The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: Sheryl Sandberg’s Coming Out Party

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Sheryl Sandberg's Coming Out PartyIt’s not just the children that benefit.

A few months back there was a considerable amount of attention given to an expose done on Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg ‘coming out’ and saying that she leaves the office at 5:30pm every day to be home for dinner with the kids at 6:00pm. When I say considerable, I mean considerable. There were thousands of stories, blogs, tweets, retweets and even videos released within days of the original story breaking. Didn’t read it? Check it out here.

The good aspect this story is that she does it or at least says she does.  She’s let it out to the world that she actually values time with her family and believes in the value her presence at the dinner table provides them.  She also had the courage to request it and then she follows through and does it.  Like others who have commented on this, I also say bravo to Sheryl.

The bad aspect of this story is that until now she felt this activity needed to be hidden, that it couldn’t be spoken about in a public forum.  Has society really come to a point where we should be ashamed of our desire to spend time with our loved ones over work?  Another bad aspect of this story is that it implies that big business is an all or nothing gig and that there isn’t any place for distractions such as family.

The really ugly part here is that she and a large portion of her high flying peers actually view this as ‘coming out’, like it’s a dirty secret that needs to be hidden from the rest of the world. It’s mentalities like this that leave children wondering who their dads and mums are.  It’s mentalities like this that leave children wondering why their parents don’t spend time with them and has children creating better relationships with their nannies than their parents.

I can understand the lure of money, it is, as the proverb goes, it’s a necessary evil, but I’ve come to the realisation that some things simply can’t be bought and the small amount of your time a child needs is one of these.  They love it time with you more than anything else you can possibly give them.  The euphoria from experiences children have with their parents are remembered far longer than the experience of receiving a material item from you.

In case you need more convincing, it should be noted that spending time with your children is bilaterally beneficial.  We know children benefit from time spent with you, however you receive an immeasurable benefit from these interactions too.  How often do we as adults have the chance to be silly, to have carefree fun, to laugh unconsciously, to share and to love and be loved?  Spending time with your children offers you this and much more.

With all this in mind, what’s stopping you from doing this?  Again, and this topic has been written about a number of times already, but truly, if Sheryl Sandberg, COO of one of the largest, most successful companies on the planet can make it home for dinner each night, why can’t you?




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Yasmin Grigaliunas

Yasmin is an owner and co-founder of School Hours Pty Ltd.Yasmin's passion for helping others coupled with her desire to achieve a balance between raising children and earning a living, lead her to create School Hours Pty Ltd with her husband Leigh.School Hours will be the place to go for Australian parents wanting to connect with progressive thinking, family friendly employers.
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