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Women With Families And Careers… Can We Have It All?   

By Donna Vestre


It’s a never ending controversy… “Can women have a family and career at the same time?” I can tell you first hand it’s somewhat of a balancing act, but it is possible. Long gone are the days that men were the bread winners of their families, while the women stayed home tending to the house and caring for children.

As women, we tend to fall into the mold of care giver. By that I mean, we have always been the strength behind the scene… Remember the quote, “Behind every good man is a woman?” We have lived up to the reputation of making the wrongs right, tending to our children’s needs, and playing nurse maid to our families. So I ask you, is it any wonder that women are excelling to great lengths up the corporate ladders?

It is my belief, that we as women can contribute our professional success to the way we were raised. We watched our mothers and grandmothers master the role of multi-tasking, accomplishing uncountable tasks in maintaining balance and order within our homes. So why is it no surprise that we have followed the examples our role models displayed to achieve success in today’s corporate world?

Women are more aware of the importance to maintain a healthy lifestyle today. We have learned that eating healthy is better than dieting. Women are going to the gym more, taking care of their bodies. We recognize the importance of nurturing our spirit and mind, thus we can focus with a clear perspective of what we need to do in order to achieve success.

There are steps we can take to gain balance in the hectic world that surrounds us. It is important that women step away from their roles in the home, as well as in business to take a “time out” and reconnect with their own needs. This could be as simple as signing up for a yoga or jazzercize class. A great stress reliever in most cases, and it doesn’t require a lot of time.

Finding a niche for yourself could open doors to discover a unique talent you may not have known exists. I write about business mostly, but I enjoy poetry as well. This is not a career by any means, but because I enjoy it, I indulge myself in this activity for about an hour a day.

Setting routines that reward you with more time is essential in this day and age. I lay out the kids school clothes and prepare their lunches the night before. This small task minimizes the need to rush in the morning. When I work, I work the hours I have scheduled myself for (I am self-employed). It is easy to get caught up in your daily routine maintaining it can’t wait… I’ll let you in on a little secret I learned not that long ago. The world will not fall apart in one day if you’re not there to see things get done.

When we set schedules for ourselves we become more productive. I start my day by preparing an agenda. I make a schedule of what I need to accomplish in priority order, then set time frames in which I need to complete each task. You would be amazed how your organizational skill will buy you more time at the end of your day.

It is a natural instinct for women to want to please everyone. Our mothers did when we were growing up. We have to come to the realization that we can’t please all of the people all of the time. It becomes necessary to delegate tasks to others and give them the opportunity to grow and learn as well. If a demanding colleague enlists you to do something they can do themselves, respectfully decline. You aren’t doing anyone (especially yourself) any favors by becoming counter productive because you have over committed yourself. Keep to your own agenda and separate what is your responsibility and what is not.

We can’t disregard what our expectations as parents are either. Our focus on family should also emphasize what is important. Children naturally have the desire to be on sports teams, or join a scouting troop. Many parents allow their children to play on multiple teams. It is important to allow children the opportunity to discover their passion and interact with others. Sports and scouting are great resources where children can learn team work, and a wealth of other life skills. But it is equally important to keep in mind that children need time to just be kids too. They need to run, play and socialize with their friends. They need time to themselves, just as we do. Everything is good in moderation, children involved in sports and activities is no different, but too many activities can create unnecessary stress and result in low self esteem.

It is important for everyone (men, women, and children alike) to surround themselves with people who accept them and offer support. Everyone needs a place where they feel accepted, a person they can feel comfortable going to when they need to vent. In the world we live in today, we are surrounded with so many different cultures and people from all walks of life, embrace the differences. If we can measure our wealth by friends, our lives would be richer for it.

In today’s society, the divorce ratio is greater than it’s ever been. There are women that fill the roles of being a single Mom, and multi-tasking in the corporate world simultaneously. While this is a hard role to live up to, there are many who successfully excel in their careers while nurturing their children and tending to their every need.

In all fairness, more and more men are picking up kids from daycare, preparing dinner, and working side by side with their wives (or significant others). They are participating in all the traditional tasks that in years past were defined as the woman’s role in the family. These men recognize and appreciate what their wives contribute to their families and work as a team to fulfill their families needs.


About the Author: Donna Vestre is the President/CEO of South Coast Revenue, a Recovery Consultants Firm based in Anaheim California. To get more information on Credit and Collections, or to submit an article for inclusion in the “Guest Speakers Lounge” please visit


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