Despite the progress made toward gender equality, there remains this fact: Women still hold fewer leadership positions in government and industry, and men still face a social stigma if they stay home, as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg writes in her much-discussed book, "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead."
Sandberg talks about the need for women to "lean in" to greater leadership roles at work and insist on equal partnerships at home.
We wanted to know what "leaning in" looks like in practice. CNN invited families to share their successes and struggles at balancing work and family. Can women -- or for that matter, anyone -- be high-fliers at home and work? And if so, how does it work?
While arrangements differed, there was a common refrain: You can't go it alone, there's no right path and we need to stop judging each other's choices.
'It boils down to removing the stereotypes'
"In our household, there are no traditional roles," wrote Aisha Houser, a human resources specialist and mother of three in Huber Heights, Ohio. She and her husband both work full-time, and he also goes to school at night.
Houser puts in longer hours most days so she can have every other Monday off for appointments. They keep their children -- ages 7, 5 and 20 months -- on a strict routine during the week.
Above all, she said, "husbands need to understand that they will have to clean, wash clothes, cook, dress the kids or whatever needs to be done. ... It boils down to removing the stereotypes of the traditional family."
Won't work 'if it means paying someone to raise our kids'
Kelly Moening works as a federal law-enforcement agent, a job she wanted from the time she was a little girl. While she's investigating criminal activities, her husband is taking their daughter to ballet, helping their son with his homework, preparing dinner and doing the laundry.
He stays home with their three children, ages 6, 3 and 1. Trained as a lawyer, he has never found a job that earned enough to support their family. As much as he wants to work, he doesn't want to do it "if it means paying someone else to raise our kids," Moening said.
Professionally, "I am a better agent because he stays home. I couldn't do this job full time as a mother to three little ones, if he didn't handle everything else," Moening said.
Moening's own parents both worked and her mother was the primary breadwinner. They raised her to associate happiness with a great job, not motherhood. Yet as proud as she feels about being a special agent, Moening would quit her job and retire at 35 if her husband found a job that paid as much as hers.
"Deep down, no matter how much opportunity is afforded me, I'm a mom through and through," she said. "I have a fantastic job, no doubt. But I truly feel I would be more personally satisfied by not missing a moment of my kids' childhoods."
'Life is a team effort'
One of 10 children, David J. Hopper was raised in a traditional household. His father worked as a meat cutter and never washed a dish. Every night he sat in his place at the end of the table and was always served first.
Hopper met his wife-to-be, Dawn, in 1999. He had two young children at the time and a job at an architectural firm that required he work up to 60 hours a week. All the day care pickups, cooking and housework fell to Dawn, who was also in graduate school working on her doctorate.
Things came to a head when Hopper's son was diagnosed with a developmental delay and needed extra care. Dawn was pregnant at the time, and it was too much for her to handle everything. He decided to quit his job and build his own practice.
The balance shifted.
"Now I was home, running my business from the basement. Now I picked up the kids from school, tidied the house, did all the laundry and when she came home, she did the cooking."
Looking back, it was a "slow change." But he realizes now Dawn "wouldn't be very happy without a career, and I wouldn't be very happy without that wife. In a way I'm married to her career, too."
'The boys know they can always count on me'
"Parenting is hard, and it DOES take a village. Sometimes a village and a neighboring village, " wrote Amy Lawson, a divorced mom of two boys in Gainesville, Fla.
She works as an administrator in an OB/GYN office and maintains blogs about motherhood and social media marketing.
Though technically she is a single mom, Lawson often feels the need to add the disclaimer that her ex-husband is very involved with their children, of whom they share custody.