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The secret to having it all, without losing it

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These days it’s considered a bit of a faux pas to ask a professional woman who is also a mother how she manages the juggle.

“You wouldn’t ask a man that!” is the common retort.

To which I say, who says? We should ask all parents with jobs how they manage.

It's possible to combine parenthood and a career, but you need to let go of perfectionism.Credit:Shutterstock

It’s no easy job to care for children and juggle a job, let alone a career. But one of the best ways to get better at it is to learn from how other people approach the challenge. Increasingly that’s most of us, as new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.

I’ve made a practice in my career of asking both men and women about work-life balance, especially when I was writing about entrepreneurs a few years ago.

A few times I interviewed male startup founders on stage at conferences. If I knew they were fathers, I asked – to applause from the audience – ‘reflecting on the sacrifices you’ve made, and your work-life balance, tell me can men really have it all?’

It always solicited good responses, though frustratingly often the answer was a wife holding the home front. Occasionally, but less often, female entrepreneurs told me they had a husband who stayed home with the children. But as Annabel Crabb observed in her........

© Brisbane Times