Chapter 6The Myth of Work-Life Balance

Carolina Klint

President, U.S. South Zone American International Group Inc.

I am a very lucky woman. I was born in a civilized country in a modern time. If you stop for a moment and think about it, such basics are actually still fundamental for a woman’s opportunity to receive higher education, marry for love, and rule her own destiny. It is important to remember how lucky we are, and that sometimes it is all a matter of perspective.

This specific morning, however, I did not feel very lucky as I pulled over and stopped at the parking lot just by our neighborhood grocery store. I was in a hurry to get to work, but the tears rolling down my face made the road impossible to see, and being a risk management professional (or maybe just someone with common sense), I knew the right thing to do was to pull over and try to calm down before I hit something or someone. I was angry. I was upset. I was disappointed. And the reason was a seemingly trivial exchange with my son’s preschool teacher. As I had dropped him off 10 minutes earlier, she greeted us at the door with a smile, but with a raised eyebrow and a very loud voice as she knelt down next to my little boy: “Oh, what a special day this must be!! Is MOMMY dropping you off today? Wow, that sure is something!”

Now, that might not have been so bad if my son had not turned his innocent big blue eyes toward me with a puzzled look. He studied me in detail. All of a sudden, the fact that his mom ...

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