(HT: Emily’s husband)
Recently (ok, it was the beginning of the summer, and that tells you a little about how caught up I am in the news world), the CEO of Pepsi was interviewed about the intersection of career and family. If you would like to watch the entire show, you can do so here, or you can read some of the highlights here.
I would encourage you to read the entire article, because it is a good, honest look at the compromises made by women who attempt to have the career of their dreams and a family.
Here are some of the more heart-wrenching quotes:
But if you ask our daughters, I’m not sure they will say that I’ve been a good mom. I’m not sure.
You know, you have to cope, because you die with guilt. You just die with guilt.
You know, stay at home mothering was a full time job.
How can you do justice to all? You can’t. The person who hurts the most through this whole thing is your spouse.
I thought this interview was breathtakingly honest and helpful. Here is a woman who has given her all to have the job of her dreams, and succeeded. She is living proof that women are competent, capable, and driven. And now, with grown daughters, she is looking back at her years of rising in management and having small children, and the report she gives us is not encouraging.
She makes it clear: it is impossible to have the career of your dreams and be a good mom. You cannot be in two places at once. You will always be making decisions about your priorities, and this woman is upfront about the fact that she prioritized her career. Can you hear the regret in her voice? I’m not sure they will say that I’ve been a good mom. I’m not sure.
Who among us wants that regret? In the modern discussion of what women want, we’ve completely neglected the long view. We’re all wrapped up in fulfillment, feeling good about our abilities and ourselves, and not feeling chained down to a house with a kitchen and kids, and we’ve forgotten to peek into the future. Our goal is to be old women whose children and grandchildren love them. I do not want to hit 50 and be wondering if I’ve been a good mom. I want to give it my best shot now.
You just die with guilt. Let’s not be these women. Let’s choose the unpopular road now, when it matters, so that we can live out our older years without this kind of crushing guilt. I guarantee, no pastor sitting by a deathbed has ever heard the dying whisper, “I wish I’d given more to my career.”