We Can Do Better Than “Lead Parent”
Mindy Finn

A career mentor once told me that he has seen marriages survive 1.5 careers, but not 2. I’ve never forgotten it, even though I don’t know that it plays out for every family. His point was along the lines of the “lead parent” concept — someone has to be able to take the hit on their workday for kid related things, and it’s helpful to have that structure in place BEFORE the hit is needed. (Sort of like our agreement of who dealt with nighttime feedings during the infant years — 2am is not the time to be negotiating who’s turn it is to get up; have a policy in place that is made when both parties are rational.)

The only problem with 1.5 career / lead parent concept is that — as the current “1” in our career construct, it doesn't take into account that I WANT to be involved and have flexibility to do the kid stuff — I want to go to the parent teacher conferences and doctor’s appointments and and and. I don’t want to miss out on the family rhythm in service to the work. And I don’t know that our workplace society is structured to enable me to fulfill both avenues — be engaged at work while allowing for engagement at home