Throughout my career, work-life balance has always been a focus of mine. Over the years, working full time at an executive level and raising three children who were less than four years apart in age has demanded balance which is extremely difficult to achieve. I have often looked back and wondered to myself, “How did I ever do that?”
When I learned that this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Balance for Better”, I smiled. How fitting for me?
I have always looked forward to March 8th, IWD, because I get to reminisce about all of the women I have met along my career path who have mentored me, sponsored me and been there for me when I needed advice and support—or helped me pick myself up by the bootstraps! These people in my life have been; colleagues, bosses, friends, sisters and even daughters!
However, to be fair and inclusive, I would be remiss if I didn’t also acknowledge my husband’s strong role in my supportive mix. He and I were married at a time when I was already well into my career, and he was just starting his. So, when the time came to take on a married last name, it was completely his idea that HE change HIS last name to MINE! How is that for non-traditional? In fact, it was so non-traditional that my husband had to convince the DMV that taking my last name was not actually illegal. Of course, I left it up to him to tell his immigrant father that I was not going to become a “Csizmadia”, but that he was to become a “Peck”.
This act is just one shining example of his sincere devotion and support for me–and for us. Through the years, his job allowed him to stay home most of the weekdays, which meant I would then take the weekend shift with the kids. Needless to say, we didn’t see each other much, but his involvement made a positive and lasting impression on our children.
Things never remain the same in our lives, thus promoting a true need for a balancing act that must continuously evolve. Our kids are grown now, and I have become an entrepreneur with a most amazing and talented woman partner. Building a women-owned company is full of incredible highs and terrible lows, and all the women– and men– who have helped in the past have become new resources to drive strength in new ways I never thought possible.
I encourage you to celebrate your own ways to “Balance for Better” on International Women’s Day this year. And don’t forget to include in your celebration everyone who has shared in your balancing act.