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Why is balancing family life and the MSL role an important topic, regardless of gender?

The MSL role can be overwhelming and time consuming; with the technology of today, we are accessible 24/7.  The job will take every minute you put into it and still want for more.  The boundaries between work and life will blur. There is no complete separation, but there must be balance.  Balance in this sense does not necessarily mean ‘an even distribution,’ however.  The balance must work for you, your employer, and your family – wherever that balance falls in the end.

How do you balance MSL leadership with raising a child?

My child is my priority and sometimes that means having to go to work rather than spend the day with her.  It is not always easy; and I have made many mistakes!  But, it is important to me to show my daughter a woman can be a successful professional and still show up for piano recitals, class field trips, occasionally even be the class room mother.  She makes me a better leader. I am more patient, more innovative, and more forgiving.  I am learning every day, but my balance is often through constant motion.

Whilst working from home, what are some ways or techniques you utilize to ensure the separation of work and personal space?

First and foremost, I strongly recommend a separate and defined work space.  The best scenario would be a separate room/office, however, a small portion of a room can suffice.  There are several techniques I’ve used over the years – some have worked out quite well, others, not so much.  Come to the workshop; I might even share my most epic failures…

What advice can you give to MSL mothers regarding the extensive travel associated with the MSL career?

Stop feeling guilty!  Both men and women travel for work, but women are more often harboring the feeling of guilt.  I did.  While at work I felt I should be home with my child.  When home spending time with my child, I felt I wasn’t putting enough effort in at work.  Find the balance, make it work for you, and trust it is the right thing.  Beyond that, be organized and plan ahead is my best advice.

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