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In these relationships, we see a lot of outsourcing of childcare to nannies and family members

In these relationships, we see a lot of outsourcing of childcare to nannies and family members

We alternated who took the lead

In the first model, “the woman may have stayed home with her kids when they were little, or she worked part-time,” says Myers. “But then when her kids are older or out of the house, her career takes off.”

I felt like a failure only working 40 hours per week

Take, for example, Brenda Barnes, who left a top job at Pepsi to spend six years at home with her three kids, and was named COO and eventually CEO of Sara Lee in her early 50s. These women were always ambitious, but – by choice, necessity or because of their husband’s expectations and needs – they spent more time in a traditional mother and wife role when their go-getting peers were putting in long hours at the office or volunteering for special assignments.

Judy Forsley, the mother of two daughters ages 19 and 22, is CFO of Shipyard Brewing Company, one of the largest craft beer companies in the U.S. Her title is relatively new, however. When her children were young, she worked in the accounting department at Shipyard. Her first marriage ended in divorce, and she was a single parent for much bli omdirigerad hit of her daughters’ childhoods. “I did much more of the kids’ stuff – the daycare pickup, the arranging of the play dates, the piano lessons and the soccer games,” she says. “I kept work at 40 hours per week. My kids were my priority. My career was second.”

It is a choice she doesn’t regret, but she recalls struggling with it at the time. “When I graduated from college in the 1980s, there was this feeling of ‘Women can do anything.’ There was an expectation that we would be working 60 hours a week, raising perfect children, having the perfect house and being great wives. It took a lot of discipline and control to leave work at 5 every day. Looking back, I put a lot of pressure on myself.”

Forsley , 50, is remarried and now works more than 60 hours a week.

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