Pointer to Poppy Harlow / RBG video clip
The RBG movie (and the review we wrote) got us thinking even more about spouses and the important roles they play in our careers. In fact, it caused me to head to YouTube to learn more about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband, Marty, who are portrayed as Working Parent trail blazers.
The search led to a February 2018 interview with Ruth by CNN's Poppy Harlow. Their exchange, during the interview introductions, revealed another story about a supportive spouse; Poppy's husband, Sinisa Babcic. Watch the first minute and a half min of the video to hear the story.
"Behind every great man there stands a woman" is a phrase I often heard growing up. It was stated as a compliment and recognized the value of a supportive spouse; always a wife back then. Many years later I find myself recognizing that there is a lot of truth in that statement; a great person or great people are often supporting people who achieve anything of value. Maybe some succeed against all odds and without any support, but the vast majority of us need somebody in our court; someone or someones who want to see us succeed, encourage us to strive for more, and are willing to make at least small sacrifices to help us achieve "great things". It's the reason we encourage people to establish relationships with mentors, coaches, managers and peers.
When one's spouse can act in a supporting role, one has an advantage. When a spouse can act in multiple supporting roles, one has an even bigger advantage. It's hard to find a story that makes this point more clearly than the RBG story, but many of us have stories to tell. We've collected quite a few of them hoping that they will inspire you. Enjoy!
More stories about supportive spouses:
Pointer to HBO's new Docu-Series Being Serena
Working moms on Reddit brought our attention to the new five-part Docu-Series on HBO* called Being Serena. The series chronicals the most recent events in Serena Williams' life; from winning the Australian Open while pregnant in April 2017 right up to attending the recent wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
But it's the stuff in-between those events that is most interesting ... and inspiring ... and thought provoking ... and relatable.
For those who don't know, Serena is married to Alexis Ohanian, one of the co-founders of Reddit, so it's especially interesting that Reddit led us to this program. Talk about a synergistic relationship!
Working parents (both moms and dads) are likely to appreciate Serena's story and find themselves relating, thinking, and being inspired as they watch.
* It appears that Being Serena is also available via On Demand until early July. More info.
Submitted by Modern Cynical Dad
"Full-time Mummy/Daddy" is a term that irks both my wife and me because it is usually used in the context of a career choice. The distaste for the term is not aimed at the individual who chooses to use it, nor the choice that person makes. It bothers us because parenting is not, in any way, a career.
Use of the term suggests that those of us who pursue careers (by choice or not) are less committed as parents. Of course, I am not naïve. I don’t really believe that other parents mean to imply that, but sometimes it is interpreted that way.
My wife and I both have full-time careers. She is an Advisor for a well-known optometrist and runs her own business. I am an Area Manager for an equally well-known retailer in the UK.
Submitted by Laurie Steele
My boys were born when "working mothers" were sort of a new trend. Back then I felt grateful to get six weeks of maternity leave, and there was no concept of paternity leave. My mother-in-law brought me home from the hospital after our first son was born because my husband needed to go back to work the next day. There were no cell phones or Internet communications back then. And ... the thing I am most bitter about: there were no drink holders in strollers.
My husband worked in the field. Literally. He was on an outdoor construction crew and worked from sun-up to sun-down for nine months of the year. So when it was time for me to go back to work, he was leaving home at 6:00 am each morning. That meant that before I went to work, I was on my own in terms of getting the boys ready for and delivered to daycare every morning. After my full day of work, I also had to pick them up. My husband got home between 5:00 and 8:00 pm every night, but there was no way of knowing exactly when he would pull into the driveway on any given evening.
Fast forward to the day when our youngest was a toddler. He came down with a violent 24-hour barfing bug, and I had a serious deadline. I begged my husband to call in sick because I really needed to be at work that day. He acquiesced, and I left him with a barfing, pooping toddler, and a honey-do list that included installing a kid-lock on the knife drawer.
Submitted by Kelsey Sprowell
I had a lot of fear about going back to work after my daughter was born. My own mom, whom I admire, didn't work after I was born.
That fear completely evaporated after about six months! My initial fear was probably common; I just couldn't imagine that anyone else could possibly love my daughter and take care of her the way I do. But I noticed right away that she came home from "school" smelling like her teachers, so I knew she was being held all day, and that was reassuring. Also, she never cried when I dropped her off, which helped. And every time we got to school, all of the teachers addressed her (not me) - "Hi Olivia!"
I was also nervous about missing out. I didn't want to miss her first steps, for instance. But what I've found is that the work week is really short, and I don't miss much. I don't ever get annoyed or fed up with her because we're just not together long enough to get on each other's nerves.
I love my job, and the people I work with, so before Olivia was born (and after), I couldn't imagine staying home, even though my mom had done that. I get so much fulfillment from working and being a mom.
Sheryl Sandberg describes careers as climbing jungle gyms instead of proverbial ladders. I resemble that description. When I set off to start a career at 22, I thought the end game must be that big shiny office with a mahogany desk and some fancy artwork on the walls. Being in Corporate America had to mean we all wanted to become that VP, Senior VP, or hell … why not the CEO? Right?
At 27 I was told that I had the characteristics to become a VP and was offered my first management role. "Yay for me," I thought. I was on that track to get the shiny office someday. It sounded fantastic until life happened a few months later. I was a newlywed, building a new home, and found out that I was pregnant. I was beating myself up by spending 12+ hours/day in the office, and I had a one-hour commute each way in addition to that. I was working hard to make sure my team was the top producing team. I had to repeatedly prove myself, especially since all my peer leaders were men. When I learned I was pregnant, I couldn't imagine taking more than six weeks off after my baby was born. The company and my team needed me. "The team will collapse without me," I thought. Calgon take me away!