Work Life Imbalance
By Erica and Karen
There was never a balance between work and family. Every day was another decision about priorities. Sometimes children or husband won. Sometimes work. Sometimes it was an obvious choice. Sometimes not. We often felt stress.
We had to prove ourselves first. We didn’t get the benefit of the doubt, as our male colleagues with families usually did. We had a higher hurdle to earn the trust that we had the talent and commitment to do quality work, on time.
Setting expectations was critical. If we were taking the day off to go on a child’s field trip, we made it very clear to everyone on our team when we planned to complete our work and when they could expect delivery. We could leave nothing to chance—and no room for complaint. And we, like Justice O’Connor, survived only with the help of our nannies.
Was it perfect? No. Children were unhappy sometimes, though mostly in earlier years. But we did our best to show them we were there for them, in different ways, and that they could count on us when it mattered. Now, they tell us they are proud and lucky to have working mothers. We think they know it wouldn’t have been good for them, or for us, had we not been engaged in the working world.
Was it hard? Yes. Would we do it again? For sure.