The ugly secret of working moms

Here's why it's impossible to be the perfect mom and the ideal employee at the same time

Balancing work and motherhood is a difficult task.
(Image credit: Ikon Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

I have an ugly secret: For 18 years, I've felt like a fraud both at home and at work.

From the moment I became pregnant with my first child, who graduates high school this month, I've had the unshakable sensation that I'm faking big chunks of my life, playing the part of a competent and confident mother and professional — but in fact always shortchanging someone their due. Arriving late to work after delivering a forgotten lunchbox to school, darting out of a too-long meeting to arrive at the school awards ceremony 30 seconds after they call my kid's name, emailing with the college counselor when I'm supposed to be watching that IT training, or grinning robotically through my son's trumpet-lesson story at the dinner table when my mind is on that proposal I need to finish by morning.

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