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Lessons in careers and motherhood: Local moms share what they’ve learned

Published: May. 7, 2022 at 11:47 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Author and Consultant Melissa McCormick and Senator Tammy Duckworth live in different cities, work in different jobs and have different life stories, but they have one thing in common: they are mothers in professional leadership positions. With that, they share a similar philosophy.

“The whole concept of a work, life balance, I don’t believe in,” explains McCormick. “I believe it’s more of a blend. Sometimes you’ll sacrifice some things from home that you may not want to but you need to, and sometimes you’ll sacrifice things on the work side of things or the career side of things.”

Duckworth agrees. “Don’t buy into the lie that there’s a work, life balance. Because when you buy into that, you’re going to try to do everything all at once and wondering why you’re burning out.”

McCormick became a mom in the middle of her professional journey; Duckworth deferred motherhood until she hit career goals. They aren’t alone. Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and a third of those are moms.

Both say trying to find a perfect balance between the two is impossible. Instead, they say to enjoy the moment you’re in.

“Learning the lesson of being totally present. I had a really hard time, because when I’m into something, I’m totally in. And it was hard for me to learn to leave work at work. It was hard for me to learn the lesson of when I’m home or at a baseball game or a golf match, I was present with them,” says McCormick.

They say, while finding that balance may be impossible, setting an example for their kids makes it worth it.

“So I’m trying to set an example for my kids that I maintain my commitments, and that I do my job and that I’m a leader. So my daughters are used to seeing me lead people and know that a woman and a mom can be in a position of power and a position and authority.”

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