacy in their marriages - influence a child's development two to three times more than any form of child care.26 One of the findings is worth reading slowly, maybe even twice: "Exclusive maternal care was not related to better or worse outcomes for children. There is, thus, no reason for mothers to feel as though they are harming their children if they decide to work."27
On women feeling guiltier about being away from kids than men (p. 137) - ha. I feel a bit guilty for not feeling that guilty when I have nights away from Evie (though I certainly miss her when I'm gone). This quote actually reminds me of another quote that I came across previously from Golda Meir, "At work, you think of the children you have left at home. At home, you think of the work you've left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself. Your heart is rent.":
To this day, I count the hours away from my kids and feel sad when I miss a dinner or a night with them . . . Far from worrying about nights he misses, Dave thinks we are heroes for getting home for dinner as often as we do. Our different viewpoints seem inextricably gender based . . . A study that conducted in-depth interviews with mothers and fathers in dual-earner families uncovered similar reactions. The mothers were riddled with guilt about what their jobs were doing to their families. The fathers were not.29
On how to frame your point of view and define success (p. 138 - 139):
Instead of perfection, we should aim for sustainable and fulfilling. The right question is not "Can I do it all?" but "Can I do what's most important for me and my family?" The aim is to have children who are happy and thriving . . . If I had to embrace a definition of success, it would be that success is making the best choices we can . . . and accepting them.
Lean In - Part 1
Lean In - Part 2