What are your choices, compromises and sacrifices?

“Life is like a blanket too short. You pull it up and your toes rebel, you yank it down and shivers meander about your shoulder; but cheerful folks manage to draw their knees up and pass a very comfortable night.”

Marion Howard (1805-1875)

“The very concept of having it all flies in the face of the basic laws of economics and common sense. As Sharon Poczter, professor of economics at Cornell, explains, “The antiquated rhetoric of ‘having it all’ disregards the basis of every economic relationship: the idea of trade-offs. All of us are dealing with the constrained optimization that is life, attempting to maximize our utility based on parameters like career, kids, relationships, etc., doing our best to allocate the resource of time. Due to the scarcity of this resource, therefore, none of us can ‘have it all’…”

“Having it all is best regarded as a myth…. Each of us makes choices constantly between work and family, exercising and relaxing, making time for others and taking time for ourselves. Being a parent means making adjustments, compromises, and sacrifices every day…”

From ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg

Family blance juggle

What are your choices, compromises and sacrifices?

ENDS

Image 1: by Eugeny (Ef) Kozhevnikov
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mage 2: A balanced family

Are you being deeply understood, truly supported and completely and utterly loved?

“We had 11 truly joyful years of the deepest love, happiest marriage, and truest partnership that I could imagine … He gave me the experience of being deeply understood, truly supported and completely and utterly loved – and I will carry that with me always. Most importantly, he gave me the two most amazing children in the world…

Dave was my rock. When I got upset, he stayed calm. When I was worried, he said it would be ok. When I wasn’t sure what to do, he figured it out…” wrote Sheryl Sandberg in a moving tribute to her husband.

Dave Goldberg and Sheryl Sandberg

How many women are lucky to have such amazing, empowering and supportive men in their lives? Men, who empower them to achieve their full potential in life and do share the load of less glamorous family chores to support them. Men, who hear women’s voice and treat women’s choices with respect. Men who recognise that “if we tapped the entire pool of human resources and talent, our collective performance would improve… the achievements will extend beyond those individuals to benefit us all”.

Respect, Give It To Get It

As Sheryl Sandberg points out in her book Lean In, “women still face real obstacles in the professional world, including blatant and subtle sexism… Too few workplaces offer the flexibility and access to child care and parental leave that are necessary for pursuing a career while raising children. Plus, women have to prove themselves to a far greater extent than men do… A 2011 McKinsey report noted that men are promoted based on potential, while women are promoted based on past accomplishments.”

discrimination against women in the workplace

Sheryl also notes that “in addition to the external barriers erected by society women are hindered by barriers that exist within ourselves. We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising out hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in. We internalize the negative messages we get throughout our lives… We lower our own expectations of what we can achieve.”

So true. I’ve observed that so often during my University years. While the majority of male students were charging in the exam rooms totally unprepared but still full of confidence, the best female students were spending days and nights preparing for exams, however were still trembling with fear of a failure.

After the exams male students often credited their success to their own innate qualities and skills, while female students often attributed success to good luck.  Interestingly enough, after a failed exam male students were often blaming bad luck, while female students were more likely to believe it was due to an inherent lack of ability.

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While some women are happy to stay at home looking after their family and children, others might want to pursue career. In both cases they need to have a choice.

Unfortunately, as Sheryl Sandberg points out, while “professional ambition is expected of men” it is “optional – or worse, sometimes even negative – for women. “She is very ambitious” is not a compliment…

Men are continually applauded for being ambitious and powerful and successful, but women who display these same traits often pay a social penalty. Female accomplishments come at a cost….

The stereotype of a working woman is rarely attractive. Popular culture has long portrayed successful working women as so consumed by their careers that they have no personal life. If a female character divides her time between wok ad family, she is almost always harried and guilt ridden…”

While acknowledging biological and some psychological difference between men and women, it is important to recognise that, as Sheryl puts it, “in today’s world, where we no longer have to hunt in the wild for our food”, both men and women should be given a fair chance to make their own choices. ”

However “until women have supportive employers and colleagues as well as partners who share family responsibilities, they don’t have real choice. And until men are fully respected for contributing inside the home, they don’t have real choice either. Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives the encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible. Only then can both men and women achieve their full potential. …

Men's New Role as Househusband Challenges Chinese Tradition

We all want the same thing: to feel comfortable with our choices and to feel validated by those around us. If more children see fathers at school pickups and mothers who are busy at jobs, both girls and boys will envision more options for themselves. Expectations will not be set by gender but by personal passion, talents, and interests…

My greatest hope is that my son and my daughter will be able to choose what to do with their lives without external or internal obstacles slowing them down or making them question their choices.”

Thanks Dave and Sheryl for giving us a real example of the deepest love, happiest marriage, and truest partnership in which you both were supporting each other in making your choices in life and reaching your full potential.

A photo of Dave Goldberg, the Facebook executive, who died suddenly on May 2, 2015. He is pictured with his wife Sheryl Sandberg. Photo posted by Sheryl Sandberg on facebook.

Are you being deeply understood, truly supported and
completely and utterly loved?

THE END

Image 1: from http://img-hd.com/dave-goldberg/
Image 2: from http://dailytechwhip.com
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mage 3: from http://unitedtruthseekers.com/
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mage 4: from Are You Discriminating Against Women Employees Without Even Knowing It?
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mage 5: from http://what3words.tumblr.com
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mage 6: from http://247moms.com
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mage 7: from http://www.womenofchina.cn
Image 8: from https://queerguesscode.files.wordpress.com
Image 9: from http://www.theguardian.com

Let’s look for way forward, not who to blame…

From http://off-campus.weebly.com/

As Michael Straczynski once said, “People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.”

Considering this general tendency, it does not come as a surprise when we see men being blamed for all problems affecting women.

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From http://terry73.wordpress.com

Women do have lots of problems. As Sheryl Sandberg points out in her book Lean In, “the blunt truth is that men still run the world. This means that when it comes to making the decision that most affect us all, women’s voices are not heard equally…”

There are lots of reasons for this. “Women face real obstacles in the professional world, including blatant and subtle sexism… Too few workplaces offer the flexibility and access to child care and parental leave that are necessary for pursuing a career while raising children…”

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From https://twitter.com/workingmothers1

As the result, the whole society suffers: “The laws of economics and many studies of diversity tell us that if we tapped the entire pool of human resources and talent, our collective performance would improve. Legendary investor Warren Buffett has stated generously that one of the reasons for his great success was that he was competing with only half of the population. The Warren Buffetts of my generation are still largely enjoying this advantage. When more people get in the race, more records will be broken. And the achievements will extend beyond those individuals to benefit us all.”

Men in a boardroomFrom http://www.wemadeit.ca

When asked how American women could help those who experienced the horrors and mass rapes of war in places like Liberia, Leymah Gbowee (Liberian peace activist who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize) responded with four simple words: “More women in power.” We do need more strong women in power who don’t play victim, who don’t make themselves look pitiful, who don’t point fingers but stand firmly and deal with the problems.

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From http://www.pinterest.com

We do need more women in leadership roles to improve conditions not only for all women and children, but for men as well.

“Why improving conditions for men?” one may ask.

As Sheryl Sandberg points out. “Today, despite all of the gains we have made, neither men nor women have real choice. Until women have supportive employers and colleagues as well as partners who share family responsibilities, they don’t have real choice. And until men are fully respected for contributing inside the home, they don’t have real choice either. Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives the encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible. Only then can both men and women achieve their full potential. …

We all want the same thing: to feel comfortable with our choices and to feel validated by those around us. If more children see fathers at school pickups and mothers who are busy at jobs, both girls and boys will envision more options for themselves. Expectations will not be set by gender but by personal passion, talents, and interests.”

From http://cdn2.thegrindstone.com

Like Sheryl Sandberg, I hope my children will be able to choose what to do with their lives without external or internal obstacles slowing them down or making them question their choices. If they want to do the important work of raising children full-time, I hope they will be respected and supported by the society disregarding their gender. If they want to work full-time and pursue their professional aspirations, I hope they will also be respected and supported by the society disregarding their gender.

From http://d.gr-assets.com/

Let’s look for way forward, not who to blame…

😉

THE END