KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Emily Palatinus is a working mom. She has three children named Kaley, Xander and Micah.
She said she always saw herself being a mother, but she also always saw herself as a businesswoman.
"I didn't sacrifice one dream for the other. I did both," Emily said.
While Emily acknowledges it is not financially necessary for her and her husband to work, it comes down to a matter of her own mental health.
"I have to be doing something all the time, and it's healthy for me to have something other than watching the children to do. That makes me healthy as a person, and in turn, makes them healthier as children," Emily said.
The independent streaks in her kids also help her.
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"Don't get me wrong. They like to go on mommy-daughter dates and things like that, but that's not let's stay at home all day, every day together. I don't think my kids have ever said that," Emily said.
To strike the balance between her children and her career, she stresses the importance of finding the right job with managers who are willing to work with her if something comes up.
She left one job after several years because the 60-hour workweeks were negatively affecting her family and her ability to go back to school.
"It was just always necessary if the place was open for me to be there, and I felt like it was my responsibility to do so. And it was, so I, in turn, missed a lot of opportunities, baseball games, soccer games, soccer practices," she said.
After finding a new job where her schedule was a little more flexible, Emily was able to continue her education and have more time with her kids.
However, she decided to stop for a while when one of her sons started struggling with his school work and the night classes didn't leave quite enough time for her to help him.
"I took a step back, but it doesn't mean I can't go back, you know, once he gets caught back up to where he needs to be and I will have that opportunity," she said.
Ultimately, Emily recognizes, whether you are working full-time or staying at home, being a mother is busy, and it is important to trust your instincts.
"You just try to balance the best you can and it all ends up working out. And if something's not working, try something different," she said.
Emily said she gets help and support from her husband and extended family in balancing parenting and working, but there are resources available to parents who don't have that option.