I recently returned from my maternity leave. How can I make sure to achieve a good work-life balance?

Congratulations! You have a baby and you're just discovering that your mind has suddenly split into two parts: loving mother and aspiring career woman.

Congratulations! You have a baby and you're just discovering that your mind has suddenly split into two parts: loving mother and aspiring career woman. The first thing you must do is get those two parts of your mind to talk to each other and work as partners.

I'd like to tell you that you can have it all. Certainly many women in PR and communications have risen to the top of their field and juggled the dual role of mother and busy executive. However, they didn't do it without establishing some pretty strong support systems that may have included a spouse, extended family, friends, and a small army of hired help.

Here are some things to consider as you launch this new phase of your life and career: If your company offers flexible work hours or telecommuting for a day or two a week, take advantage of those options. Make a plan and set a master schedule at the front end of each week that includes work and personal commitments. This will ensure that you have a visual snapshot of your life at your fingertips and at a glance. Build in "me time" as often as you can. And definitely know when to turn off your PDA, laptop, and cell phone.

Karen Bloom is principal at Bloom, Gross & Associates.

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