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Finding the balance

There's no question that women have a constant struggle when deciding how to allocate time spent at work vs. home. The competing inertial pull of family vs. career is heart wrenching, and I definitely don't have the answer. I don't think there is one answer. For me, I know that my formula carefully considered answers to three key questions:

  1. What do I value?
  2. What can I afford?
  3. What are my talents?

The answers to these questions led me to decide to consciously develop a business where I could still maintain a professional identity and earning potential while having the flexibility to spend significant amounts of time at home (by the way, not just with my kids, but also doing things that I enjoy as an individual). Actually, when I started the business and embraced this philosophy, I was single with no children. This made it much easier to find a work and life balance later in life once I did marry and have children.

I must admit that I haven't done everything perfectly, and my business model exposes me to the challenges of both working moms and stay-at-home moms. I still remember the tears in my eyes during a business trip when TSA confiscated my breast milk freezer compartment because it contained liquid, and I'll never forget my embarrassment having to pump leaning over the sink in my client's bathroom (smiling at women as they washed their hands and wondered why I couldn't find a more appropriate place to pump). Equally challenging was the never ending struggle during my days at home to provide my children a structured, yet entertaining, and instructional day while juggling cable repair appointments, healthy meal preparation, grocery shopping, organizing kids' clothes drawers, and of course…cleaning! Because I can relate to both camps, I refuse to participate in the ongoing debate demonizing both sides between stay-at-home moms and working moms.

"I feel strongly that women have the complete right to choose how to design their lives"

Indeed, I admire and respect both groups, and I feel strongly that women have the complete right to choose how to design their lives. I've chosen a hybrid career model, and I love my choice. My wish for all women is not that they make my choice, or anyone else's, but instead make their own choice consciously and in a manner that is consistent with their own value system, financial realities and unique talents. To me, one of the saddest things is to spend your life trying to be successful, only to realize that the prize you won wasn't even what you wanted in the first place — check the prize before you play the game.

More about work-family balance

Mommy entrepreneur recipe
Practicing gratitude: Refocusing on what's important
Work-life balance trumps money

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Comments on "The secret is revealed... less is more"

Joanna December 23, 2013 | 12:46 PM

Many first time moms think this way.....assuming that the job they love so much will continue to be a priority and then when their baby is born....magic happens. The job, the one that was used to define who they were, stops to matter and their perception of who they are changes as well. I only hope she will be brave enough to accept this transition and set an example for all women in the US

Shannon July 30, 2012 | 2:38 PM

Wow, it's so sad to me that she is going to only take a few weeks off for her baby and WORK THROUGH IT! Babies need their mom's SO much during this time. Everyone is definitely entitled to do as they please, but I just think for the baby's sake she should take a little more time off and solely focus on her new addition.

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