Design Yourself 06: No Such Thing As 50-50

Sharon reflects this week on work-life balance – or really imbalance. She shares the marriage advice that stuck with her as she nears her 9-year wedding anniversary: “Marriage takes 100% effort to be successful, but rarely is it split 50-50. Sometimes it’s 60-40. Sometimes it’s 90-10. But it always takes 100% effort to work.” After a near-decade she sees how this framework applies not just to a relationship with our spouse but to anytime we work with others.

  • The most inspirational advice I got leading up to my wedding:

“Marriage requires 100% effort to work. But rarely is it split 50-50. Sometimes it’s 60-40. Sometimes it’s 90-10. But it ALWAYS takes 100% to work.” Mimi Barringer

  • Taking the Lead is the series from podcast Note to Self that I’ve been listening to on the regular lately. Much of the podcast follows two Brooklyn moms with a tech idea that has the vision and ambition to change the what it looks like to be a working mom. But of course they are dealing with many of the same stresses that they are hoping to solve. Later episodes in the series also check in with the dynamic working parenting duo Andrew Moravcsik and Anne-Marie Slaughter.

“It’s not that I don’t want to work. I do want to work, but I want to work in a way that allows me to be home much more than a high-level government job would let me do right now.” Anne-Marie Slaughter

“We started out like most couples start out, I think a little bit naive, thinking that we are a two career couple and we will also split the parenting 50-50.” Andrew Moravcsik

  • Finally, below are the two key distinctions that helped me see how I was really good at adding on things to my life and work and why I was struggling to let things go. Turns out I had to really start strengthening my emotional muscles to get in shape for those changes.

Intellectual Learning – Being able to take on new things (e.g. job, hobby, relationship, etc.)

Emotional Learning – Is required when we want to put things down (e.g. making a move, a job transition, ending a friendship, etc.)