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Working Mother, Washington Powerhouse? Good Luck.

Neera Tanden writes about how family-work balance is far from the only challenge powerful women face in Washington, D.C.

In late 2006, my old boss Hillary Clinton started talking to me about the ideas that would fuel her presidential campaign. I had advised Hillary on policy when she was first lady, Senate candidate, and senator, so it seemed natural that I’d be part of her presidential run. Natural to everyone but me, that is. At the time I had two young children, ages 1 and 4; advising a presidential campaign while caring for them seemed a gargantuan task.

I ached over the decision but ultimately said yes. Unlike most women, I was fortunate in two crucial ways: I had a husband who was truly a co-parent, and I had a boss who would give me the flexibility to do my work while still upholding my responsibilities as a mom. One memorable day, Hillary even flipped her schedule to ensure that I could attend my daughter’s pre-K graduation and still run her debate prep. She never gave me less work or responsibility—believe me!—just the ability to do it on a schedule that let me get home for dinner (but not cook it) most nights and allowed me to work through the wee hours of the morning at home. I didn’t get much sleep, but it worked.

The above excerpt was originally published in National Journal. Click here to view the full article.

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 (Neera Tanden)

Neera Tanden

Former President and CEO of the Center for American Progress