Tips to bal­ance fam­ily and ca­reer (or at least try!)

Tehran Times - - LIFE - By Kather­ine Sa­lyi (Source: mod­ern­

As a work­ing mom, one of my fa­vorite ques­tions I ask other moms is how they man­age it all. Turns out there are no se­crets and ev­ery­one is dif­fer­ent. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a work­ing mom, a sin­gle mom or some­thing in be­tween, it’s uni­ver­sally a chal­lenge to main­tain a per­fect bal­ance be­tween ca­reer and fam­ily. As a busy real es­tate bro­ker in New York City with a sched­ule that changes daily and of­ten very quickly, I do my best to keep it sim­ple and real. My job is de­mand­ing and my fam­ily is im­por­tant. While I don’t claim to be per­fect, I have a few tips to share that help keep me, and my fam­ily, sane!

Wake up early

I wake up at least 90 min­utes be­fore my daugh­ter Ju­lianna (2.5 years old) does, ev­ery day of the week. It’s not fool proof, but the time to my­self al­lows me to start my day pro­duc­tively. I make cof­fee, I clean up email, touch base with clients and cus­tomers, and check my sched­ule for the day. I squeeze in a work­out if there’s time, shower and put on my makeup be­fore she even wakes up.

I’ve learned to not get fully dressed un­til she’s eaten break­fast and is dressed! This jump-start to the day keeps the morn­ing or­ga­nized and stress-free, which sets the tone for her day as well.


This is a big one that needs to be ap­plied to life at home and at work. At home, maybe the laun­dry can wait, but get­ting lunch ready for school is a must. I try mak­ing it the night be­fore, or while they eat break­fast. At work, I tackle items with the soon­est dead­line first or the most press­ing. Per­sonal time should be pri­or­i­tized as well – if you can push an ap­point­ment so you can make din­ner or at­tend a school event you should.

If your part­ner (or care­taker) is able to do pick-up so you can work late one night, make it hap­pen. Know­ing what’s most im­por­tant in each in­stance is a con­stant learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that will help achieve the best bal­ance that’s right for you.


Sim­i­lar to pri­or­i­tiz­ing, the key to a suc­cess­ful sched­ule is be­ing flex­i­ble. My sched­ule changes daily, but I main­tain struc­ture. I do not have a care­taker, so my hus­band and I bal­ance pick-up. We dis­cuss it the night be­fore or in the be­gin­ning of the week, and un­der­stand last minute changes may arise.

We have din­ner as a fam­ily [al­most] ev­ery night, which is im­por­tant to us. It’s not al­ways the same time or place, but pretty close to it. I of­ten go back to work on ap­point­ments af­ter din­ner, or work from home af­ter bed­time. Ei­ther way, I do my best to take care of both needs and wants.

Get rid of the guilt

No­body is per­fect! Guilt can be found every­where, but it’s not pro­duc­tive. I don’t com­pare my­self to a younger, sin­gle co­worker be­cause that’s not me – I’m mar­ried with a child and I love ev­ery­thing about it. I take own­er­ship of where I am in my ca­reer and my life. Be­sides, guilt only causes stress, which low­ers pro­duc­tiv­ity and it’s not pos­si­ble to do ev­ery­thing or be in two places at once. The driv­ing force to the al­lu­sive work / life bal­ance is flex­i­bil­ity and fo­cus. Be­ing su­per or­ga­nized and able to tackle each task at hand keeps me feel­ing sane. I re­mem­ber to ask for help when I need it, and I am OK with say­ing “No” to pro­fes­sional and per­sonal in­vi­ta­tions. Right now, this all seems to be work­ing but I’m sure next week will throw me another curve-ball!

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