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How Parents Can Seek a Better Career-Life Balance

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By Marie G. McIntyre, Ph.D.

RISMEDIA, May 3, 2008-(MCT)-Q. I am feeling completely overwhelmed by all my responsibilities. I have worked my way up from sales representative to regional manager in a rapidly growing business. My sales team consistently leads the company.

However, I also have four children under the age of 10, and I want to give the best to them. I have considered stepping down from management, but then everything I’ve built will go into someone else’s hands. I will also lose a lot of money.

Right now, I feel burned out, especially because my job requires a lot of travel. I also volunteer for many church and school activities. After investing so much time in my career, should I just give everything up? – Tired Mom

A. Wanting it all is only natural, but having it all is usually impossible. Each of us has only a limited amount of time and energy. Determining the best use of your personal allotment is a question of values and priorities.

If you worry about shortchanging your kids, then you need to reduce your travel and spend more time at home. But that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your career.

As the leader of the top sales group, you have some leverage. The company won’t want to lose you. So talk with your boss about how to strike a better balance between work and family. There may be more options than you think.

One change seems obvious, however. With four children and a demanding career, you probably need to ditch the volunteer activities and carve out a little time for yourself.

Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach and the author of “Secrets to Winning at Office Politics.”

© 2008, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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