Brenda Barnes’ Wisdom, and Our Anti-Parent Workplace

    Brenda Barnes became a national figure 20 years ago when she quit her job as a top PepsiCo executive to become a full-time parent. Some people celebrated her decision, and others criticized it. But everyone seemed to agree that she was doing it for her children.

    Her children, however, initially had a different reaction.

    Because the family no longer needed to live near New York, Brenda and her husband decided to return with their three children — then ages 7, 8 and 10 — to the Chicago suburbs, where Brenda had grown up.

    When I asked Erin Barnes, the middle child, this weekend how she and her brothers had reacted to the news that their mom would be around a lot more, Erin laughed and said, “I think we were all just mad we were leaving Connecticut for Chicago.”

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