Facebook’s right-hand woman, Sheryl Sandberg, has one thing in common with a lot of millennial ladies.
She, too, is a single mother who is constantly trying to learn how to succeed at work while being overwhelmed at home — a challenge she didn’t know existed until her husband died a year ago.
In a touching Mother’s Day Facebook post, Sandberg shared what she has learned about combining work with motherhood and that she now understands how hard raising children without a partner can be.
After losing her husband last year to a tragic vacation accident, Sandberg says she never realized how many situations would remind her and her children of what they don’t have in life.
Sandberg, who works as Facebook’s chief operating officer, also called for better U.S. policies on paid maternity leave, and better community support for single mothers.
She cited data showing the number of women raising their children alone in the U.S. has nearly doubled since the 1970s, and that 40 per cent of these families live in poverty. She also noted that the U.S. is currently the only developed economy in the world that does not provide paid maternity leave, which leaves mothers unable to adequately care for their children in times of need.
She also acknowledged she didn’t accurately address the difficulties faced by single working women and that she should have written more about women raising children without a partner in her 2013 book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.
“They were right,” she said about those who criticized this point. “I will never experience and understand all of the challenges most single moms face, but I understand a lot more than I did a year ago.”