That’s a line I came up with when my career took off. But it applies just as much to parenthood — life’s greatest adventure for those who wish to partake in it.
Of course, there are ways we all idealized what parenthood may be like and how we’d handle some of the challenges. That said, adages about everyone inevitably repeating their parents’ mistakes are false and ridiculous.
Today’s fathers are carving out new terrain for a new era. Having done loads of research and interviews, including for my book All In, I see how incredibly far fatherhood has come. For generations, many women and some men have fought for gender equality. Our generation is now the beneficiary. One of the gifts we’ve received is that dads are free to build emotional, deep connections with our children — and most of us, by far, are making efforts to be there for all the moments.
But a powerful set of structures remain that prevent dads from having as much time with their kids as they hoped for: a network of laws, policies, and stigmas that are straight out of the Mad Men era. This is where many fathers, and mothers as well, find that what they imagined turned out to be off-base.
Many people in my generation (I’m in my 40s) grew up thinking gender equality was going to be real, allowing us truly equal opportunities at work and at home. The girls I knew were just as capable and driven. And in college, when we talked about how we envisioned our futures, we spoke in similar terms about work and family.
But while we were shaped by a new era, workplaces are still stuck in the past.
For example, the lack of paid maternity leave in the US, as I explained at the United Nations, is based on the assumption that women should stay home while men…