"The idea that Derek thinks his career is more important than Meredith's is both true for him and frustrating for her," Shonda muses. "It doesn't make him a bad person because his career is more important than hers right now. The idea that she has set back her career to deal with the kids and let him shine is also very frustrating for her, as well. She's got a chance to step forward and say, 'I'm not going to do that anymore.' Whether she's right or wrong is also an argument to be had."
"I really like the idea of having them confront what I think is a challenge that a lot of women have to deal with," she continues. "[Meredith] has kids, she has a husband, and he has a big career, and she has ambition, and suddenly she's sort of found herself in the back seat. What does that mean? Now she's standing up for herself."