The following "tips" may help some of our members who are still working. As I know firsthand, it is very hard to work while you have many health problems. You can always use all of the tips you can get!!! If anyone has any other tips to offer those still working, let's hear them!!!!! Janet -------------------------- Having It All: Keeping Your Career on the Fastrack and Adding to Your Family: 13 "Lucky" Tips By Heather Kohn, Ivanhoe Correspondent ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Having a baby on board means getting off the fast-track of your career, right? Wrong! We talked to a panel of Smart Women who really do "have it all," and they have tips on how to expand your family without losing speed in your professional life. 1. It takes a village to raise a child. We've all heard the proverb, but you really do need help from the village to make it work? "You can't have too many back-ups, and you can't be too proud," says Leslie O'Neal-Coble, a partner at a leading Florida law firm and a woman who spent a few years as a single mom. Build a village of family members and friends who can help out with your kids ... And don't be too proud to ask for help. 2. Make friends with other women who have kids (especially those who aren't working!) That way, you can trade-off helping one another take care of them. That especially helped working mom Allison Cecil Jordan, who has one child of her own and adopted her niece and nephew. 3. Divide the work with your husband/significant other. Many couples try "taking turns" with responsibilities. However, it may make life easier if you both do the things that you genuinely enjoy (or at least don't mind too much). For instance, if you don't like to cook but your husband does, make him the official family chef. And if you have more flexible work hours, you might be the one to pick the kids up every day from school. Lara Triozzi, a mother of two who owns the consulting firm MarketLauncher, Inc., is a night owl, so she always feeds the baby at night, and her early bird husband wakes up with the kids. 4. Think out-of-the box with your babysitters. For one, single teachers make great babysitters. Also, don't "nickel and dime" them. If you're generous with their pay -- even an extra 10 bucks, which might not make a big difference to you but will to them -- they'll be more likely to be at your beck and call and do whatever they can to find you a substitute if they can't make it. Orlando TV news anchor Martie Salt hired a senior citizen to watch her son and paid her the same weekly rate, even when the family was out-of-town on vacation. Even though it cost a little more, the loyalty she got from the sitter was priceless! 5. Daycare is not a dirty word. The Smart Women we talked to say their kids love daycare. Kids are very adaptable -- especially if you start them in it when they're babies. If they don't like it, you may just need to find a different place. There's often a waiting list for daycare -- even as long as a year -- so get on it as soon as you get pregnant. 6. Look for an accredited daycare (and one as close to your home or work as possible). There are about 600 of them in the country, and they have a lower teacher-child ratio and stricter rules about kids coming to daycare when sick. You have to wait a full day after they're symptom-free before bringing them back, which might seem like a headache for you, but it will make it much less likely they'll be catching illnesses from other kids. Also look for a daycare with a curriculum for the kids that you can reinforce at home. 7. Hire a housekeeper and lawn service. These are relatively inexpensive and huge time-savers, allowing you to enjoy the time with your family when you're not working. Delegate, delegate, delegate. 8. As your kids age, have them help out with household chores. They can make their own lunches and do their own laundry and will gain a sense of responsibility in the process. 9. You may want to make a rule that the kids can only participate in activities that they all do. That's how Susan Schilke, a mother of three and CEO of Team Strength, Inc., makes it work. It cuts down on the time spent taking each child to a different extracurricular. Or you may want to allow them each to participate in one activity at a time. 10. Make yourself invaluable to your employer before you get pregnant. Pay your dues early, be the best worker possible, and you might be surprised how much your boss will put up with. 11. Have a fully equipped home office. Being out-of-commission from work because of a sick kid doesn't mean you have to fall behind. 12. Maximize your time. Do things during business hours that absolutely have to be done then. That may allow you to leave the office a little earlier than you otherwise would, and you can do tasks that can wait until the evening after your kids have gone to bed. 13. Don't compare yourself to other moms who aren't working. Triozzi says she doesn't necessarily give her kids a bath every night and doesn't feel a bit guilty about it! She recommends the book "Confessions of a Slacker Mom" to any woman trying to "do it all." SOURCE: Ivanhoe.com.