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Everyone is talking about Sheryl Sandberg’s “lean in” movement, but there are some people who aren’t leaning into anything.

The entertainment media has been abuzz with the rumor that Janet Jackson was quitting show business to devote her time to being a wife to her new hubby, billionaire Wissam Al Mana. (The two apparently married last year in a very private ceremony. So private, her family wasn’t invited.) Al Mana is a Qatar native who works in his family’s Middle-East-based Al Mana Retail Group. Janet Jackson is, of course, Janet Jackson. Although this may seem like a throwback to another generation, there still are many women who put their careers on hold or leave them behind in favor being a housewife and/or the primary caregiver for the children. Here are a few modern examples from New York magazine.

According to a partnered survey co-sponsored by ForbesWoman and released a few months ago, a growing number of women see staying home to raise children (while a partner provides financial support) to be something they strive to achieve. According to our survey, 84 percent of working women told ForbesWoman and TheBump that staying home to raise children is a financial luxury they aspire to, reports Forbes.

“I have never regretted or even questioned the decision my husband and I made that I would be the primary caretaker for my children and he would be the primary financial supporter. When we met we were both doing the same job and I retreated to a lesser role in my professional career,” says Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams, founder and owner of TTW Counseling Services, which specializes in behavioral therapy, academic advisement, and life coaching.  “I do not regret this decision because I had three mixed-race children in an affluent private school of non-whites and it was good to be present to help my children navigate this challenging environment and also be able be very visible at the school and involved in school events.“

Williams says she believes it is nearly impossible for women to give equally to a career and a happy home — that one will receive less attention. “I consider myself a mother and career woman, but I believe some women do not accept the reality that you cannot do both equally successfully while your children are of a certain age,” explains Williams.

Women need to prioritize, she says. “If you must absolutely be the major bread-winner, then hire the absolute best child care assistant possible,” notes Williams. “If you are making the money, then you can afford to spend on responsible, reliable nannies.”

If you are juggling office and home, try to come up with creative solutions and compromises, advises Williams. “If you are a business owner, make allowances for child care on site,” she suggests. “When my children were young, I had a huge private office that was set up with games, blankets, TV and Barney tapes. The nanny accompanied my children to my office and during lunch I would go to the park across the street and spend precious time with them.”

Most of all, says Williams if you decide to try to have the proverbial “all,” you may have to face personal sacrifices. “With any endeavor comes sacrifice. It is a matter of self-awareness that despite the enormous success and enjoyment and fulfillment your career can bring, human beings are destined to live their best lives with love, caring and support,” she explains. “But search for a partner that can support and understand your workload. This can be an extremely difficult undertaking when you are on top of the corporate world or already married to your business. Make the time for love — being successful does not mean we have to be alone.”


What do you think of Dr. Williams ideas?
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