05/28/2013 11:55 am ET Updated Jul 28, 2013

Whether Women 'lean In' Or 'lean Out', Jobs Have To Change For Us To Succeed

Exactly 20 years ago this month, I leaned in -- big time. I was 29, and during my first maternity leave I was promoted to become the editor of Roll Call, the political newspaper that covers Congress. I spent three years in that job and another seven in various management positions in journalism and PR, both in Washington DC and London. During that time, I had two more kids. I was living the Sheryl Sandberg-Marissa Mayer dream -- good jobs in my field, brief maternity leaves, and a husband who did at least his 50-50 share. Like Sandberg and Mayer, I basked in my exhausting, joyfully hectic life. I had occasional pangs of guilt, and wanted to spend more time with my kids, but mostly I felt smug that I had pulled off having it all.

Then, suddenly, things changed. Ten years into the working mom gig, the upstart DC newspaper that I helped found unexpectedly folded.

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