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March 30, 2007

When I grow up I want to be a....

A Palo Alto mother posed a question about whether it is possible to "have it all" on the Palo Alto Menlo Park Parent's Club email list.  The highlights of her findings were then posted on Mommy Track'd.  As I was reading through the list of points, the following bullet caught my eye:

In Some jobs (such as those in business), getting to the top means more hours, whereas for other jobs (such as academic research) getting to the top means more flexibility. It is our responsibility to talk to our nieces, daughters, younger sisters about the path they are choosing at a young age and how it might affect their ability to balance work and life at a later stage.

This piqued my interest because it's something I have thought about for Meena, my daughter.  I work in techology, and not a week goes by that I don't wish someone had talked to me about  choosing a career that would allow me a satisfying work/life balance.  Okay, I admit that in my late-teen years and early twenties, a discussion about how I should think about studying something that would allow me to come home make dinner every night for my husband and children would have fallen on deaf ears!  But...god, if someone had at least clued me into the fact that certain professions are more amenable to having some balance/peace of mind...it could have been really enlightening!

So blogospere and wise parents.  What is your take on this topic?  Is there even a career path that is conducive to a home life/work balance and actually pays a reasonable salary?  Are we expecting too much out of our career?  Is there a perfect balance between having a sensational career and being a perfect  (or not so perfect, but average) parent?  Does this even exist and is anyone ever satisfied?  Ah, the joys of being a career woman and a mother!


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