Work-Life Balance According to Who?

It’s the eve before I return back to work from being on maternity leave for 10 weeks. I’m getting everything ready for the nanny the next day. Got both kids a set of clothes, potty seat for my 2 year old, burp cloths for the baby, diapers for both kids, extra towel and baby soap just in case there’s an accident, making sure there is food for breakfast and lunch. As I am doing this, I am thinking random thoughts like:

What am I going to wear? Oh I don’t fit into that quite yet.

Do I have time to do my hair? Maybe I should shower tonight instead of the morning. But I have to nurse the baby in the morning, will I have enough time?

Don’t forget your pump and the freezer pack. Oh that reminds me, I will have to put pumping on my calendar so I don’t get booked all day.

All these thoughts going through my head as my husband looks at me like I am a worried child preparing for my first day of school.

Of course this is the eve. Once morning comes, nothing goes as planned. I get back to the office and surprisingly jump back into things as if I had never left. Then half way through my afternoon, my nanny calls and says my 2 year old as a 103.6 fever. I had to cut my first day back short and take him to the doctor.

The life of a working mom. No sympathy please. It’s what I signed up for. I love it. But it is my life.

I don’t know if it’s me being a working mom but I am noticing a lot of buzz about the working mom in the news lately. (Kind of like when you want a specific car and all of sudden you see them all over the road).  From Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Succeed” to Gabby Reece’s,'”My Foot is Too Big for the Gass Slipper,” there is a lot of discussion on how women are making things happen.  Sheryl Sandberg quotes, “take a seat at the table,” advocating for women to be more bold in the business world and that in order to do it they need a life partner that can do 50% of the work at home and fully support their career. (here’s a good review). Then there is Reece who took 10 years off from her career to raise her children and she quotes, “to truly be feminine means being soft, receptive, and –- look out, here it comes –- submissive.”

Two entirely different perspectives. Which is one right?

And then of course, I love Gwen Stefani’s honest feedback on what it’s like being a working mom, where she quotes,

“I fail at something everyday,”

from the September 2012 Marie Claire issue.

These are all perspectives from very high profile individuals but at some level, the pain points are all very similar to any working mom- and there is so much debate on how to balance work and life.

I enjoy going to the office and working but I also enjoy coming home and cooking a meal for the family. I do the laundry too. And it’s ok. I am fortunate to have an incredibly supportive husband that helps at home. But what about the 10 million single working moms? Or what about the women that have a partner that does stay home. Or what about the women without children but are the caretaker for their parents? Let’s face it, women try to do it all, whether they have kids or not and we are all just trying to figure it out.

At the end of the day, we are women with similar goals and aspirations but each with a unique way of getting there. There is no right way to live your life, there is only one way for you.

Rather than being so judgmental, we should be supporting each others decisions. And we should be surrounding ourselves around those that respect our own decisions. Because if we do this, we have more time to collaborate and think about building a better future together.

I recently watched an NBC News special on the Stiletto Network by Pamela Ryckman where she highlights this new trend of female support groups forming and I thought, “yes!, that’s what we should be doing – supporting each other!”

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Let’s talk more about what we need, want and spur ideas together.

I love my career and I love being a mom. Aside from that, I am just a driven female in a challenging world and the last thing I need is someone to judge me or to suggest how I should balance my life. What I do want, however, is to hear from women that are doing great things in the world so I can continue to be inspired and motivated to keep moving forward. I also want to serve as a resource to those that could use my own advice.

So with that, I am fully committed to building a network of women professionals this year. Details to come in the next few months.

One thought on “Work-Life Balance According to Who?

  1. Yes to all of this.

    I too, see and hear the different stories of how women should or need to be (and some of it is really good nuggets of information).
    However, what I think is most important is the connection.
    The connection women could make with each other and begin to start helping each other out- either by listening, giving advice, a business opportunity etc- that connection is crucial and it is the spark to help all of us move forward.

    Looking forward to helping women make the connection w/ each other!

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