Throughout this campaign, the candidates have talked endlessly about the economy and how to create jobs. But we’ve barely started the conversation we should be having about how those jobs can fit better into our increasingly busy lives.
A 43-year-old parent I spoke with this past week didn’t mince words when it came to the exchange, in the second presidential debate, about the challenge of balancing work and family: “I found it disturbing, the assumption that this is a women’s issue.”
During the debate, you’ll recall, Mitt Romney said that one reason he was able as Massachusetts governor to recruit women into top roles was that he “recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible,” such as letting them leave at 5 p.m. so they can make dinner and be home with their children.
The parent in question, however, is not a super-mom miffed at Romney’s 1950s imagery while she cleans up toddler messes with one hand and taps away on her BlackBerry with the other. Rather, Nate McKitterick is a Silicon Valley lawyer and father of two school-age children who does most of the dinner prep in his family and has worked 80 percent time at his law firm since 2004, before he made partner.