The other day I came across an article in the fashion magazine Marie Claire. The article written by Executive editor Bess Levin, featured Marianne Lake, JP Morgan’s new CFO. Ms. Lake is considered to be the top woman on Wall Street.
In the article Ms. Lake gives this advice to young women who are starting their careers. At least I think it’s advice. She is the mother of a 1 1/2-year-old boy. The quote below is how Ms. Lake manages to care for her demanding career and for her son.
“So far, so good. I rely on a small circle of friends and my great nanny. In the mornings, I try to spend anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes with my son. Failing that, I try for 30 to 60 minutes together at the end of the day. I try to make that work, but if I can’t I just move on. You can’t beat yourself up about it. I never worried about raising a kid on my own. I’m 42, not 20 with my eyes closed. The circumstances aren’t traditional, but I didn’t hesitate to do it.”
The quote above upsets me, but not for reasons you may think. Ms. Lake being a single parent doesn’t upset me. I know plenty of single parents in fact I was raised by one. The fact she doesn’t have a father in the picture and has hired a nanny to care for her child isn’t something I have chosen, but I respect her choice to raise her child as she sees fit.
What upsets me about the quote is this.
“In the mornings, I try to spend anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes with my son. Failing that, I try for 30 to 60 minutes together at the end of the day. I try to make that work, but if I can’t I just move on. You can’t beat yourself up about it.”
Ms. Lake is quoted as saying she attempts to spend minutes a day with her 1 1/2-year-old son. Minutes. The amount of time she spends with her child each day is such a small amount.
This article is supposed to be giving career advice for young women. While Ms. Lake’s career accomplishments are indeed impressive her advice to young women with regards to caring for children is not.
In today’s society single parents and working parents have so much responsibility that they don’t appreciate feeling like they are failing their children if they can’t spend enough time with them. I think that’s what Ms. Lake was trying to say.
The problem is children, especially young children, need to spend time with their parents in order for bonding to occur. You can argue with me, but it’s true. Quality time is important, but so is the quantity of time. The more time a parent spends with his child the better he/she gets to know them and can better meet their needs which helps a child feel secure.
Feeling guilty for not spending enough time with your child isn’t the answer nor is spending mere minutes a day with them either. There must be a better way to resolve the working parent dilemma that keeps the child’s best interest in mind.
It’s something for us all to think about.