I bought my copy of “Lean In,” Sheryl Sandberg’s working-woman manifesto, after picking up my kids from elementary school and preschool. I had to chase my four-year-old briefly through the bookstore, coaxing him to put down a book he had grabbed because it was green, his favorite color. I stood at the checkout counter in a state of heightened awareness, one eye on my son and one on my corporate card. Then I loaded the kids back into the car and went home to cook dinner.
Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, lives one version of working-mom life, complete with nannies and possibly chefs and the occasional encouraging text from Oprah. My version is much closer to norm — work and life overlapping, crowding into each other, causing heightened stress and the occasional disapproving glare. Most of us don’t whoosh home triumphantly, in a blur of Prada, for some designated family time. This fact, it seems, has fueled much of the backlash to “Lean In.”