The Engineer’s Baby – Career vs. Child

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen three articles today about women “having it all” despite having a child. It seems like the conversation remains between a “Hard Feminist” position and a normal woman. I’d define the “hard Feminist” position as one that would require a woman to get her education and achieve a significant rank in her career before damaging her promotions with a baby. 

Billionaire Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has said that women”are not making it to the top of any profession anywhere in the world. The numbers tell the story . . . 190 heads of state — nine are women. Of all the people in parliaments in the world, 13 percent are women. In the corporate sector, women at the top . . . 15, 16 percent.”

A normal woman’s position is attempting to balance planning for a child and planning for a career – but still under the context that she really needs to succeed in that career. I understand that some women see themselves as having the most to prove and the most to do with childcare, but I suspect that these articles are somewhat clueless about men in the workforce. They have spent so much time staring at women, they haven’t looked at the man one desk over.

Men also have children. Sure, SOME men don’t care. Some men just want the house to be … an oasis from work. But frankly, these days guys like that don’t have to get married or have kids, they just hook up on the weekends and stay single. Women who want to be CEO’s of Facebook probably should stay single through college and focus on their careers till in their mid 30s.

Most guys I know have been married before they hit 30 and are busting ass at work and at home. Most men that I know devote a substantial amount of their time to their wife & kids. Usually, this meant a time in their careers when they “cut out at 5” (that means 4:30) to coach softball practice or something. Most of the guys out there are in the same boat – every hour at work is an hour they aren’t playing bouncy chair with their babies.

Most managers are older, older folk who’s kids are grown, their spouses have full time jobs or hobbies, and now they are focusing on their careers. Yeah, I remember a couple of managers at NASA that were pushing to get to GS 15 before they were 40, get the 6 figure income and the cool titles. One of those ran an extra-marital affair on his government credit card. The other … well … he stopped after a while. Maybe had a heart attack or some kind of life-change. He isn’t a division chief anymore. Should women feel bad that they aren’t throwing their lives away chasing money and titles? Seriously?

So, why am I chewing on this? I’ve put in my share of long weeks, you can’t hardly get a degree in Nuclear Engineering without some 80 hour weeks. Just remember, nothing is that important. No “captain of industry” is much remembered ten years after he retires. I took last week off and played a lot of “bouncy chair.” Definitely was worth it. Rich and famous? Well, I’m not on that track.

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