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Justice Scalia Offers Different Perspective on Balancing Work and Family

United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and his wife, Maureen, have nine children.  However, in interview excerpts posted to The Juggle blog, Justice Scalia reveals that he did not actively participate in his children's activities while they were growing up.  Reporting on Justice Scalia's interview with Leslie Stahl on CBS' 60 minutes last Sunday, blogger Jamie Heller quotes Justice Scalia as saying:

“You know, my parents never did it for me,” Scalia said. “And I didn’t take it personally. ‘Oh Daddy, come to my softball game.’ No, I mean, it’s my softball game. He has his work. I got my softball game. Of course, [Maureen] was very loyal. She went to all the games.”

Heller's blog entry links to a transcript of Stahl's riveting interview with Justice Scalia, which covers much more ground than work-life balance.  Scalia's comment, though, raises some interesting questions about work-life balance.  Does Justice Scalia consider work-life and work-family balance important?  Are work-life balance and significant family time attainable for high-powered lawyers and Supreme Court justices who have children?  Does the spouse who does not work outside the home have a greater responsibility to participate in the children's events?

Perhaps the strongest conclusion we can draw from Justice Scalia's remarks is that work-life/work-family balance means different things to different lawyers and that each of us has to arrange the balance that works best for us, our spouses, and our children.  This is just one man's opinion, of course, but even allowing for such diverse viewpoints, I'd like to attend as many of my children's sports and school activities as possible.  Kids grow up so quickly.  Work will always be there, but childhood's days are fleeting.

By Steve Imparl, guest blogger

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