The Scarlet Line: 6 September 2018

Balancing the Big Stuff

This week on The Scarlet Line, Janelle was joined by Dolores “DD” Lecky substituting for Margot who was on vacation.  In the studio was Prof Miriam Liss, from The University of Mary Washington. Prof. Liss teaches Psychology and specializes in women and gender studies. They discussed Prof. Liss’ book, Balancing the Big Stuff: Finding Happiness in Work, Family, and Life. Prof. Liss’ book, co-authored with Holly Shiffrin, identifies four things that help to create happiness for today’s families:

  • Finding balance among their roles by doing all things in moderation.

    1. Make each social role an opportunity to experience autonomy, competence, and relatedness -- the three basic needs according to self-determination theory.

    2. View work-family balance as a goal for both men and women, rather than a women’s issue.  Men and women should strive for equality both at home and at work.

    3. Get involved and work toward structural support for families such as parental-leave benefits, flexible work schedules, and affordable high-quality childcare.

They also discussed women’s body issues and maternal guilt and shame and talked about the ways that self-compassion can help to mitigate the negative ways women and mothers view themselves.


Balancing the Big Stuff: Finding Happiness in Work, Family, and Life:


5 Ways Self-Compassion Helps Promote a Healthy Body Image:


Guilt, Motherhood, and the Pursuit of Perfection:


Terrible Dude in the News - Louis CK:


S/Hero / Good News - Polly Schecter:


Miriam’ Bio:

Miriam Liss is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Mary Washington. She earned a Ph.D. (2001) and M.A. (1998) in clinical psychology at the University of Connecticut, after receiving a B.A. (1995) with high honors in psychology from Wesleyan University. She is a clinical psychologist and has conducted research on feminism, body image and objectification, parenting, division of labor, and work-family balance. She is the co-author of Balancing the Big Stuff: Finding Happiness in Work, Family and Life, published by Rowman and Littlefield press and the textbook Psychology of Women and Gende published by Norton. She received the UMW Outstanding Young Faculty Member Award in 2005 and won the SCHEV Outstanding Faculty award in 2014. She was also named one of Princeton Review’s Best 300 Professors. Her articles have been published in numerous journals including the Sex Roles, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, Personality, and Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines.

Eric Kluxen