Sandberg's push to get women into the corner office and at the conference table fails to take into account that not everyone is "superhuman and rich," as Anne-Marie Slaughter, a Princeton professor and former senior adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wrote in Fortune Magazine
Kefalas said it a little more succinctly: Sandberg lives in a fantasy world.
"We don't live in a vacuum," she said, "Maybe Sheryl does, but not the rest of us."
She works hard for the money
Put aside Sandberg's dream of more women reaching the top rungs of the corporate ladder for a moment. Statistics indicate that women still have a lot of barriers to just earning pay equal to that of their male counterparts.
Today, more than seven out of 10 mothers taking care of children are in the labor force, and nearly half of all married couples are dual breadwinners, according to Pew Research Center data from 2010.
Still, the public remains conflicted about the impact working mothers have on their young children, with only 21 percent of Americans saying it's a good thing.
"The cultural story of good mothering has not been reconciled yet to reflect working women," Kefalas said. "There are social rules and the standards are very demanding."
There is a structural reality that women live in, and there's a story women tell themselves about their lives -- a story that is impossible to live up to, Kefalas said.
"There is no way to have it all."
Sandberg agrees. The book excerpt says women should "stop trying to have it all." It also acknowledges the "sacrifices and hardships" that are tougher today "because of the expansion of working hours."
But according to the Facebook executive, that doesn't mean working moms should give up on their careers.
"If more women lean in, we can change the power structure of our world and expand opportunities," she wrote. "Shared experience forms the basis of empathy and, in turn, can spark the institutional changes we need. More female leadership will lead to fairer treatment for all women."
Sounds easy enough, right? Not so fast, Kefalas said.
"At the end of the day, we make choices about the kind of people we want to be, and it's so much more than self-sabotaging."