Elizabeth Vargas on being a working mom
by CBB correspondent Joyce:
20/20 anchor Elizabeth Vargas appeared on Tuesday’s episode of Oprah, titled "My Baby or My Job," to discuss the challenges of being a working mother and to refute rumors that she was asked to step down as World News Tonight news anchor. Elizabeth, 44, says she ultimately decided to vacate the coveted position, a job she had worked 20 years to obtain, to focus on her family. "It was a very difficult, excruciating decision, and I still have a lot of doubt and anguish over whether it was the right decision. I believe it was, but it was so hard to walk away from that."
Elizabeth landed the gig as co-anchor alongside Bob Woodruff last January. The job required them to cover stories from all corners of the world, which sat well with Elizabeth until Bob was seriously injured in a roadside bombing in Iraq and she discovered she was unexpectedly pregnant with her second child.
While Bob recovered, Elizabeth continued as the sole anchor, but soon started having second thoughts about the severely demanding yet greatly esteemed job, especially with another baby on the way.
Elizabeth stomached a lot of scrutiny for her departure from such a high-profile, male-dominated position, inciting protests from NOW that suggested she was forced to leave for being pregnant. She debunks the rumor and defends her decision, stating it was difficult for her to juggle her career with her family. "I think feminism means we all get that chance to make our choice. And if it just isn’t right for me, it isn’t right for me. For me it just wasn’t working," she says.
After her maternity leave, Elizabeth assumed a co-anchor seat at 20/20. Since the newsmagazine is a weekly show rather than a daily, the job is much less demanding, more flexible and better-suited for her situation as a career woman and mother. Still, it doesn’t dilute the adversities she faces as a working mother.
Elizabeth is married to songwriter Marc Cohn, 47. They have two sons, Zachary, who turns 4 on Wednesday, and Samuel, 5 months. Also featured on the show was a roundtable discussion with other working mothers.
Did you have to make a decision between work and homelife? How did you decide?