by Celeste Headlee · 13 Mar 2020 · 4 min read
Having a successful career and a happy home life can prove to be a difficult goal for a lot of working mothers, but Yale-educated and Columbia-trained plastic surgeon Dr. Lara Devgan proves that through determination, hard work, and a lot of organization, working moms really can have the best of both worlds.
The word balance connotes images of a scale where the two sides are equal in weight in order to have equilibrium. As a working mother of 2 children who runs a Branding and Marketing Agency, is very committed to daily exercise, and juggles a handful of other professional and personal commitments, I've learned to accept that balance doesn't really exist. (And I know I am NOT alone!) The elusive work-life balance is BS.
I remember when I was growing up, my dad would read the local newspaper in the morning with his cup of tea, and a plate of runny eggs and toast. In the evenings, he came home by 6pm and would watch the CBS evening news and help us with our math homework. On some nights when he had dinner meetings, he would come home with leftovers for the next day. But then he started traveling more globally as we grew up, and he would only be back home in a handful of days
Time is our most valuable resource, yet how many of us secure our calendars in the same way we secure our homes? You wouldn't leave home without locking the door, but we often leave the house without knowing exactly what we're doing that day and when.
Since starting my entrepreneurship journey almost three years ago, running my own PR agency from all over the world, my weekends disappeared. I replaced brunch and lazy mornings with crafting media pitches, strategies, and research. Sure, I enjoyed my weekends and did fun things, but work was still a priority. When you are a business owner, the stakes are high, and taking a full day off (let alone two) seems wrong. There is always something more that can be done and life becomes an endless cycle of to-do lists. Then COVID-19 disrupted the world
The day I started writing this essay, I got in a spat with my husband while I was baking brownies with the kids. He didn't understand why I had doubled the recipe. Despite the fact that I announced this fact multiple times, because I wanted to make them thick like I did as a child. As soon as I poured the batter into the pan, he came in and said, "Oooh, that's going to be so thick! Shouldn't we split the batter into two pans?" I saw red; I lashed out on him telling him how dare he question my nostalgia brownies and why not just say, "Thank you for doing this with the kids and I can't wait to eat them"? He looked at me like I was crazy.
My top strength is "discipline," which means when my family's schedules were thrown into upheaval during quarantine, I immediately got to work organizing my daughters' maze of online school schedules and modifying my own schedule to keep as much order as possible.
I'll admit — I'm not naturally a morning person and if I didn't have a family to take care of, my morning routine would probably look something like this: wake up when I feel like it, shower (alone without kids asking for breakfast), take supplements, drink coffee, go for a walk, eat breakfast, then start working. However, my current phase of life doesn't allow me to have such a leisurely morning routine.