Moms need careers to feel fulfilled. That’s what Samantha Ettus argues in her controversial new book, The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction. “If you told me you worked all the time, I would say your life is terribly unbalanced,” Ettus tells Us Weekly. And it’s the same thing with parenting. Says the 44-year-old author, “We’re not meant to do one thing all the time.”
The Harvard graduate, who is mother of Ella, 10, Ruby, 8, and Bowen, 6, says that many women lose sight of their own own goals and put their own ambition and drive into their children. “This is unhealthy for kids and unhealthy for relationships,” Ettus says. “It can lead to helicopter parenting and strained marriages.”
She continues, “Nobody raises a daughter and says, ‘I hope she will grow up to be financially dependent with no career of her own.’ Model what you want your kids to be.”
In her studies, Ettus found that the happiest moms are the ones who have seven main focuses — or “slices” — in their life: career, health, relationship, children, community, friends and hobbies. “Have one or two goals for each slice, and don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to be perfect with each one,” Ettus tells Us. “Rather than feeling guilty about going to the gym or a girls’ night out, women should see these as essential slices that will lead to fulfillment, which in turn makes them better moms, workers, partners, friends, daughters and sisters.”
As for moms who argue that daycare is too expensive, Ettus says that they are using “faulty math." “They need to realize that it is only five years until their child is in school full time and that means they should look at five years of childcare costs, versus the salary they expect to make for the rest of their lives,” she argues. “Sixty percent of women who want to return to the workforce full time after time off can’t find jobs. Women need to realize that when they leave completely, they are more likely to never ever get back than to return.”
Though Pie Life isn’t out until tomorrow, the hate mail has been pouring in. “People mistakenly think that I am anti stay-at-home mom,” Ettus tells Us. “I am pro-women and want them to lead fulfilling lives. That includes a career and all the other slices.”
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