Careers

Are More Women Torn Between Work, Parenting? Yes, Says Litigator Whose Husband Stays Home with Kids


Weighing in on an ongoing New York Times debate about whether men and women react differently to the conflict between work demands and children, a Manhattan lawyer whose husband is the stay-at-home parent in their household says she believes biology is, to some degree, destiny.

Although her husband is an excellent parent and has taken care of three children and their home for seven years without help from a nanny or a babysitter and without pressuring her to reduce her hours as a BigLaw litigator, Rebecca Hughes Parker emailed the Motherlode blog of the New York Times to say she still feels torn about not spending more time with the kids.

For those who want 50/50 equality, “even if the man does all the work that women traditionally do, as my husband happily does, therefore leaving the mother fully freed to take on the role traditionally played by the father,” women, she wrote in the email to the newspaper, tend to be more torn about time away from home.

“Did I manage to reverse the gender roles and be the ‘father’ who goes to work at the law firm? Nope,” she says. Instead, she drove herself crazy with guilt for several years before realizing that, for her, a somewhat reduced work schedule that allows her to spend more time with her children was an emotional necessity.

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