Work/life balance. It's a phrase that gets bandied about by the media and by various experts. We lament. We juggle. We all try to figure out how we can keep things running in our lives -- maybe not always smoothly, but at least without too many bumps.
There are those who like to remind us of the saying -- you can have it all, just not all at the same time. And maybe that's true to a certain extent, but I hate when people use it to suggest that women shouldn't expect to be able to work full-time and have our employers understand that the realities of families today are a whole lot different than when our parents were raising families.
Except they should. We all should. Not because we want a favor, but because the face of working in America is radically different today than when the current workplace structure became the norm back in the 1950s. I don't know anyone whose family resembles the Cleavers, yet the workplace, for the most part, is still designed to deal only with that model -- where there is only one working parent and the other stays home to deal with after-school activities, sick children, and aging parents. That just ain't the way things are anymore, yet we're all expected to work that way and are often penalized when real life intrudes.