Work-Life Balance

Meaningful work and a balanced life are deep-rooted human needs. They can be repressed or ignored, but sooner or later they’re going to assert themselves."

Barbara Ehrenreich


High Achiever Mom, Juggling Too Many Things, HITS THE WALL!

A physician with a large clinical practice, a research appointment, a faculty position at a prestigious medical school, a spouse, a house, and three children under five was appalled to find herself, day after day, arriving at her research office, sitting down at the desk, and . . . doodling! She was frightened. She told me, "I always wanted to be a doctor. There’s really nothing else I want to be doing. Can you help me get motivated again?"

We found a diagnosis that surprised her (but not me). The part of her that craved and needed time to herself (she had NO TIME TO HERSELF, ever) assumed control as the insistent daily doodler when she finally had a shot at some "down time," alone in the office. The treatment? I had her regularly take at least 2 hours to herself every Saturday instead of spending every minute with her children, and get home earlier on week days so she had more time with her children then. The results? She’s back on track with her work and feeling good about it again. She had hired me as a career coach to help her get motivated again, and most of what was "off" for her pertained to work/life balance.

This Wasn't Supposed to Happen

You’ve got a track record as a effective thinker, you’re well-paid as a decision-maker (or problem-solver, strategist, analyst, diagnostician, leader), you’re known by peers as a master of her own fate. And here you are, considering hiring a personal coach to help you! What’s that all about? Why can’t you do this on your own?….Because you can’t think your way to the solution for this challenge. What’s required is not a linear process. And it’s likely that what you’re focusing on as the problem is not the problem.

Growing a career and a family in the same decade is intense and complex. As a life coach, I can tell you when it comes to work-family balance, mastery is not an option! You may find it more challenging than you expected and in ways you didn’t anticipate. Plus, you have the distinct privilege of feeling guilty when you’re with your children (because you’re neither "getting things done" nor working toward career advancement) AND feeling guilty when you’re at work (because you’re not with your children).

The pressures on you are enormous, and at some point they may take their toll, either on you personally (feeling unhappy, getting sick, no energy), in your job (not up to your usual high standard, not getting results), or in your relationships with your children (kids are super-needy, acting out, or unhappy) or spouse.

How I Can Help

I can help you figure out where you’re "off course," whether in your career, your parenting, or your work-life balance. Once identified, we’ll figure out how to get you into action toward an accurate course correction, a process that tends to be iterative and non-linear. Your action will bring you new information as well as lead you to essential new perspectives. Our regular meetings will support you to maintain consistent, focused action, as well as provide you with a context for debriefing and processing your experiences along the way.

  • I’ll help you get you into action:
    In the words of one client, "I actually didn’t know what I didn’t know. Sharon helped me see I was stalled because I didn’t have enough information. She had me start talking to people and gathering information, which got me in gear in a way that I just wasn’t before."
  • I’ll offer perspective:
    You’re launching a breakthrough global initiative with your company and your rambunctious preschool twins just got diagnosed with asthma. So here’s the deal: You’re not going to make hand-made Christmas gifts this year. And it’s time to stop beating yourself up for not getting all those family photos organized.
  • I’ll help you let go of your perfectionism when it’s appropriate:
    You have pneumonia. You don’t have to do phonics with your 3-year-old this week.
  • I’ll offer validation:
    You’re right. When you’re up all night with your sick child, you are NOT as effective in court the next day, and no one cuts you any slack! This IS the reality of your life – and it may not be what you planned on! So, vent if you need to (and who could blame you?) and then let’s figure out what you want to do about it.
  • I’ll bring options to the table:
    You could: renegotiate your workload with your management, get more support from your spouse, move into a less demanding organization, find a niche that’s more forgiving, scale back everything…

I've Been There

I worked all the years my daughters, now adults, were growing up. I know what it’s like to be reading Babar out loud and planning a meeting at the same time. There were years when I consistently got my office key and my house key mixed up, and occasionally picked up the phone in my kitchen and dialed ‘9’ to get an outside line. I understand the pressures of working a demanding, high-level job while raising a healthy family that makes its own appropriate demands.

Free 30-Minute Consultation

If you are feeling out of balance and think that MAYBE coaching could make a difference for you, consider setting up an initial consultation and seeing what it’s like. No fee, no pressure. Email me with a few times you could be available, and please include your time zone. I’ll get back to you.

Client Quotes

Read what my clients say. Here is a sample:

Last year at this time I was exhausted, burned out, and unhappy. I used to joke that I was so busy I was literally chained to my desk, but it really wasn't a laughing matter. Then I found Sharon Teitelbaum and over the ensuing months she helped me step off the treadmill to reclaim my balance, which included working fewer hours. But more important, she helped me define what I really want from my business and from life. No one is more qualified than Sharon for helping you get your life back."

MarCom Consultant

Sharon's strengths as a skilled listener extended well beyond her ability to bring clarity to my issues and next steps. Her constant and utterly genuine validation of my desire to be the type of mother that I wanted to be proved to be a catalyst for me in determining my real goal, to allow myself to step off the corporate ladder and to make peace with that decision."

Senior VP of Marketing
Mother of 2

You saw my small steps and applauded them, genuinely, which made me see how ruthlessly I drive myself without ever a thank you."

Securities Fund Manager
Mother of 3

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Sharon Teitelbaum, MA, MCC - Life Coach: Career, Success and Midlife Coaching
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