You Can Have It All, Just Not in Huge Doses
You know the saying: 'You can have it all, just not all at once'. For some, this is the new mantra of motherhood. It says we can lead lives that contain all the elements of success and happiness, but in any given day we'll likely be reaping a lot of one thing and missing out on another. Mothers with young children can, for example, have lots of time to snuggle and nurture their children if they park their careers or at least downshift them to first gear. Then, when the kids are in school, they can hopefully rev their careers up again. This is the long-view of balance.
An alternative view is the one that comes from equal sharing. Here, you can have both your career and your deep bond with the kids, and even get in 'me time' and keep your house in reasonable order. But you can't have as much snuggling as you would if you stayed home full-time. You can't have as much time at the office as you would if your partner was the stay-at-home parent. You can't have as immaculate a house as if you cleaned all day long...wait, who wants that?
Anyway, my point is that each way of balance has its trade-offs. With equal sharing, you get a shot at a moderate life with sustainable balance here and now. With traditional arrangements, you get full immersion and loss for significant bursts of time.