Mom Interviews

Tina Sharkey

Global President and Chairman, Babycenter

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Has having children affected your career path? What sacrifices have you had to make personally or professionally?

Having children hasn’t affected my career path. I don’t hide being a mom. On the professional front, I don’t travel as much as I’d like to for work and try to limit my travel to the extent I can. I also can’t do as many evening dinners for networking and therefore prioritize my time differently now. I limit my time that I’m in the office, but find ways to extend productivity during the working day. My weekday evenings are scarce and my commitments get limited but that’s the choice I make and I want to spend time with my children.

On the personal front-- I don’t see my friends very often unless I can see them with my kids. My social life evolves around my work and my family. Being part of a new community it’s hard to rebuild my networks, but I’m enthused by the challenge.

Did you find that your colleagues/clients treated you differently after you had kids?

No. I actually found that having kids is the best thing that happened to my career. Before having children I was a workaholic and filled my free time with work. Now I’m more balanced. Earlier in my career, email and wireless devices were not as prevalent. Now I’m connected everywhere and make up the time if I need to do work by handheld. I do my best to maximize all of my time.

Who has been most helpful to you as you’ve navigated through your career as a mom?

My sister is a working mom and she is great. She is my role model. My mom was also a working mom. I talk things through with my husband and friends. I try to find people with best perspective for a specific issue. I approach different people for different things. So if it were a personal issue, I would consult my friends or family and if it were a work-related issue, I would consult my friends or colleagues most familiar with that topic.

Please share with us the top three things/strategies that help you successfully get through your days at work and at home:

- Live in help

- Time shifting my work

- Maximizing all my down time, always maximizing my time.

Can you talk about what that balance means for you and ways – however small or big – you’ve managed to find it?

Work/life balance means nothing to me. There is no such thing as balance. I believe in integration. If you try to achieve balance you will always fail and I don’t like to fail. Integration is a very fluid way of handling your work/life goals. I give my undivided attention to whatever I’m focused on at the moment. Work is work, home is home. There is no such thing as perfect balance; it’s an unachievable goal. There are a lot of tools today to help you achieve integration-- you can work remotely and still be part of your kids’ activities.

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