How do you balance your career with family life?

Every time I go to hear a successful woman speak in public, someone in the audience asks “How do you balance your career with being a parent?”  (if she has kids) or “Did you feel like you had to choose between your career and becoming a parent?” (if she doesn’t).

But when famous dudes come to speak nobody asks them that.  The answer is assumed:  They have wives to take care of that shit for them.  It could be a totally wrong assumption, by the way.

This bugs me.  First, it’s a really personal question. It’s not actually other people’s job to help you figure out how to navigate those choices or share their intensely personal decision making about raising (or not raising) a family at the Film Festival Q&A Session, okay?  I can understand wanting advice, tips, mentoring, insights, etc., but there are many possible answers, like “Yeah, it’s really fucking hard” or “Make enough money to hire help” or “Muddle through somehow” or “Just didn’t feel like it, I guess.”

I’m going to start asking famous dudes I meet to answer that question.

3 comments
  1. A.Y. Siu said:

    There is so much cultural assumption garbage out there about gender roles and families that just needs to go away.

    Mothers who work are not also solely responsible for housework and child-rearing. Men who spend only a tiny few moments with their children are not amazing dads. Women who have careers are not bad mothers. Women without children are not selfish. Stay-at-home dads are not lazy.

    People just need to take their judgy 50s sensibilities and shove them.

    • JenniferP said:

      I see it a lot with female filmmakers. I can understand other female filmmakers looking for inspiration and advice, but it seems disrespectful, like, “I know we’re here to talk about your art, but let’s also examine your reproductive and parenting choices while we’re at it!”

      Can’t the work just be about the work?

      • Jason said:

        Likewise- if a man doesn’t want to work around the clock, for whatever reason, he’s seen as less of a man.

        This just in: people’s priorities in life are not homogenous.

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