10 Ways to Balance a Career with a Baby


Understand the Culture Where You Work

Having a baby while you're trying to build a career can produce a few bumps and hiccups. Parenthood doesn't have to be career suicide, though. With some judicious planning and a little luck, you can avoid landing in that mommy backwater somewhere south of the fast track.

The best way to plan for a successful post-baby career is to align yourself with a company that's new-mommy friendly. You've heard the horror stories about organizations that dump new moms with the least provocation. Make pregnancy policy part of the criteria you use to evaluate potential employers. You'll avoid surprises that way and save yourself disappointment. If you're already in a job you like, understand the business culture as it relates to children. Women are pushing the glass ceiling higher every year, so attitudes about executives with young children are changing -- slowly. Perks in your organization like onsite daycare or liberal flextime will let you know that a call from the nanny during business hours probably won't be frowned on. Reread the employee handbook so you understand exactly what's expected. Whatever the parenting attitudes are where you work, recognize what you're dealing with before an innocent infraction lands you in hot water.