Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, is encouraging women to "Lean In" to their careers, with her book of the same name. Essentially she is tackling the age-old dilemma of how women should compete in a "man's world." She argues that unless women approach a relentless pursuit of success at the office, we will never be able to achieve equality at home, both in terms of domestic responsibilities and raising the kids. According to Sandberg, one day the sight of watching a man do laundry will be "sexy."
While I'm not sure about that -- productive, useful and obvious come to mind far before the word sexy does -- I do agree that we need to find ways to be more efficient at home to get some equal footing.
In fact, as I wrote about in my new book "I Am So The Boss Of You: An 8 Step Guide To Giving Your Family The Business", I concur that applying a more structured approach to the home is one way to get some control into the "wild ride" of parenting. And part of that structure has to include an equalization of domestic duties. But ultimately I don't think that moms will have achieved equality with dads until we can save time like they do.
Only a dad can throw out kids' artwork without attempting to a) hide it under all the recycling first or b) photographing and scrapbooking parts of it first or c) feeling guilty about it for a week. Not so, us moms.
Dads can call a slopped together meal "Cowboy Casserole" and get the kids to eat it without them once questioning the origin or the pedigree of the ingredients. I usually have to prove to them why my cooking isn't bad.
And how about the amount of time we moms spend on making sure that we dress ourselves appropriately? Just consider how easy life would be at home if we didn't mind throwing on socks and sandals while proudly parading around in corporate logoed golf-shirts. Think of the accumulated minutes we could save just by not tucking in a shirt on the weekends.
But that's not all; until we can liberate ourselves from the brain space required to know the last time the seven year old had a shower, the ten year old went to the dentist, or the 14 year old cracked open a textbook, most moms will still be more worried about falling over (with exhaustion), than leaning in.
This article was originally run in the Metro News.
Kathy Buckworth's latest book, "I Am So The Boss Of You: An 8 Step Guide To Giving Your Family The Business" is available at bookstores everywhere.