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Vargas Maternity Leave
5/26/2006
 
ROBIN'S PERSPECTIVE: Face it - by mid-life, most women have discarded the “Superwoman” fantasy and accepted the hard cold reality of the working world – she has opted either to elevate career over family, or to push family onto center stage while her career waits in the wings. We want it all, but we know we can’t have it all. Unlike our feminist fore-bearers, we have come to accept that a perfect balance between work and family is rarely if ever achieved.

But not Elizabeth Vargas, the first Hispanic-American woman to anchor for a major news network. Expecting her second child to singer songwriter, Marc Cohn, Vargas has opted to step down from her high-profile job to tend to her pregnancy, maintaining all the time that she will eventually return to co-anchor "20/20" and ABC News specials. Her decision – carefully balancing the needs of her family against her own personal aspirations - highlights the classic tension between home and office, and one possible solution to that quandary. As wives, mothers and professionals, Vargas seems to be saying that we can have it all – just not all at once.

Some of us bristle at the thought of accepting limits. But Vargas’ attitude is so positive that I find myself reframing the way I look at women’s options. She said, "I have loved every day I spent at 'World News Tonight' and have endless respect for my colleagues there. This broadcast needs someone who can give 150 percent — day in and day out. I am not in a position to give that right now, and it wouldn't be fair to do any less.” Clearly, she is not looking at her decision as a “missed” opportunity, but rather as another step along a path that has already provided her with considerable personal satisfaction. Her career is something she has already achieved, and now she has the freedom to forsake it for what she considers all the right reasons, including the chance to actually get to know her children as they grow up. No one can take away her achievements, or her memories. And, most importantly, no one can keep her from coming back. In short, Vargas seems to have found that elusive perfect balance. Kudos to her!


 
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Robin Bond
 
Robin Bond, Esq.
 
 
Workplace Legal Analyst


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