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TheStreet Open House

How Working Parents Can Really 'Have It All'

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Busy moms and dads are all too familiar with the concept of "having it all." Working parents face constant pressure to balance their time between the office and the soccer field, and it seems there's always something that falls through the cracks.

Since the day-to-day of parenting and working means walking a tightrope, what are the best ways to make it work? Our experts answer some of the most frequently asked questions on the practicalities of balancing kids and career.

How does schedule management work best day-to-day?

"You know what needs to be done and you allow space in your schedule for things not to go as planned," says Noelle Federico, business manager and CFO of Dreamstime.com.

Busy moms and dads must teach themselves to respond to things instead of reacting to them, she says.

"Being an officer of a company and a single mother, I don't have the luxury of having emotional breakdowns. I have to stay very focused and I have to execute results both with work and in my house," she explains. "I rarely think about how to get things done, I just keep doing what needs to be done."

It comes down to prioritizing not on a daily basis, but on an hourly basis, says Neela Seenandan, managing partner at executive search firm Hanold Associates.

"Every day there will be something at work that's important and something at home that's important. Decisions must be made constantly as to 'What can I miss, what can I not miss?'" Seenandan says.

To avoid having a week filled with difficult split-second decisions, she recommends checking your calendar early in the month and making note of the most important things that cannot be missed.

"If you have children and you have a job, there will literally be something every day that demands your time and attention. You just have to decide where it's most important for you to be involved on that day, at that time."

How should you approach your boss regarding family commitments?

When you and your boss are discussing your calendar, say when you have family commitments on the horizon, Seenandan says.

"When you see the date coming up, talk about it. Don't be afraid to ask for the day or hours off -- at some point you need to get it out there," she says. "You don't need to be sitting in a meeting stressing out, 'Can I leave? How long this is going to last?'"

If the date of your family commitment conflicts with a work obligation, assess how important it is for you to be in the room during that meeting and if the meeting time is set in stone. It may be that you can send someone in your place, or the meeting can be moved, Seenandan says.

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