From this article on Working Mothers Who Make It All Work in the Wall Street Journal, I learned that women who make 6 figures and have young kids are able to “have it all” (in which all = quality time with kids, spouse time, self-care time, work time) with a combination of live-in help, flexible hours, and breathless efficiency. I suppose it’s comforting to know that a) their kids aren’t suffering for Mommy’s career, and b) you can buy your way to a balanced life, if you have enough money.
Speaking of time, parenting, and the Wall Street Journal, this is an interesting article they published last year on Why Mom’s Time Is Different From Dad’s Time. This passage particularly resonated with me:
In 2011, the sociologists Shira Offer and Barbara Schneider found that mothers spend, on average, 10 extra hours a week multitasking than do fathers “and that these additional hours are mainly related to time spent on housework and child care.”
When fathers spend time at home, on the other hand, it reduces their odds of multitasking by over 30%. Which may explain why, a few years ago, researchers from UCLA found that a father in a room by himself was the “person-space configuration observed most frequently” in their close study of 32 families at home. It may also explain why many fathers manage to finish the Sunday paper while their wives do not—they’re not constantly getting up to refill bowls of Cheerios.
Being compelled to divide and subdivide your time doesn’t just compromise your productivity and lead to garden-variety discombobulation. It also creates a feeling of urgency—a sense that no matter how tranquil the moment, no matter how unpressured the circumstances, there’s always a pot somewhere that’s about to boil over.
Hat-tip to Velda for sharing the second article on Facebook recently. 🙂