Top female execs like Sheryl Sandberg urge women that they can "have it all"—a demanding career, a family, and ambition not limited by motherhood—but is that what most American moms actually want? Well, according to The New York Times and a CBS poll, actually, no.
According to a new poll, only a quarter of American moms say they'd work full-time if money wasn't an issue. And a third of women who work say that, actually, they don't crave a job with more responsibilities—at all. (Incidentally, nearly half of men say the same.)
At the heart of Sandberg's autobiography Lean In is the two-pronged argument that there needs to be a) more female executives calling attention to what their needs are, and b) a motivation on the part of said executives to overcome their "internal obstacles." These obstacles, (according to the most controversial and talked-about point in her book), include a lack of self-confidence, internal drive, and motivation. "We lower our own expectations of what we can achieve," Sandberg writes.
But what about women who don't view work as their top priority? For the working mom the Times profiled, Sara Uttech, it's all about hoping for a flexible career that will accommodate a flourishing, happy family life, rather than the other way around.
For Uttech, what she wants is not to "have it all" in a grand, blazing fashion—it's to be present for her kids' six-plus baseball games every week, to work from home Fridays, and to spend time with her kids while they're still young. (When they're older, she says, she'll re-arrange her priorities.)
Good thing she doesn't work at Yahoo. CEO Marissa Mayer, who we've written about before in awe, ended the era of telecommunicating at the company when she arrived. The move prompted a furious backlash against Mayer, with parents everywhere accusing her of being anti-working-parent.