Care.com Interview with Wendy Cebula: My Work-Life Balance
We asked the chief operating officer of VistaPrint for tips for fellow working moms.
What is your childcare situation-and how is your spouse involved?
My husband also works full-time, and he and I share childcare and household duties. My parents are able to help when I am traveling for work or need some extra help. We also have a live-out nanny who helps to take care of my six- and nine-year-old girls during the week.
Is "mommy guilt" inevitable-and, if so, how do you handle it?
For me it is inevitable. When I am working or traveling for work, I feel guilty about not being there to help with homework or to participate in the little things that come up in everyday life. Sometimes when I am at home, I feel guilty not spending more time working. I handle it by not expecting perfection. You can't do everything at 100%-chaperone every field trip and attend every optional work event-but setting the bar at an achievable level and then ensuring you are doing the things that matter the most both at work and at home very well helps a lot.
In what ways do you allow your work life and home life to overlap? Has that ever had adverse affects on your career?
I am very careful that when I am home interacting with my kids that my Blackberry and computer are put away. Being able to create separate time for focus on my family and work is "put away" is important otherwise work can slip in everywhere. Your kids know if you are not truly focused on them when they want or need you to be.
Do you think of your caregiver as a partner in care, or as an employee? What makes you feel that way?
I think of our nanny as more than both an employee and a caregiver. I really think of her as a member of our family. She has been with us for more than 6 years and spends nearly as many waking hours with my kids as I do. She has so much influence on their safety, growth and development I feel it is important to almost adopt her into our family so that she can also share our family values and feel completely comfortable with all of us.
What else would you like to say to fellow working moms?
While I do suffer from Mommy guilt at times, overall I do think I have been a good role model for my girls. I hope they are learning that you have to work hard to achieve and that women can have successful careers. Lastly, don't be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes you'll need it!
Read more tips from working moms »
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Wendy Cebula joined Vistaprint, a leading online provider of marketing products and services, in 2000 and currently serves as chief operating officer. She's the mother of two girls, ages six and nine. She's also completed Ph.D.-level work in economics at Boston College.
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