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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Is it ever a good time to take time off?

When you're a working mom who in addition to trying to raise a good kid works at a company that puts out a brand new product every day, sometimes more than one, it's never really a good time to take time off. When coupled with a business model tied to horse racing season in Saratoga, summer is definitely not the ideal time. That said, I'll be leaving soon for three days in Paris with my husband. That's the easy part.

With the weekend tacked on, I'll be gone for three work days and two weekend days. What I'll need to accomplish in the last few days leading up to my trip will be nothing short of miraculous. It's month-end and I'll need to pay out sales commissions, analyze and report monthly revenue figures, manage project updates and as "Murphy's Law" would have it, I have a new hire starting the same day I leave. Do I feel stressed? Yes, and no. Sure it will be a mad rush the finish, but I'm strangely calm this trip for three reasons.

What three reasons will ensure my ability to say "so long" at a critical time of the month on the precipice of the busiest time of year? A wise man (OK, my boss) told me something he learned very early on in his management career. "The best leaders hire great managers." I couldn't agree more and am proud to say that I've got THREE in my department. As individuals they bring different expertise and skill sets to the table, but as a group they each have one thing in common: they make me look good.

They'll hold down the fort while I'm off (which admittedly doesn't happen often) and I'll return the favor when they need time away with family and friends for some much needed R&R. In fact, two of them are vacationing now. Here's hoping they're making the best of it, because they'll soon be adding my deliverables to there already overflowing to-do lists. For our always-busy advertising department, there's a secret to our success. If you've ever wondered what it takes to publish and manage a daily, three weeklies, a monthly and two websites, here's how it's done: teamwork - and LOT of laughs. Oh, and some time off.

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