May 13, 2014

PENELOPE TRUNK: What Does It Really Mean To Work Full-Time?

In that little sentence, Sandberg does something very big. Sandberg declares that you can have a full-time job and be a full-time mother.

This is convenient. Because now Sandberg is a full-time mom who spends some days away from the kids signing autographs. And running Facebook. And Beyonce is a full-time mom who spends some days away from her daughter on billion-dollar concert tours. So basically anyone who gave birth is a full-time mom regardless of how much of their time is spent on kids. Now we can all feel good about ourselves regardless of our choices.

But does this help anyone?

No. It’s a way to deny that we make big choices in our lives. Of course you cannot choose to be a full-time mom and have a big career. Full-time mom means your kids are your career. If you redefine full-time mom then you take away the ability for people who stay home with their kids to describe their work as full-time. You invite the ignorant and antiquated question: “Oh, you are with the kids all day? What do you do with all your time?”

It’s always a war of the careerist moms vs. the career moms.