So there are hundreds of panels going on in NYC (and around the world) this week for Social Media Week. And I am at none of them. I could have justified the cost of attending – the networking alone would be awesome and this is my field. There was a Jewish Social Media Event (Relative Virality) last night at the Sesame Street Workshop that I would love to have been at.

However, being a mom has to come first. Sometimes I do wish I could just take off and do whatever I want to do and leave the kids with sitters or the KoD just so that I can further my career and / or socialize. And, yes, occasionally, there is an event that I consider important enough for me to leave the nest for a bit. Going into NYC adds 2 hours of travel time at least so it really has to be worth it.

The hard part is deciding what is worth the sacrifice and what isn’t. It is a judgment call every single time. I don’t want my career to suffer because I put family first, but I don’t want my family to suffer if occasionally I put my career first.

Balancing it all out is so hard. I want to know – career parents out there – how do you decide what events to attend, business trips to take, lunch / dinner meetings to schedule? Do you limit yourself to a certain number of evenings a month? Does it depend on your spouse / parents’ ability to watch the kids? Do you discuss with your spouse first?

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  1. shorty says:

    H, i think its so amazing you do this, because this goes beyond your career. The kids will learn and invaluable lesson that while work is important, family is more important. Remember they learn to be grown ups (and married grown ups) from their parents.

  2. batya from NJ says:

    When I worked in my profession for around 10 years or so as a speech/language pathologist, I was required to complete 20 hrs./year of continuing education requirements which usually involved a few full day courses each year & 2 evening courses from 6-10pm as well which were difficult to work out but were necessary for me in order to maintain my licensure. The full day courses were tough to juggle b/c depending on their location, they often required me leaving the house b/f the kids were off to school & arriving home after one or more of them arrived home. Sometimes my husband agreed to adjust his busy schedule around these occasional obligations of mine & other times I needed to hire help so that I could attend these courses which were also expensive to attend.

    I find that even now when I am no longer working in my profession (early retirement ;)), there are still occasional events that I need to attend in the evenings (community events, speakers, shul commitments etc) but I generally hesitate from attending these events b/c I feel that my place is in my house supervising my children with their homework & nightly routine especially b/c my husband as the major breadwinner of the house generally comes home very late & I feel that at least 1 of us should ideally be at home with them.

    In response to your situation, I think it is something that you will need to discuss & work out with the KoD but it will definitely involve some compromising on both of your parts…

    Good luck & hope you get to attend some of these events!

  3. Esti says:

    This is an issue I also struggle with all the time. There is so much going on, I just had this discussion with my husband last night. I have to limit the events I go to and I once I am at the event, I often wonder if it was worth all of the juggling-babysitter, money to pay the babysitter, husband putting the kids to bed by himself, my commute to city, my energy level being depleted the next day, and much more. I try to go to events that will help me network and get my brand name out there (35+, mom raising kids on kosher food), support my friends that are part of my network, and events that could lead to potential paid opportunities. Even with that in mind, it is always a sacrifice. What to do? I love when events are live streaming and I can follow along with twitter from my home or nearby @starbucks (I am at one now). Hadassa, thank you so much for reading my thoughts this morning and last night….you are not alone in this!!!

  4. Ariela says:

    How does going to a conference hurt your family? I thought your kids are pretty big.

    • batya from NJ says:

      Ariela, as another mom of older kids, moms are often needed to supervise with homework, dinner-time, & bed-time routine & to maintain peace in the home between the kids. it’s not easy to go out especially in the evenings when moms (or dads) are needed at home to help with the night-time routine to ensure that the kids do all that they must do on a school night.

  5. Miriam Shenny says:

    It is all a balancing act. Everybody has to find the right balance in family life. What may suit you, may not suit somebody else. It is also importnat to do things for you, being career or a social meet. You are a human being as well and sometimes forget that. It may even help by having a social meet to be a more productive Mom!I know you are an amazing Mon and wife. But just take a step back and think about you.
    My love

  6. T says:

    Finding balance in our lives is an ongoing, evolving event.
    When I think I’ve finally settled into a balanced life (G-D, family, myself, friends), something else comes up, it amazes me everytime! Then I have to figure out a way to juggle this new factor in.

    Having the very supportive husband that I do, has enabled me to believe in me!

    As I build up my interior design business, work a part time “survival” job, try to keep a clean, loving and fun home for young children to live in, often see clients at night, fitting in my excersize regime,…I get the whole balancing act you are going through.

    For me…the answer was knowing what my real limits are and accepting them. Sometimes it was the children who helped me with this. Like…being out of the house in the evenings too many times during a week, is just NOT good for our family dynamics. Great…now I KNOW and can work around that!…and so forth!

    A real special friend of mine once told me that when things get crazy, overwhelming or the like…prioritize!…G-D, Family, Yourself and everything else will follow. I still heed this advise to the day!!!

    Enjoy YOUR journey…
    love, me

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