While all working parents strive for the elusive work-life balance, some are a little more realistic about it. We want to believe we can do it all, but let’s face it: Life gets in the way sometimes. And that’s totally OK.
Miri Rodriguez, a mom of two boys and head of Microsoft’s Global Internship Program, bravely admitted in a LinkedIn post that the work-life balance is “the biggest lie.” And you know what? We applaud her for it.
In the post, she shared four life lessons that explain the things that are most important in making life a little more manageable as a working mom.
“1. Balance doesn’t exist. Some days you put extra hours at work, some days you stay home nursing your sick child. And all days you are mom. Instead of trying to create balance, embrace the fluidity of life by setting family rules and parameters.” Miri wrote.
In the other three tips, Miri suggests making all career choices with your family in mind. And she has a communication strategy that’s inspiring and yet simple, helping her to always put her boys first.
“Typically, the boys and I text each other during the day to check in and share jokes. But if my sons CALL me during work hours, it means it’s important and I WILL excuse myself from a meeting,” Miri wrote. “My boys are more important.”
Miri’s now viral post has garnered more than 1,200 reactions and 160 comments. Many of the commenters applauded her for being honest—and found the post inspirational.
Derek Gustafson, a software engineer from Saint Cloud, Minnesota, wrote, “I can completely relate to this. I think of the phrase ‘work life balance’ in a fluid sense. Oil and water don’t mix but if things get stirred up you have to navigate the water around the oil until the two separate again. There’s times when I am working remotely and the kids are home from school and daddy needs quiet time during a meeting (this is where the oil and water are separate). But if someone gets hurt or needs my undivided attention (the water and oil gets stirred) I navigate the water and determine priorities. I love my family and want what is best for them. This is why I work, and work hard. But this is also why I put family first.”
“I love this so much. Being a full time working mom IS hard but it is also an example to my girls that you CAN be a mom who works and give 100% and be a mom who give 100%. I also want to say that I LOVE your comms idea, as my girls get older I’ll remember this. Its like levels of communication a phone call is like a ‘high priority’ email and that email from my kids will ALWAYS come first. Great read.” Holly Lehman, a program manager from Redmond, Washington, commented.
We love this mom’s sweet sentiment. While having it all isn’t always in reach—putting our families first is something we can all make happen.