How Do We Find Our Methods?

As the troubling story of disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin unfolds, it raises an interesting question for the PRIMARY DILEMMA. How do women find their methods? Are they driven by instinct or influenced by external events? Or is it a blend of both?
The revelation that Huma Abedin is three months pregnant, in the midst of her marital chaos, begs the question of how this event will influence her approach to working parenthood. She is an exceptional woman, in an exceptional situation. But the choices of working parenthood remain fundamental.
The choices are really about the control that one needs or is willing to give up. As a primary career, one maintains financial control and independence from a partner or spouse. As a primary parent, one maintains parenting control and can be less reliant on childcare help. For many women, it is difficult to give up any control and that is what leads so many of us to feel frustrated and guilty. Something has to give. It is impossible to do it all.
There are all kinds of external circumstances that influence our methods. A challenging pregnancy can make primary parenthood the most appealing choice. A family financial crisis can make primary career the only option. The choice of spouse can make an equal balance between career and family more possible. So circumstance is tremendously influential.
But then there is also instinct and temperament. I have had many women confess to me that they don’t really enjoy the daily duties of motherhood and that primary parenting would make them crazy. This is ok too. And with awareness of their method, these women create fantastic family lives with their children.
Huma Abedin’s choices will not be easy. She has already chosen to demonstrate a strong, thoughtful independence from her husband. Unlike other “disgraced wives” who have publically supported their husbands, Huma has been silent and absent. Strength, resolve and comfort in whatever method she adopts will make her thrive as a working mom.