Why do we need to move beyond the limits of work-life “balance?” And why is the shift to work+life “fit” so powerful?
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson bravely shared the following at her confirmation hearing:
“I know it has not been easy as I have tried to navigate the challenges of juggling my career and motherhood. And I fully admit that I did not always get the balance right.”
What if instead she had the words to say:
“I know it has not always been easy as I navigated the challenges and joys of my career and motherhood. But I fit my work and life together in a way that worked for me and my family.”
“Balance” doesn’t exist for anyone. We are always falling short of a mythical ideal therefore it becomes about what I don’t have or what I didn’t do.
This is especially true for working mothers for whom “balance” is always either the first or second “how do you do it?” question they are asked, which is not the case for working fathers.
“Fit” on the other hand is about all of the flexible possibilities to fit work and life together, day-to-day and at different stages and phases of a career. There is no one right way to do it because we are all different (I have never heard the same work+life fit twice) and our realities are always changing. No judgement. No falling short. Just your unique, ever-changing work+life fit.
Judging from the fact she is about to be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice and the smiling faces of the people she obviously loved well, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson fit her work and life together just fine and will inspire other women to do the same.