Why You Don’t Have to Choose Between Having a Career & a Family

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been told that women can’t have a successful career and a happy home. The two have always been presented as mutually exclusive goals. While women like Sheryl Sandberg have opened up the conversation, there is still a lot of stigma around being a working mom. No matter what women choose they can never seem to win – if they stay at home they’re just a housewife, if they decide to work they’re neglecting their kids. These societal beliefs are wrong on so many levels and always have the same underlying message: you can either have a successful career OR be a good mom, you cannot do both. Well, I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN!!

The feminist within me was never able to reconcile this antiquated concept and I have been able to achieve both a happy family and a successful career in business. Since men are never faced with the decision to have a family or a career it is horrible that this decision still plagues so many women. I want to challenge you to flip the script! Here are some tips to help you get aggressive, get ahead and “have it all”:

1. Don’t be afraid to want what you want.

One of the main reasons we don’t always get what we want is because we’re afraid to want it. We’ve been conditioned to think that there’s something wrong with wanting to be a wife, a mom and a boss. There isn’t. We’ve been conditioned to think there’s something wrong with confidently and aggressively going after what we really want. There isn’t. Don’t be afraid to want all the things you fantasize about. Wanting a successful career doesn’t make you a bad mom and wanting a family doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your career. 

One of the main reasons we don’t always get what we want is because we’re afraid to want it.

2. Check your circle.

Sometimes the reason we believe we can’t make it is because of negativity from external sources. If your friends, family or an insecure spouse are discouraging you from pursuing both a family and a career then it can be difficult to believe that it is possible. If your friends are always telling you what you can’t do or chastising you for not being “realistic” it’s time to get some new friends. If the person you’re dating discourages you from pursuing your dreams and seems to only support you when you’re taking care of them, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship.

Sometimes the reason we believe we can’t make it is because of external negativity.

3. Get organized

I remember telling my dad that I was so busy I needed an assistant. He quickly responded, you don’t need an assistant “You need a system!” He was right. When attempting to balance your professional ambition with your home life, it becomes imperative to set and organize your priorities. Set reminders for important events, meetings etc. and be strong enough to say no to anything that pulls you away from the things that matter most.

When attempting to balance your professional ambition with your home life, it becomes imperative to set and organize your priorities.

4. Feed your inner lion

Once you get it in your head that you really can have what you want, you must push forward. Don’t allow the pressures of life to stunt your momentum. You can achieve this by feeding your inner lion – the part of you that hungers for greatness and isn’t afraid to roar! Foster your drive by reading books that motivate you, surrounding yourself with positivity, and learning how to channel your passions. It is also helpful to meditate and make use of positive affirmations.

Once you get it in your head that you really can have what you want, you must push forward.

5. Keep your negative thoughts in check

Don’t get me wrong, being a working mom is hard work. Obstacles will inevitably arise in your quest to “have it all” but maintain your composure and remember that you can do this. There are always going to be negative thoughts that creep into your head. Don’t let them take over. To keep your discouraging thoughts in check, develop a habit of speaking back to them.

No more choosing ladies! If you want it all get out there and get it!

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Thank you for reading my post. My name is Pamela Shand and I’m a Certified Resume Writer and Career Coach. I regularly write on resume building, interview success and various ways to unravel common and not-so-common career snags.

Follow me on social media for tips, tricks, deals and motivation to keep you going.

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