Now, I, and many others have been fairly critical of Sheryl Sandberg for her tone deafness on "Lean In".
However, none of us are perfect and the one critical element that's needed to be a better person in life is the ability to be introspective and honest about one's self.
Yesterday for Mother's Day, Sheryl wrote about her past year of being a single mother, since her husband passed away...and it's a doozy. Per Jezebel:
“I did not really get how hard it is to succeed at work when you are overwhelmed at home,” she wrote. “I did not understand how often I would look at my son’s or daughter’s crying face and not know how to stop the tears. How often situations would come up that Dave and I had never talked about and that I did not know how to handle on my own.”
In Lean In, I emphasized how critical a loving and supportive partner can be for women both professionally and personally—and how important Dave was to my career and to our children’s development. I still believe this. Some people felt that I did not spend enough time writing about the difficulties women face when they have an unsupportive partner or no partner at all. They were right.
I will never experience and understand all of the challenges most single moms face, but I understand a lot more than I did a year ago. Our widespread cultural assumption that every child lives with a two-parent heterosexual married couple is out of date. Since the early 1970s, the number of single mothers in the United States has nearly doubled. Today, almost 30 percent of families with children are headed by a single parent, and 84 percent of those are led by a single mother. And yet our attitudes and our policies do not reflect this shift.
God, I love being human. I love seeing people grow and acknowledge their faults and short comings. None of us are perfect and growth is never easy...but grow we must. And sometimes it takes horrible things in life to give us time to pause and reflect on who we are and what we are contributing to the world.
Now if the multimillionaire COO of one of the biggest companies in the world is struggling with single motherhood...maybe we can be more compassionate when we listen to the tales coming from women on the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum.