Juggling Motherhood and a Career

Recently, my two year old daughter Alex was sick. I did what I'm sure most mothers want to do when their little one is sick. I held her close all day, watched movies with her, let her nap on me, and helped wipe her nose whenever she requested (which seemed like every 10 seconds there for quite a while). When my child is sick, I want her to always feel safe and comforted and know that I am there for her. That's what I'm for after all - I am her mother. I wouldn't have it any other way.

So in the middle of all of this, I began to ponder what moms do when they have no choice but to go to work even when their child is sick. I realize that not all moms have the guilt free, stress free option of staying at home when their child is sick like I do. Some women instead have end up sending their child to school or day care even when sick or to spend the day with a relative so that they can go to work and keep their job or just make as much money as possible to keep food on the table. Other women stay home with their kids, but worry about how the lost time at work will affect their standing. Women should be able to do it all and moms should not have to choose.

You see, all of Alex's life I have been a stay at home mom who works out of the house. Long before Alex was born, I began shifting gears so that I could run my own business from home while being a mom. It was a choice I made, because it was vastly important to me. I willed it to work out and it did. While I enjoy what I do, what I love most about it is the freedom that it has given me. I get to be a full time mom, entrepreneur, career woman, and business woman all wrapped into one. My many jobs aren't easy, but I love my life!

I dread my daughter getting sick again, but I know it's inevitable. Two year olds seem to constantly be catching something. I find solace in knowing that I will be the one to comfort her so she doesn't feel quite so sad, wipe her runny nose, watch Curious George with her, and feed her toast until she's back on her feet again running full speed through the house, playing with Benny the dog, and banging out her favorite Sesame Street songs on her little red toy piano. Because I am her mom.

Benefits Of Business Networking Groups Exclusively For Women

Just as it is for men in the business world, for women, life is just as hard and some would say somewhat harder. I've launched a new business venture and know exactly how hard the small business enterprise can be to get off the ground.

I'm a passionate believer in business networking because my business has grown as a result, in fact I've seen so much power in word of mouth marketing that I know run my own business networking clubs in the area where I live.

Exclusive women only business networking groups are becoming more and more common but does it really make sense? After all the basis of business networking is that you want to convey your business services to fellow networking partners so that they can refer clients to you, so why would you want to cut your audience in half by restricting it just to women?

Many women feel more comfortable in an all woman environment and actually get to trust other networking partners much quicker. There's evidence to suggest that women network better than men because women focus more on the relationship building whereas men will focus on the end result of getting the referral. Having both networking partners in line is surely bound to deliver a faster and more powerful result.

Whether it's politically correct or not to say so, it's clear that in some business circles, women are still perceived to be less than equal. I think that there are countless examples of great women in business to demonstrate that this perception is a completely outdated position and gradually it is dying but not before time. So again when it comes to feeling comfortable when networking, clubs exclusive to women meet the need.

Many women running small businesses also have to juggle family life and therefore feel an affinity with other women in the same situation. It may help build rapport or it may simply just help understand the challenges but whatever the reason it helps get to that point in the relationship where you know, like and trust the other person and so are ready to start giving and receiving referrals.

Many traditional networking groups have been established over decades and probably don't fit in with family life in terms of the meeting times. Women's networking clubs understand this point and ensure that the meeting times are at a time of day that isn't going to conflict with the school run. This may be the difference between being able network or not.

So it's not really about cutting your audience in half, there's clear reasons why all women networking clubs work well but by nature of the fact that half the business population is excluded, womens business networking clubs should be regarded as complementary to the networking concept as a whole and not a substitute.

Are You Headed for the Corner Office?

Who gets the corner office? The woman who maneuvers and manipulates? The woman who is constantly pleasing?

Whether you are a business woman, entrepreneur or corporate leader in training - your goal of the corner office is commendable.

The woman who gets the corner office has these top 5 traits. These empowering traits, preferably habits, will sharpen your focus while on the path to the corner office. Ignore any suggestions of 'hoping' to reach the corner office or being satisfied with a view onto the back alley.

Women are asserting their earned right to be seated at the table and occupy the corner office. Genuinely deserving the corner office doesn't come because of your good looks or from who you know. Not for the worthy woman.

Here are the top 5 traits of what will get you into the corner office:

1. Stop your whining. There's no excuse for doing a half-ass job. If you don't have the necessary skill set, get trained. Read. Learn. Obsess. Whatever you do, don't whine about what you can't do, don't want to do or resources not available. Make it happen.

The woman who gets noticed and garners positive impressions is the one who gets the job done. I guarantee if you refuse, you won't be headed to the corner office any time soon.

2. Exercise your gut. Listen to your intuition. Trust it. Take the risk and follow it. Step up and step out into the world of expressing what you know. Shyness and helplessness are not your friends.

Stop looking for or expecting a 'knight in shining armor.' You are capable of showing your creativity, your spunk and your genius without the crutch of a man. Your ideas and contributions need to be strong to stand on their own two feet.

3. Be willing to walk away. Before you walk away, let them know what they will be missing. Believe in your value and worth. Better yet package it to be irresistible. Decision makers and promoters have a hard time turning away quality and excellence.

Always have a Plan B in your pocket. Alternative plans are not for the weak - they are for the prepared. This will let you freely make decisions on what is best for you, from the working environment to your life-long goals.

4. Speak the unspeakable. Yes, the Emperor has no clothes. Get fed up with indulging at any cost, or the sucking up scenario. The only thing you get is twisted, puffy lips and a sore self-esteem. Not to mention, promotions that may not last long. Not worth it.

When you see B.S. call it B.S. You will gain more respect and credibility than the ninny who goes along to get along. However, remain tactful and strategic with your input and observations. Win the war by purposefully picking your battles.

5. Be kind to everyone on the way up. If you have mistreated people, been a phony, lied, cheated or slept your way to the corner office, then you don't deserve it. You have, in short, become the antithesis to what truly makes a woman remarkable and admired.

Stop and think before you enter into ANY relationship or action that qualifies you as the most undeserving woman in the corner office. Honey goes a lot further than vinegar. Eat it regularly.

The corner office is the reward for paying your dues, being honest and self-asserting, rising above fear and compromise. The woman in the corner office is a role model for other women who want to make their mark on the world of work. This is not a road taken lightly or an endeavor to enter into haphazardly. Use your talent, skills and wits to not only reach the corner office but enjoy the journey to it.
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