Trying to find work-life harmony

It’s one of those weeks where I’m feeling the weight of being a working mom, between dealing with Tucker’s 4:30 a.m. wake-ups, Madelyn’s difficult and drawn-out tantrums, a busy work and conference schedule, and two hours of commuting each day.

But then I look at photos like this one, and I’m reminded of how deep my love runs for my kids and my work, and why I chose this path, with all its opportunities and obstacles. 

Working moms of young kids, I know how hard it can be. And I know that so many of us are uber efficient, hard-working, expert multitaskers and all-around rockstars. Every day, we hustle and hope for some work-life harmony.

Admitting that it’s tough doesn’t make us weak or incompetent. It makes us real, relatable. Our shared stories remind us that we’re not alone.

Working mamas, I wish you lots of baby/toddler snuggles to balance out the tantrums, coffee to ease the fatigue, and the inner strength you need to find peace amid chaos. 

If this is a hard week for you, may it fall gently.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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