Sarah Silverman gets real about choosing her career over being a mom

Jessica Ankomah

Juggling kids and a career isn’t for everyone. It’s a delicate lifestyle and a conversation that’s been rehashed for decades. Sarah Silverman joined that conversation last week, when she wrote that as a female comedian, being a mom is not an option for her.

<em>Getty</em>
Getty

“As a comic always working & on the road I have had to decide between motherhood & living my fullest life & I chose the latter,” her Twitter thread began. “Men don’t have to do that. I’d so love to be a fun dad, coming home from the road & being my best fun dad self,” she tweeted on Monday to her 10.1 million followers. “So this is just a lil f-ck all ya’ll because you can’t be a woman without sacrifice and that’s the fact jack.”

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Silverman copped backlash for her comments, many saying that her ideas were out of touch with today’s dads and working moms who do manage to balance motherhood alongside a career — but the comedian’s sentiment isn’t too far off.

A study by Care.com found that one in four working moms cry once a week due to the stress of managing work and home. The survey showed working mothers spend an “average of 37 hours per week working, yet spend more than double that amount of time (80 hours per week) on chores, childcare, and home responsibilities.”

That’s enough to weigh anyone down. Even with support, moms are still carrying out the majority of child care activities — it’s an engrained tradition in most parts of the world.

Double that challenge of advancing your career with such responsibilities on the table — it’s not hard to understand why some women, like Silverman, might choose to stay childless.

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Pew Research found among working Millennial mothers (ages 18 to 32 in 2013), “58 per cent say that being a working mother makes it harder for them to get ahead at work,” for reasons like maternity leave(s), child care interruptions, or a reduction in work hours as a result of having a child. Compare this to only 19 per cent of Millennial fathers who feel it’s harder for them to advance at work.

The enormous sacrifices of working moms highlight the need for these unfiltered discussions. Being a career mom is hard — but not impossible. Silverman has simply exercised her right to choose.

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