TODAY   |  January 14, 2014

5 ways for single moms to balance career, family

Special anchor Maria Shriver and workplace strategist Cali Williams Yost offer ways for single moms to balance their career and family. They suggest getting help from local schools, celebrating your successes, and remembering you don’t have to be perfect.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now on to our special series doing it all, a groundbreaking examination of the changes impacting women and families across the country. a few months ago we asked viewers to share what doing it all meant to them. and, boy, did you tell us.

>> our friend maria shriver launched the shriver report, a woman's nation pushes back from the brink. she's here with cindy findlay, a single mom trying to balance a family and her career, her business.

>> and kelly williams joseph, a workplace strategist. she's the author of "tweak it." make what happens to you happen every day.

>> welcome, ladies. i'm intimidated already with how fabulous you three are.

>> this is a big undertaking for you. tell us what the study showed.

>> the shriver report looked at the status of the american woman and what we found is it is precarious and one in three women are on the financial brink, turning in and out of poverty and that women are concentrated in wages and minimum wage jobs where they don't have any sick days and they're struggling between caring for their children, putting food on the table, taking care of parents, and feeling like they have to do it all.

>> and that's on a good day, when things are going well.

>> on a good day. we think that also the face of poverty has changed. we think that people dress up and they look like we were just talking about that she looks like she has it all together, but she's really stressed out, she's trying to care for children, she's trying to run a construction business, she's struggling financially. and you were saying that the callout really spoke to your particular predicament, it has millions of women around the country.

>> doing it all, i feel that i really do it all. i run my business, i take care of my children, i'm completely a single parent , and i have a child with special needs and we are just --

>> you're in the construction field, which can't be easy on top of everything, right?

>> yeah.

>> most of the time it is terrific. people are great and supportive. but it can be very difficult.

>> but you're a statistic that is growing and that is that it used to be that we had a classic family, two parents, and the man was the breadwinner and the woman was the stay at home mom . that's changed dramatically.

>> only one fifth of american families are like that. the majority are because they have to, it used to be that maybe the woman's income was the second income. now families have to and so they need different kinds of things from business, they need different kinds of things from political leaders and different kinds of things from partners, men and women .

>> what were your most -- when did you run into brick walls ? what was the toughest part?

>> finding a business in construction right before the economy turned. that was the big brick wall . changing in banking rules.

>> what kind of advice --

>> well, cindy is trying to fit it all together so she can be her best, there really is no balance. one thing she can do is focus on one thing at a time. you're trying to stabilize the finances of your business. you said sometimes you struggle to get extra help. we all do. we think we can do it ourselves. be creative. reach out to a local college. maybe there is a entrepreneurship group that can get the minority, women and business enterprise certification that you stopped getting because it was overwhelming, have them take it through to the end. that can help you get government contracts that can help your business but get help, be creative, go out to your community.

>> a lot of women , not only do they go to work, but they have to pay for child care and for all of those other needs.

>> one step forward , two steps back.

>> one thing people said in the poll was that -- what they really need was time and they wanted that even from men who weren't in the relationship anymore, they wanted them not for the money that they could provide, they wanted them to be involved with their children's lives. women like you struggle to, your job, your children and then people like us say, well go take a course online and --

>> when do i get the time to do that?

>> it is a bit of a struggle because you're saying go get this fund and go get that and apply for this and that's all really time consuming. how does she do all that?

>> actually, reaching out to that college student group would be one phone call .

>> a job for internship.

>> and get somebody to help you. sometimes you think that's an overwhelming task when really it is an e-mail or phone call you put on your calendar and do it. be less reactive and more intentional and plan the small meaningful points into your day.

>> and less judgmental on yourself and that there are so many groups out there that support women like yourself, who are feeling stressed financially, stressed emotionally.

>> nice to know you're not alone, right?

>> true.

>> thank you for being with