23 May 2018
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The Work-Life Balancing Act

Five questions for partners considering parenting

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Photo by Aleksandar Nakic / Getty Images

In a recent Harvard Business Review blog post, Jackie Coleman and John Coleman (MBA 2010) write that their decision to start a family “changed nearly everything in our working and personal lives.” From sleep schedules to finances, free time to professional goals, the shifts brought about by parenting can be both profound and deeply rewarding, they write. Which isn’t to say that it’s easy: For 50 to 60 percent of working parents, achieving a sense of work-life balance is a challenge, they write. In “5 Questions New Working Parents Should Ask Themselves,” the Colemans offer a crash course in preparation.

What does each person actually want? Men and women now often have more freedom to choose work inside or outside the home. … Depending on your social circles, there can be overwhelming pressure to prioritize either work or family — navigating an ambitious career or creating flexibility to spend more time with kids. There is no right answer to these questions, but there is a right answer for you and your family. And the answer starts with honesty and openness with yourself and each other. What do each of you really want? Ask the question frequently, as the answer may change over time.

The five discussion questions that Jackie and John Coleman propose were born out of their own personal and professional experiences—Jackie as a marriage counselor, John as an executive. “Openly discussing the ways to make that complex dynamic work will lead to happier and healthier relationships and careers,” they write.

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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 2009, Section J
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