Our take: Anne-Marie Slaughter's essay in the Atlantic magazine on "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" has launched some national discussion by women about whether it's truly possible to balance work and family life adequately without leaving something behind. But there's a man side to the story, too, as fathers who want to really engage with their children and be part of their everyday moments, not just financial providers, wonder how they can find so-called work-life balance in their own families and careers. And that's a question that resonates with Touré, who poses the question in his own essay in Time. The battle is different, the heart-tug remarkably similar.
With a heavy heart I read Anne-Marie Slaughter's Atlantic magazine essay "Why Women Still Can’t Have It All." I’ve heard the same laments from my wife, who runs a small fashion trend-forecasting agency and is a great, sensitive, thoughtful mother to our two children, who are 4 and 3. Like Slaughter, my wife was told by the previous generation that it's possible to have it all — to have a fulfilling career and be present mothers — but as working parents they’ve realized it's just not so.
I have all the respect in the world for the impossible challenges working moms face. The battle is not the same for men; it is not as tough. We don't have both the maternal voice and the feminist voice in our heads telling us we should be at home nurturing our kids and also at work building fulfilling careers. But it's nearly impossible for men to have it all too. Many men want fulfilling family lives. I want that even as I fulfill my familial role by providing. But most of the time I feel like I'm not involved enough in either my career or my kids' lives. I usually feel as though my life is like a plate of food sitting in front of me, but there's so much that the plate is overwhelmed, unable to hold it all, so it spills over onto the table.
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