From Powerful Women, Thoughts on Work-Life Balance

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From Powerful Women, Thoughts on Work-Life Balance

Home / CULTURE / BALANCE / From Powerful Women, Thoughts on Work-Life Balance
Can you finally have it all?

On Living Our Lives in Chapters

“What has worked for me is to live my life in chapters. I’ve had the education-and-career chapter, then the wife-and-stay-at-home mom chapter, and now the career-again chapter. Along the way I’ve been blessed with a husband I adore, children and grandchildren I treasure, a brilliant education and careers that have let me make a difference. Not every chapter in my book has had all these elements. But when all the chapters are finished, and I close the book, I will have had them all. And when, I will lay my head down for the last time, I’ll smile and say, “Wow, what a great and balanced life I’ve had.”

“Not every chapter in my book has had all these elements. But when all the chapters are finished, and I close the book, I will have had them all. And when I will lay my head down for the last time, I’ll smile and say, “Wow, what a great and balanced life I’ve had.”

 Kathleen Troia “K.T.” McFarland/ National Security expert

On Getting Married

“I think it’s really important that when women decide they’re going to settle down and get married not only do they need to know who they are … I think it’s really important that they know where they want to go in their lives.”

“I am very leery and I hope that women have gotten a lot smarter, at least since my generation, and say “oh I’m getting married. I’m going to devote my life to this man” and hello! It doesn’t work that way cause that man can walk out on your life and you have nothing. You have literally nothing.”

“I think women have got to become much smarter about where they want to go in life and they need to become very savvy about their financial status, don’t depend on the man. I really believe that women should have careers.”

“They should have something in their life where they never lose a sense of themselves. I think that is very very important and I have to say that even through my marriage, as tough as it was at times, I really never lost sight of who I was. And if you have such a strong base and you’re in a bad marriage and that man is trying to tear you down and do whatever, it really can’t happen unless you let him do that.”

– Sheila Johnson -BET Founder /Salamander Inn Founder

On The Truth About Work-Life Balance

“I walk out of this office every day at 5:30 so I’m home for dinner with my kids at 6, and interestingly, I’ve been doing that since I had kids. I did that when I was at Google, I did that here, and I would say it’s not until the last year, two years, that I’m brave enough to talk about it publicly. Now I certainly wouldn’t lie, but I wasn’t running around giving speeches on it. There’s no such thing as work-life balance. There’s work, and there’s life, and there’s no balance.”

– Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO

On Rolling With the Punches

“There isn’t a day that goes by, particularly after having kids, that I don’t wonder or worry about whether I’m doing the right thing? For myself, for my family, for my girls? There is no right way or wrong way to do any of this.  And the choices and decisions will change given your circumstances.”

– Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States

On Leading at Work and at Home

“I have four children – 3-year-old twins, and a 6-year-old and a 7-year-old – and it is incredibly difficult to be a working mother in this business. I’m on a plane a lot. I want to be a leader in journalism…but I want to be a leader at home, too. If you look back and your children are a threat, then really what value have you provided to society at all? So I’m constantly juggling this.” How do I fulfill my passion, which is my work, and my other passion, which is my family? And it’s really hard to navigate that in a system where people honestly don’t want to hear about your kids. And they don’t want to hear about your happy relationship with your husband. They don’t. Even the nicest people in the world or your managers. And that’s always difficult to navigate.”

“How do I fulfill my passion, which is my work, and my other passion, which is my family? And it’s really hard to navigate that in a system where people honestly don’t want to hear about your kids. And they don’t want to hear about your happy relationship with your husband. They don’t. Even the nicest people in the world or your managers. And that’s always difficult to navigate.”

– Soledad O’Brien, Journalist and Anchorwoman

Photography by Clem Onojeghuo

about the author

Katie Rost
Katie Rost
Katie is a member of The Vogue 100, a group of intriguing and fashionable women from around the country who act as arbiters of style. She has a degree in journalism from Boston University’s College of Communication.