Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance. I’ve always been curious—and maybe a little obsessed—about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does “it all.” Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us feel a little better. I hope the conversation will be steered toward that reality rather than toward the flawed and dangerous assumption that we should try—or even want to try—to perfectly do “it all.”

2015 brings new changes to The Balance Project! First, my second book, THE BALANCE PROJECT: A NOVEL, will be published in April. It’s women’s fiction and it was inspired by these interviews. More about that here. Second, in preparation for the launch and because these interviews have received such tremendous response, I will publish new interviews two or three times per week, not just on Fridays. Thank you for your continued support!

No. 40: Towanda Long, Marketing Communications Specialist

Age: 39
Where I live:
 Charlotte, NC
Job: Marketing Communications Specialist and Blogger
Kids: Three girls ages 5, 6, and 8

DSC_8831Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions?
I’ve worked in corporate communications for over a decade, but I have changed companies. I lived in New Jersey when my first and second daughters were born. We moved to North Carolina between my second and third child. The quality of our living is better here. Of course there’s the beautiful weather, but it also helps to be in driving distance of my parents and sister. They help a lot with childcare during the summer and school breaks.

Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
I think “having it all” is realistic, as long as each person defines what her “all” looks like. I want a happy family, a fulfilling career, and time with awesome people. I try to make decisions based on these things, not what society or someone else tells me it should look like.

What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
I think I’m pretty good at balance, not because I have everything figured out, but because I honor flexibility. I also honor the fact that I’m not perfect, life’s not perfect and at the end of the day, the best thing I can do is try my best with the time and resources I have available.

What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
Cheering on other moms as they define what their balance looks like!

What was the best advice you ever heard on balance…
From a mentor/co-worker?
 “Choose how you spend your time wisely and don’t let money be the only deciding factor. Trust your intuition when prioritizing.”
From your mother?
 “Your kids are only young once, enjoy every moment.”
From your kids? In their words, “You’re the best mommy ever!”

If you had one extra hour in each day and you couldn’t work or be with your family, how would you spend that hour?
Reading and writing for fun. I love doing both, so it would be nice to have a dedicated hour each day.

What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
Take advantage of the positive opportunities presented. This is the easiest time to live in different places, try different things, and broaden life experiences.

What do you hope to know by time you’re 60?
What I want to be when I grow up. Right now I feel like I’m on the journey, and I’m liking the journey.

What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
Cooking! I don’t mind cooking, but I would LOVE to come home to a home-cooked meal every day.

Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
Teacher. Each time I volunteer at my kids’ school, I am reminded of how saintly teachers are and how our society greatly undervalues what they do every day.

Favorite books?
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown.

What are you reading right now?
Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable: Step into the Amazing Life God Imagined for You by Valorie Burton and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Biggest vices…
Activity? Socializing! I love spending time with people, having conversations, and learning. It is truly food to my soul.
Food? Chocolate. I am a confessed chocoholic and I’m okay with that.
Website? Facebook and Twitter. I love the mix of business and personal. Where else can you see beautiful kid photos next to world news?

How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
7. I am no good if I don’t get enough sleep, so that’s a top priority for me.

What do you read every morning?
My Twitter feed. It’s the best way to get world news, industry news, parenting info, and entertainment in one place.

Complete the following sentences:
I think I: am a good person. I strive to be better every day, and to be a light to others.
I wish I: spent more time hand writing cards and notes. There is something beautiful about receiving personal mail. Email will never take the place of that.
My kids: make me happy to be their mom! I feel so blessed to have my princess trio.

Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
Life is a gift, live passionately.

TowandaLogoAbout Towanda:
Towanda is a corporate communications and public relations professional, living in Charlotte, NC. She is mommy to three beautiful girls, wife to a pretty cool guy, and part of an awesome circle of family and friends. She blogs about managing motherhood, work, and life at Queenocracy.com.

Find more about Towanda here:
Twitter: @TowandaL
acebook: Queenocracy
Instagram: TowandaL
Pinterest: queenocracy

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