My final tip is probably the easiest to take of the lot. It's just this: Remember that the main source of any work-life balance conundrum is typically your children needing you more than you can be there, and the immutable truth is that your children eventually grow up and don't need you anymore. Oh, okay, I know children always need you. It's not yet noon as I write this and I've already been on the phone three times with my daughter who is a sophomore in college. Her older brother has checked in once to discuss car insurance and other life worries. And the day is young.

But that terrible, nagging feeling of "Help, there's not enough of me to go around!"—it's been gone for years. My kids now say things like, "I'd love to talk longer, Mom, but I need to get a pedicure before I go out tonight." So, am I telling you to just endure the chaos and try to hold it together? Not at all. As I mentioned, balance doesn't exist. Only your decisions exist, along with their consequences. Understand them, own them, even embrace them.

And know also that time is on your side. Eventually, work-life "balance" works itself out.

Suzy Welch is a columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of 10-10-10: A Life-Transforming Idea , which presents a decision-making strategy for success at work, as well as parenting, love and friendship.

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