Fact: There are only 24 hours in a day. For a working mother, that's unfair. You're in the office for eight hours, commuting takes a couple of hours, doing housework and looking after the kids consumes about four hours, meals should last at least two hours, personal grooming time takes one hour, and sleep, seven hours. And this is just on a rare ideal day.

It's another story when somebody gets sick, when big holidays are around the corner, or when events like the first day or school or exam time are on the horizon.

Those days you sort of just wing it, usually foregoing the to-do list because to sit down and make one takes away time that you just don't have. On bad days, you're short-tempered and snappish with the kids. On really bad days, you're so frazzled that you kiss them goodbye and rush out the door wearing mismatched shoes or a shirt that's buttoned incorrectly.

At some point, you may find yourself having to make the difficult choice between career and family. Other women in the same position as you may opt to become full-time homemakers, while some may choose to work part-time or set up a home office. There are those who thrive in the crazy setup, but to live life as both a mother and a corporate figure can come at a cost.

So how do you manage it all? Here are some tips:


For more tips on achieving work-life balance, check out these FN articles:


(First published in Good Housekeeping Magazine, The Get-Work-Wise Guide as "Wanted: Balance" in August 2003; adapted for use in Female Network)
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