Can women truly find the balance between family and career?

1 Aug

ROSIE THE RIVETERA question I often ponder, as many people do, is how to find success as a professional career woman without losing my grasp on quality downtime and family obligations.  Here I use the term “family” loosely; I must quickly point out that I am not a parent which allows some additional freedoms that are not available to the career minded mother.  However, I must also point out that my desire to surround myself with my immediate family and beloved friends is of no less importance to me than the obligations of a full time wife and mother.  Albeit different, but still a driving force in my life.

This isn’t one of my typical blogs, and if you are a religious follower then you must recognize the differences almost immediately.  I feel extremely passionate about this subject matter and it is my hope that everyone will comment on their own feelings and experiences, potentially giving women who are lost a newfound hope to find that desired balance and harmony in their lives.  I do not believe that women should be confined to one title in life as was most often the case 20+ years ago.  We all deserve the same freedoms to pursue our creative and adventurous dreams while providing a foundation for the mentoring and growth of tomorrow’s leaders.

So, how does the educated, equality driven females of today find a happy medium between their career and their family?  I think the answer is two-fold.  The happy medium is achieved when one accepts the fact that they must attain quality time versus quantity of time and they MUST honor their own needs and health in order to avoid the pitfalls of exhaustion and feelings of complete and utter frustration.

What do I mean by QUALITY of time versus QUANTITY of time?  I will use myself as an example.  Based on my rough calculations, I have been away from home 85 days this year.  The majority of those days have been for business and have involved air travel.  This equates to over 40% of 2009!  With this astounding fact, one might assume that I am hovering somewhere between the point of exhaustion and the need for heavy medication!  Well, I can assure you that is not the case.  Yes, I am not pleased with the fact that I have missed out on select family events and the assorted tennis team practice or evening social, but I can say that I am satisfied with the quality of time spent with each and every important person in my life.  I revel in the memories of entertaining my family on my front porch as the springtime sun wraps us in warmth in anticipation of the hot and humid summer to come… meeting my brother Shaun for dinner at The Mellow Mushroom and discussing our upcoming Hollywood visit and seeing his smiling face and dancing eyes light up… sitting with my grandfather as he overcomes his fears of facing the reality of Alzheimer’s Disease… picnicing on Father’s Day with my brother Michael, honoring his accomplishments as a father of a bright 7 year old, breathing fresh mountain air and remembering to appreciate the simple things in life… traveling with my family to NYC (their first visit) and witnessing their reactions at the massiveness of Times Square… this is QUALITY.

The second and equally important part of this equation is respecting yourself and realizing that you have needs that must be met.  I understand that many women put themselves secondary to their children; however, a large majority put themselves dead last!  Why is that?  Is it something bred in us from our ancestors, spending thousands of years honoring the statement ‘barefoot and pregnant’?  Don’t get me wrong… I cannot WAIT to be a mother and experience the unconditional love of a child.  But honestly, how can one give the best of themselves to their children if they are not addressing their own personal needs?  Being 35 years old, the majority of my friends are married with 2 or more children.  I hear the same sentiment echoed again and again:  I wish I had time to get a manicure, I wish my husband would take care of the kids one night so I could take a bubble bath and curl up with my favorite book, etc. etc…. WHY NOT?  If you allow yourself this time, whether it is 30 minutes a day or a larger block of time once per week, can’t you see how refreshed you would feel?  How much light and positive energy you would have for everyone?
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

It wasn’t until I read the book Eat, Pray, Love from Elizabeth Gilbert that I discovered the word selfish doesn’t always have a negative connotation.  As a matter of fact, it can be looked at as taking the time to do things for yourself.  And when you do, everyone in your circle benefits from this.  I can assure you that!  How I apply this principle to my life is in multiple ways. For example, I LOVE blogging!  Surprise, right???  I love to put my thoughts down, whether its on paper or on the net.  After posting what I consider to be an amazing blog, I walk away smiling and awaiting responses from people like you.  This, combined with other pampering that I consider to be key to my happiness and well being, keep me refreshed and assist me in carrying positive energy everywhere I go.

So, what are your feelings on this subject matter?  Is the balance simple or complicated?  Do you have it?  If so, how did you get there?  How do you STAY there?

Until next time…


2 Responses to “Can women truly find the balance between family and career?”

  1. Sara August 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    I’ve got a book you MUST read. It’s all about how women really can “have it all”. They call it the New All. And the book is called “Womenomics.” It’s so empowering.

  2. carissajones94 August 9, 2009 at 12:41 pm #

    Thanks Sara! I purchased the book on Friday, and I am diving in today! Looking forward to some tidbits of wisdom…


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