“You can have it all, just not at the same time!”
By Lisa Traina, CPA, Partner of Traina & Associates, a CapinCrouse Company
That was my quote from a women’s conference a few years ago. I didn’t recall saying it, but a very successful young woman reminded me I said it and told me it helps her to get through the tough days of juggling a career and household with two children. And let’s face it, women with or without kids have lots to juggle. We tend to be not only the caregivers, but the ones that plan, organize and handle a long list of other responsibilities as well. The image of a Super Woman cape comes to mind.
Now that my kids are grown, I can reflect on how I made it through those seemingly crazy years. And it was by making a series of choices. Some days I would stay at the bank late to ensure that all fires had been put out. And on those days, my kids likely ate pizza or leftovers because there was no time for cooking. They lived to tell about it and don’t seem to have any permanent damage from it.
But on other days, I made the choice to take a few hours off to attend an important school field trip or sporting event. Sure, I may have missed a meeting at work, but it certainly wasn’t career altering.
And that’s the point – recognize that you must make choices, so just choose wisely. In your heart, you will know if the balance is off and your work has been prioritized to the detriment of family. If that’s the case, make a correction! And if it’s not an option in your current employment, maybe it’s time to look for a more flexible environment.
And the reverse is true as well. If you really want that next promotion, maybe you have to put in some extra effort at work, at least temporarily. Guess what? Your kids will not mind nor remember if you do not attend every single practice or event. Be there for the big ones and all will be fine.
As an adult, my son told me he liked it when I went out of town because he got to eat tacos! Really?? I felt guilty for years when I had to travel, only to learn that the kids loved the only thing my husband could cook. So lose the guilt, make wise choices and maybe get a cape!