Don’t Skirt the Issue – Careers, Children – Can We Have it All?

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CAREERS, CHILDREN—CAN WE HAVE IT ALL?

Thoughts on Time Management

By Paula Dezzutti

According to Pew Research, in 46 percent of U.S. households with a mother and a father, both parents are employed full-time. Yet 77 percent of adults in the U.S. say women face a lot of pressure to be an involved parent, while only 56 percent say the same about men.

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Recently, I read an article by Lara Bazelon, a New York Times columnist who is an attorney as well as a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law. In her writing, she addressed how she has “often picked her job over her children and various milestones in their lives,” and while her children give her life “profound meaning,” her job does, too.

She explained: “My choice is more than a financial imperative. I prioritize my work because I’m ambitious, and because I believe it’s important. If I didn’t write and teach and litigate, a part of me would feel empty.”

I happen to know that Ms. Bazelon fights hard against racism and is most recently the author of “Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction.” Yes, there is a lot at stake in the world for those of us who are called to a community purpose. If we were men, we would be called heroes.

As a speaker and coach on entrepreneurship I am often asked to speak about time management and creating a work-home balance. It’s a quest that has been the theme for countless bestselling books, podcasts and strategy sessions, and niche career fields ranging from closet organizers to personal shoppers. Everyone seems to be chasing the wrong idea, as far as I am concerned. We hear statements that run the gamut between “never enough time” to “time is an illusion” to “all we have is time.” And yet we are no closer to the truth. The Mayan calendar came to an end in 2012, depicting that there would be an end in time—proof that so much is subjective.

I love speaking on this topic and hopefully offering women a new viewpoint that time management is not about the management of time. Rather, it’s about the management of your emotions along any given experience of time. Every working mother presupposes that a “work-life balance” is achievable. But this concept as a measurement of time traps women in an endless cycle of shame, justification and self-recrimination.

What if you were to shift your viewpoint and instead measure the alignment of your positive emotions against the path of your goals? Then, no matter what the current task is at any moment, you can feel pride in what you have accomplished and in supporting your community, yourself and your children—the very children who grow up to be parents themselves, love their own kids and give their own life profound meaning. Now, who is the hero and the master of time?

Submit your letters, personal essays, poems, or even just a list of the top issues you want to see addressed to dontskirttheissue@skirt.com

Paula Dezzutti, CEO/Owner

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