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The Key to Work/Life Balance is to Lean on Your Village


"It takes a village to raise a child." -Unknown

This week I read two articles with interesting comments about being a working mom. One article pointed out that "Keeping Up With the Kardashian's" never shows the nannies who provide the help that allow those mamas to maintain their balance in their stilettos. (Here's the link to that article.)

Although I have never subscribed to the notion that moms who have help are somehow "less than", I did think that was a fair criticism. People had the same criticism of Sheryl Sandberg after she published, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.  Somehow Sheryl published an entire book about how women can advance in their careers where she discussed her husband and children and never discussed her childcare situation.

Many working moms were offended because they thought she was dishonest when she failed to admit that she was able to "lean in" because someone else was watching her kids. 

True Confession: Many Working Moms Manage to "Do It All" With Help

So, in the interest of full disclosure, I have a confession. We had a nanny for two and a half years. She left us this past June. We handled everything ourselves for the summer. It was a nice experiment. That taught me a lot. One thing I learned, is that our schedules make it really tough to manage our household and our work live without having another adult fill in the gaps--especially now that our kids have different schedules at different places.

During the experiment with just Andre and me "making it work", we fought more, were more tired, and were running around town like mad people trying to get our kids where they needed to go.

However, after school started (and the Liberty Bridge closed), it became clear that we needed additional help. So, we hired a college student to help us out with pick up, transporting kids to activities and light household tasks. I admire working moms who can manage everything themselves. However, I am not one of them. I have some regret about that, but that is tempered by the relief I feel in not rushing out of work to run to my daughter's school to run to ballet and gymnastics to try to put dinner on the table. 

Lean On Your Village to Achieve Work/Life Balance

Below is an interview featuring comedian, Ali Wong, discuss work/life balance. She was speaking to me! 

Ali Wong Discusses Work/Life Balance    

Question: How do you balance family and career?

Ali Wong: How do I balance family and career? People ask me that all the time. Men never get asked that question because, they don’t. They just ignore the child and that’s perfectly, socially acceptable. But dads get so much praise for doing so little. My husband occasionally changes diapers and people, they can’t believe it. They’re like, Oh my gahhhd. I cannot believe that your husband changes diapers. What a doting, modern father. When my baby girl was first born, I would do skin-on-skin contact to bond with her … she’d shit on my chest. Where’s my trophy at?

Real talk: This is how I balance family and career — I have a nanny. Yes, I have a nanny and then I work my ass off to pay for the nanny. She’s $3,000 a month so I gotta hustle. My husband and I, we both got to work very hard to not take care of our child ourselves. Thank you. 

Here's a link to the entire interview:  Ali Wong Gets Real About Work/Life Balance...

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