Beyonce and Jay Z: A Balancing Act?
By Dr. Jane Greer: Marriage & Family Therapist, Author, and Radio Host
As Beyonce's career continues to soar, her husband Jay Z has taken on the role of full-time dad to their daughter Blue Ivy. After spending the summer mending their marriage, Jay Z seems to be okay with the idea of being a stay-at-home dad while Queen Bey continues her rise to even more success and fame. Their attempt to balance the responsibilities of parenthood and two careers is a great example of how spouses can support each other, but it isn’t always easy to reach that point. How can two people who each want what they want reach a place where they are both getting what they and their family need?
Managing all the responsibilities of a dual-career household can be daunting. It requires both adults to be willing and able to prioritize whose needs come first at different times along their marriage journey, and then be flexible and make the necessary changes as life’s challenges and opportunities shift. For example, you might start off your marriage with one of you being the clear bread-winner and the other taking on more duties close to home with the promise of taking care of the kids when they arrive. But then that could shift, and the one who was previously focused on your home might get a promotion, a new job, or the chance to take on a big project. That person won’t have the time he or she once had, and the other partner might have to step up and take on many of the daily tasks they used to do. In other words, one or the other must be willing at times to set aside his or her own personal and career needs for the greater good of the marriage and the family. This can sometimes inadvertently cause resentment. It can feel like a loss instead of a gain because the balance has shifted and one might believe they are doing more than the other, or there might be the perception that one is getting to achieve their dreams while the other is stuck at home.
Almost everyone struggles with this at times.
The key is to be able to talk openly, first about how committed and invested you are in making your marriage and family work, and establish that you will do what it takes to achieve that. Once that is agreed upon, try to figure out how you can compromise and both be happy. Maybe it means that one of you will take the year to pursue your career goals. Then you can switch and the other person will have a chance to move forward in his or her career. If it is all packaged in the context of “for now,” as in I’ll make the money and you stay home with the kids, or vice versa, for now, not forever, it becomes easier to accept. It is constantly a work in progress.
This appears to be what Beyonce and Jay Z are doing right now. They are balancing family responsibilities with career opportunities, and remaining open to changes and transitions based on what’s come along. It's important to be willing to make alterations to your lifestyle at times for your partner, and for him or her to do the same for you. That is the art of compromise, one partner pursuing their career while the other sits out the dance, so to speak, and then reversing that when the time is right. It requires constant checking in with each other to make sure everyone is comfortable and no one feels they made a sacrifice, but instead that they are making a choice. Deciding to do something to support and please your partner, and make them happy, is the buffer to bitterness and can help you avoid feeling robbed of your own aspirations.
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