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The Balance Myth Book: Having It All Isn’t Easy, But It’s Doable!

balance2Balance. That ideal and elusive spot where you feel in control of all facets of your life. We talk about it a lot here, so when I had the opportunity to read The Balance Myth: Rethinking Work-Life Success, I jumped at the chance. Written by former Fortune 200 COO Teresa Taylor, The Balance Myth shares the story of how she managed to succeed in business without feeling like she was giving up her personal life.

First, I love  how this book humanizes a super-successful woman. You often see successful people from the outside and think, “How do they do it? How do they manage to juggle everything?” And Teresa assures the reader that no matter how successful someone, there is loads and loads of hard work involved—it’s not easy for anybody. She shares her struggle with infertility and then her struggles with trying to “do it all” once she has two kids.

She shares situations that make every mom realize we’re all going through the same thing, particularly if we’re balancing work with kids. She deals with a flaky babysitter and fires her without a backup plan. She has moments of insecurity, like when she shows up to a first day on the job with no one to greet her and moments of panic, like when she’s in the White House and in desperate need of vomiting. It’s reassuring to the everyday mom to know that no one has it all together all the time!

While Teresa doesn’t have a magic bullet for making it all easy, she assures you that it can be done. It just takes lots of hard work to make it happen. She emphasizes not expecting perfection and the mythical balance, and instead getting rid of the “mommy guilt” and taking control at both home and at work. She even recommends focusing on getting your home life in order so you can be your best at work—because if  you’re worrying about chaos at home, you’re not your most effective on the job.

She has such a modern take on success. It’s not about keeping work and home separate; it’s about combining them so it works for you. Women shouldn’t pretend their home life doesn’t exist, but they can prove that it doesn’t have to get in the way of being an effective employee. Besides sharing her challenges as a working woman and mom, Teresa offers great tips like building in time limits on tasks, prioritized to-do lists of a few items (rather than an overwhelming 20) and combining your calendars so as to not miss important events. Overall, a worthy read for any mom feeling the pressure of doing it all!

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