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Adult life’s biggest game: work vs. family

Readers respond to The Do-It-All Dilemma

Students, parents, faculty, and staff responded to The Do-It-All Dilemma — the BU Today story about balancing work and family life — with concern, criticism, and continued debate about the role of the working parent.

“Women’s and men’s roles in the process of raising children are equal but different,” writes Jonathan Dick (COM’06). “The very problem in today’s society is the trend to ‘Do-It-All.’ ”

BU Today’s survey, incorporating the responses of more than 2,000 BU men and women, showed that 42 percent of the women said it was important to have one parent stay at home and 7 percent said they planned to stop working entirely after having children. Among the men, 60 percent agreed with the first statement and 3 percent with the second. Most respondents said they hoped to find a balance between work and family, but recognized the challenges involved. The letters to BU Today reflected a similar perspective.

“My daughter is a law student at BU,” Judith Decker, a parent from Chalfont, Pa., writes. “She will have approximately $120,000 in loans to pay back at the completion of her studies. Staying at home may not be an option for her if and when she decides to have children.”

“As a practicing physician, clinical researcher, teacher, and mother, I have so far successfully juggled all of these roles,” writes Priscilla Slanetz, of the School of Medicine radiology department. “At times, you may have to compromise.”

Others writing in questioned the notion that women are responsible for choosing one path or another, and one employee discussed her own difficulties finding appropriate child care at the University.

To read all the responses, click here.

What do you think about the work/family dilemma? Let us know at today@bu.edu.