Work Life Balance

Bill Keller’s Wife Muses On Family And Work Life Balance

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Bill Keller will be stepping down soon as execuative editor of The New York Times to pursue other projects. The paper has since hired Jill Abramson to fill the position — the first top female editor the paper has hired in their 160-year history. Meanwhile, Bill’s wife Emma Gilbey Keller has penned a reflective essay about trying to raise a family against the back drop of fast-paced news. The piece provides real insight into the experiences of wives married to high profile men — in which large-scale events collide with the demands of family.

Emma writes:

Four years ago this month, I remember standing in a Long Island field, watching Alice ride as I dialed Bill in South Africa. He was there with Molly, and they were waiting to meet Nelson Mandela—but the purpose of my call was to tell Bill his mother had just died. Or the Sunday of President Obama’s inauguration weekend, where we shared a family breakfast on our trip, quietly celebrating Bill’s 60th birthday. Or another year, a few days after Christmas, when we landed in St. Thomas, learning that Benazir Bhutto had been assassinated while we were airborne—and also, that one of our bags was missing. It would always be like this.

Her most beloved photograph (shown here) exemplifies this narrative completely as Bill waters the lawn while learning that the Times’s Middle East correspondent, Stephen Farrell, has been kidnapped.

Keeping sane through “this knitting of headlines and family dramas” reads like no easy endeavor. Emma’s perspective on the interiors of such a life are of particular relevance as the mother and spouse who sees everything from food poisoning to the first text message indicating Eliot Spitzer‘s affair.