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How Working Moms Are Selling Themselves Short (and How to Stop)

Do you feel like finding success in one area of your life comes at the expense of another? That doesn't have to be your reality.

There's a lot of talk about what's “possible” for working moms in modern society.

For some reason I've been hearing a number of comments recently about a commencement speech that Shonda Rhimes gave in 2014 at Dartmouth University.  She has a lot of wonderful advice in her speech, but there was one part I took issue with, which is what I want to discuss here.

Here's an excerpt about balancing working parenthood from Ms. Rhimes' speech:

Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life…. That is the tradeoff. That is the Faustian bargain one makes with the devil that comes with being a powerful working woman who is also a powerful mother. You never feel a hundred percent OK; you never get your sea legs; you are always a little nauseous. Something is always lost.  Something is always missing.

I appreciate that this is Rhimes' experience, and I also appreciate her vulnerability and honesty about her experience.  I even appreciate the message she goes on to deliver, which is that being a powerful working woman is a wonderful gift to pass on to your children.

Most of her message I can resonate with.  But this portion of her message deeply concerns me.

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