Many professional moms with very young kids as well as soon-to-be moms visit our site and would benefit from your experience. What advice would you share with them about managing their careers while growing their families?
There is no one prescription. Different things work for different people. As long as you are very present with your children and your spouse, you can do whatever works best for you. It’s all about each person’s priorities. Having children is a lifetime commitment. They need you more when they get older. For example, my close friend says that when your children are in the 4th grade they need you home at 4pm. They have a lot of homework, social issues, etc. They need you more then than when they were younger. It’s not about when you choose to slow down; it’s all about always giving your full attention to your children when you are with them. I also think that it’s very important to keep your network active at all times. It makes things a lot easier later on.
Do you feel a lot of guilt as a professional mom? What are your strategies for dealing with it?
You can’t fight 1,000 years of tradition. Guilt is guilt. You will always feel guilty. I feel guilty all the time. I don’t have a good solution. I did find that since having children, I’m much more effective professionally. I don’t take things at work personally-– I take them seriously. Things at home I take personally. Before having children, it was all work for me all the time, I had no boundaries. Now I have boundaries and I’m a better executive today. My family helps me to understand my priorities. But the feeling of guilt is still there.