Excerpt from Body Back: A Motherís Guide to Physical, Medical, and Emotional Well-Being

By Heather Porter

In recent years we have been told we can have it all—demanding, satisfying jobs and a contented family life. But there are waves of backlash against working moms, and that is not fair. If you are leaving the children and going to work, it means you either have to or you want to for your own career, or even sanity. These reasons are more than enough justification. When the question of equality comes up, this is an area where men never have to defend themselves. I am not noting that as a feminist or with any bitterness, just realism.

Juggling a demanding home life alongside a career can be extremely challenging, but when has a womanís role not been a juggle?

Support from your home environment enables you to cope at work, and a healthy attitude from work is what you need ideally, to manage both successfully. Unfortunately some professions still seem to "look down" on the mother that was full time and now works part time. If she has dropped to three days a week, she may still be expected to cram five days of work into her three days. This happens, and in one instance I know of, working a three-day week, my friend was still hearing comments like, "Oh, but youíre not here Friday." She got bored with her own reply—"No, I stopped working Fridays five years ago."

How do you measure the success of home life? Finding time for yourself amidst family chaos is important; you need to recharge your batteries. If Mom starts to struggle, the whole pack of cards can come down. An ambitious friend of mine once shared with me this thought: to continue to be successful in your career, once you have children, you have to adapt to your circumstances rather than fight them. You are now a working career mother, not a working career girl void of other responsibilities. Once you stop being tough on yourself and striving for perfection everywhere, you feel better. There are times you have to leave work early, and there may be times when the office papers hit the kitchen table. That is okay. Do not feel guilty when youíre in the office because you are not at home, and do not feel guilty at home because you are not in the office. Let go of this guilt. I appreciate this is easier said than done.

Women fall into the trap of trying to please everyone. Indeed, once you have a family, the list of those you want to please grows. Therefore it is really important you find some "you" time. I have suggested ways of finding time, when you donít have any (amongst other survival tips), in Body Back.

Mother of four Heather Porter shares her hands-on experience of getting your old self back. With her team of experts, she provides an understanding approach and addresses all the issues you wanted to know about but were too afraid to ask. Read more at Body-back.com.