I started this blog to encourage women to believe that it is possible to have a high powered job, children, a husband, friends - and stay sane. Yes you need some trade-offs, but so do most things in life. And the rewards are worth it. Since I started the blog millions of words have been written - not all by me - about how to encourage more women into top jobs. But most of the sentiment is negative - stressing how you can't 'have it all', rather than showing you how you can.
Enter American author - Laura Vanderkam - has written "I know how she does it" which is firmly designed to be that hitherto absent 'how to' guide. Apart from her name bearing a spooky resemblance to Bree Vanderkamp, the OCD character in Desperate Housewives, Vanderkam is a time management coach with four children under ten who has turned her own skills into very useful advice. Rather like a food diary designed to help you to lose weight, the core idea is to create a time log to work out how many hours you're working each week, how many spent with your children, exercising, sleeping and so on. She claims that once women do this, they quickly realise that they are not actually spending their time the way they thought there were.
Once you've created your time log, it's time for some reappraisal. Some re-framing of how you see your life. At its simplest, if you see more balance that you thought, you can re-evaluate the frame through which you see your life much more positively. There is a lot of evidence that this approach is very effective at increasing positivity, energy and even happiness. I really like this idea. It's simple, free and anyone can do it. It's really practical and a refreshing change from some female empowerment self help guides which favour the school of looking in the mirror and telling yourself you're worth it.
Most working mothers will already be time and motion experts - never going up or downstairs without carrying something for example so I think this latest idea could catch on. Anything that is easy to use and makes us feel better about wanting to combine the excitement of a senior job with the wonderful experience of motherhood has got to be a good thing.