They make it look easy. But the women who seem to "have it all" are navigating mazes of complex logistics every day.
Kudos to Anne-Marie Slaughter for shedding light on the sacrifices and choices high-powered women in Washington make about work and family. The more transparency into how Americans manage caring for children while earning a living, and vice versa, the better.
And yes, as Slaughter writes: "If women are ever to achieve real equality as leaders, then we have to stop accepting male behaviors and male choices as the default and ideal. We must insist on changing social policies and bending career tracks to accommodate our choices, too." To that statement I would add only that often it's the requirements of our realities (be they biological, familial, medical, financial, logistical, etc.) rather than our deliberate choices that necessitate a non-linear path.
In my "past life" -- before an eight-year career as a stay-at-home mom -- I was a senior editor at a popular celebrity magazine. I cringed whenever a writer or source gushed about an actress or other famous woman being a "devoted" mom. While the typical new mom can barely take a shower, famous moms are somehow able to look fabulous, maintain a fabulous career and appear in fabulous places, all while being fabulous, attentive, "devoted" moms.
I don't question the love any globetrotting star has for her children. But because there's little explanation about exactly how super successful, celebrated women with children do it all, regular "real-life" moms -- many of whom step out of the workforce or let job opportunities and larger ambitions lie -- often look and feel like a bunch of slackers.