Evan linked to this fantastic article from Newsweek: Mommy Madness, which is part of a series on The Myth of the Perfect Mother. Despite the focus on moms, I found that most of it could apply equally well to engaged fathers. Two companion articles are also well worth reading: The Good Enough Mother and Meet the Slacker Mom. The theme isn't new -- being a great parent is hard when you want to also have a solid career and some kind of life for yourself -- but there's more depth in these personal stories than most of the stuff I've read.
The recommendations at the end of the first article underline many of the points I've covered here before, and I thought two were especially worth repeating: the need for flexible, decent-paying part-time work and demands for affordable high-quality childcare that is flexible enough to be part-time or even drop-in.
The latter issue is hot in Canada right now, and I want to get into it here in the next month or so because it's loaded with lifestyle values. Here's an article to get things rolling, and an admission (startling to me): for the first time in my adult life, I find myself aligned with the right-wing party's stance on a major political issue. Instead of spending billions on institutionalized daycare like the Liberals are planning, the Conservatives would rather spend the money (or give tax breaks) to let parents choose how they want their kids cared for, which should include giving them the same amount of money to care for them at home.