What compromises have you had to make personally and professionally since becoming a mom? Did having a child affect your career path?
I went back to work in the multimedia industry a few months after my daughter was born and a month later stopped working again. I couldn’t stand to be away from her! So I took another year off to be at home. When I worked in the Internet industry, from 1997-2001, I did tend to work too much to keep up with the single, younger men and women so I was happy to “retire” from that business to have more time with my daughter when she was about seven.
Now, being a professional mom affects me because I made the choice to live in a place where her father lives, which is not necessarily good for my new career—I could get a great job somewhere else now that I’m moving up in the industry, but I’ve made the decision for my daughter to stay here until she’s in college. It’s slowing down my career but it’s for a good cause. I also can’t just go to an event or business opportunity on the spur of the moment and have to turn down opportunities so that I don’t schedule too much time away from my daughter.
Who/what has been most helpful to you as you’ve navigated through your career as a mom? Where do you go for support/advice to help you?
My parents and my daughter’s dad were always there to help out when I needed to go on a business trip. That’s true now as well. It was hard for me to ask for help as I’m very independent, but learning to rely on others is very important.
Please share with us the top three things/strategies that help you successfully get through your days at work and at home.
1. Don’t take on too many extraneous tasks—volunteer work, PTA meetings—they’re important but you must choose wisely so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. I regularly edit out things in my life that are taking up too much energy.
2. Get time to yourself. Between my daughter, work, and my social life I could easily only be alone when in the shower! Having time alone helps be energized.
3. A good, rich Cabernet at the end of the day.