Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ah, the Naivete of Youthful Optimism...

The Lifetime cable network has a TV special airing Monday night called "Spotlight 25". The show features a group of 25-year-old women discussing their life goals. Journalist Willow Bay decided to interview Gen Y women after reading articles on the trend of highly educated women "opting out" of high-powered careers to become full-time homemakers. Lifetime commissioned a nationwide telephone poll of 500 women aged 18-29 and found that 85% wanted to remain in the workforce after having children.

Ms. Bay gushes that these women were "ambitious about creating a life that works for them, and having balance. They are confident that they will make the right choices and set the right priorities to achieve success in doing that."

Wish that it were as simple as all that! I know that I personally had no clue before having my first child just how difficult it is to juggle the demands of a full-time job and motherhood.

Recent Census Bureau statistics find that the median age of first-time mothers is now over 25 . The median age at first birth for non-Latina Caucasian women is almost 28, and the median for college graduates is over 30. Given those statistics, few of the women in the Lifetime poll likely have children yet.

Talk to these women in 10 years, and we'll see how many of them still hold such a rosy view of being a working mom! Likely the reality of how challenging it is to balance career and family obligations will burst the bubble of their youthful naivete...

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