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How To Achieve Work and Parenting Balance: Defining Balance

working parenthood

How To Define Balance In Working Parenthood

You can listen to our interview in full on our iTunes podcast here or a direct download for all devices here.

“(1) Realizing the new skills, (2) getting as much help as you can, and (3) communicating directly with people to make certain that your career goals are as open and honest and upfront as it would be as if you didn’t have other responsibilities at home.”

- Daisy Dowling on three key tactics to employ to succeed in your career and in your personal life as a working parents

Daisy is a busy mom of 2 and an expert in helping working parents achieve satisfaction and fulfillment in both their careers and their personal life, particularly those in high pressure,very demanding careers.  She is also a pioneer of publishing parenting articles on the Harvard Business Review.  She resides with her husband and children in the bustling New York City.  

Daisy Dowling

There are three important aspects that make Daisy Dowling's advice on working parenthood different.  

1. Action Oriented Advice.  Daisy says,"I focus on what you can do every day: when you wake up, when you see your kids out the door, and when you get in your desk at eight in the morning.  I focus on what you should be doing to enhance both of your satisfaction and your success at work and at home with your family."

2.  Individually Controllable Plans.  Daisy says, "I focus on what you, or I, or any mother, or father, working parent, can do ourselves to help ourselves out, to advance our own careers and our happiness at home as opposed to looking to a company virtual, larger, introduce parent organization to help us out."

3.  Proven Strategies.  Daisy said, "I base my advice and writing and coaching and consulting over on what I hear working parents tell me works for them. I have worked with thousands of parents.  So my strategies that I advise are techniques, tools, and tips that have been deployed and met a test. They’ve worked for families. They’ve worked in careers."

So when Daisy is working with the thousands of parents, what question pops up the most that they are trying to answer on working parenthood?  I bet you can guess it, because I bet you ask it too!

Daisy says the fundamental question that comes up the most is,

"How do I achieve balance?"

How To Define "Balance" As A Long Term, Sustainable Concept

"Balance," Daisy continues, "is a really loaded question."  So how does Daisy tackle this fundamental question?

"First, define what balance is and what balance isn’t." Daisy shares.
on defining balance
Daisy continues, "I encourage people to think about balance as not a perfect equilibrium every day but about finding a happy medium throughout your working parenthood life.   If I’m going to stay very late in the office one evening to deliver a project that I have to for my boss or for a client, then I'll try to figure out when the next day or later in the week I can sneak out a little bit early or come to the office early or find some extra time to spend at home. 
It's about finding a down the middle agreement with yourself and a way of approaching the work responsibilities and your family responsibilities that’s truly sustainable in the long term. "

How To Define Your Long Term and High Level Working Parenthood Goals

In addition to thinking long term, Daisy encourages her clients to create goals around their ideal work and parenting balance that are also 'high level". 

For example, Daisy says, 

"Your high level and long term goals for your work and your parenting life may be (1) becoming a partner at your accounting firm, (2) having a really strong relationship with your two children, and (3) making certain that you’re very present in their education, which means being involved in a lot of their school activities. That’s a specific definition but it’s the long term one and sustainable one: it's partnership and it’s your children’s education."

When we focus on these high-level long term goals and focus on working towards them, then Daisy continues,

 "when you think high level and long-term, then some of the day in day out it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.  Missing a meeting or missing a dinner may not feel so great in the moment, but you know that you’re still working towards the big goals that you have for yourself both at work and at home."

What do you want to achieve in your career over the long term? Looking at your children's lives over the next ten years, how would you like to be involved in their development? What is really important to you in your family and working life? When you can define these intimate goals, you can then execute a plan to achieve them, and ultimately, your ideal work and parenting balance. 

 You can listen to our interview in full on our iTunes podcast here or a direct download for all devices here. 

More on Daisy Dowling

Daisy has 20+ years of experience working with high pressure finance firms including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Blackstone to coach working parents on how to manage work and parenting balance.  

HBR articles:

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  • oxyxgtvydq on

    Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?

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