First appeared on Forbes.com.
Before Mitt Romney’s claims about the women in his Governor’s administration having flexible hours get eclipsed by ships and bayonets and horses, let’s credit him for elevating the conversation about work life balance to the field of presidential politics. If only he hadn’t relegated work life balance to a women’s issue. Doesn’t that subtly make it softer, weaker—an issue for losers and sissies, as David Shaywitz references in his recent blog Silicon Valley: Work-Life Balance Is For Losers, Not Closers? Women’s rights regarding work, pay and education aren’t women’s issues, they make our nation stronger. Real men eat quiche and go home to cook dinner for the kids sometimes; study after study of the habits of resilient people show that this is good for the kids and the men. Imagine an enlightened presidential candidate from the business sector arguing that everyone routinely needs a bit of balance to stay productive and effective. This isn’t just for the binders full of women, everyone loses if they don’t systematically and routinely recharge and pay attention to the other elements in ourlives.