Women grappling with the overwhelming pressure for perfection that can wreak havoc in their lives need to realise that the notion of "having it all" is largely a myth, women's movement icon Gloria Steinem told eating disorder clinicians at an annual meeting in the US. Women have made huge strides in the workplace over the past several decades, but with no reduction in their amount of responsibility for child-rearing and household duties, she said. Steinem told the group of several hundred attendees, many of them psychologists, physicians and nutritionists, that women cannot "have it all" unless and until men have an equal role in rearing children.
Entries in Mythbusters: Raising Children (2)
I've written a fair amount about maternal gatekeeping - the habit some mothers have of excluding their children's father from childcare. Now here's an article that shows everyone how unnecessary that behavior is. The woman writing the piece was pregnant with her third child when vaginal bleeding caused her doctor to prescribe uninterrupted bedrest. In other words, her physical condition took her out of the family's childcare loop and placed the entire burden of caring for a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old on her husband. She describes her anxiety lying in bed listening for the children's sounds and wondering what her husband was doing with them. But as it turns out, her husband was not only perfectly capable of caring well for the children, he showed an inventive streak too. Among other things, he took the children out and bought them toy "medical" kits with which they could examine and treat their bedridden mother. She learned that her husband makes a very good parent and that her kids were fine without her 24-hour-a-day presence and control. His time doing it all seems to have convinced her that it's OK for him to be more involved with the childen now.