THE BLOG
09/12/2007 10:08 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Balancing Your Life: Why Are Celebrity Soundbites More Viable or Important than Mine or Yours?

Pardon me, but I'm pissed off.

For more than seven years I have been beating the drum about "Balancing Your Life." I have a television series by that name that's airing nationally on PBS in 78 markets; I have produced conferences about it, and I even blog about it here. So far, on the show, we've interviewed 53 women. The show is ethnically and professionally diverse. They are real women, not celebrities. They are doctors, lawyers, pathologists, military wives, cancer survivors, artists, fashion designers, chefs, stay at home moms, lesbians, activists, winemakers, volunteers and on and on. They are Caucasian, African-American, Chinese, Indian, Hispanic, Vietnamese and Japanese. They are smart, hard-working women who strive to do their best every day often against huge odds.

I read "Celebrity Soundbites: Hollywood Moms speak out about The Work-Life Balance,"

What about this? NON-CELEBS SPEAK OUT ABOUT DAILY LIFE AND WORK BALANCE. After all, their daily life is more relevant to ours than Angelina's or Kate Hudson's.

Check out these words of wisdom from Sue Naegle, a partner in a Hollywood talent agency who is married to comedian Dana Gould with whom she adopted two little girls from China. She has a major juggling act going on!

"I would say that I'm a work in progress. Most days I try not to apologize and I try not to feel guilty about being at work all day long because then I'll make choices based on that or I'll overcompensate, or do something I wouldn't normally do. That's not really a way to live your life, so I try to separate the two as much as I can. My girls have to grow up, they have to go to school, they have to live their lives and I have to do my job and be the best mom I can. I try to approach each day with enthusiasm, and do as much as I can in all directions. It's really difficult and I've called myself a professional plate spinner but expecting to have it all is setting everyone up for failure. I think the message is that every woman needs to prioritize. You have to make a choice, you can't do everything perfectly, and although women are great multi-taskers, we're not superheroes."

Then there's winemaker Celia Masyczk, who is in the middle of harvesting grapes in Napa, California, as I write. Divorced, she has two children, a son and daughter, whom she raises alone. "Harvest is insane! My children are 12 and 15 now and they're old enough to help. They get meals prepared; they make their own lunches. They're helpers and they know that harvest has it's own set of rules.

"You know, I grew up never understanding that women had limits. I really didn't. Even though my mom was a stay at home mom, I knew she was accomplished in other ways. And I was always told I could do anything. So, I suppose in choosing a rather offbeat profession for my own career, I'm sending that message to my children. The sky is the limit. I certainly hope that they've heard that message."

Cancer survivor Susan Rafte was thirty when she was diagnosed. She says she still has things she looks forward to, " My daughter, my dogs, or a trip down the road. It may be that the trip never comes to fruition. But it's important to have dreams and goals. That's one thing I've realized. With the diagnosis of cancer, your goals and dreams change. What was important - a trip around the world- changes to sitting in the backyard with my family or going to the beach to hear the ocean lap on the shore."

Finally Pastor Gail Mariner of Houston's Unitarian Church explains why women have trouble balancing their lives. "Because our culture doesn't support it. We have nothing in our culture to support women parenting although we've done a fabulous job of helping get women into the workplace. So until we find support for that, we're all going to be burning the candle at both ends and just trying to make it work.'

Balancing Your Life's guests give three tips that help them in every show.

Here are three that might help you:

1. Say no! Schedule to protect family time.

2. Pose problems as questions.

3. Have a sense of humor and be willing to laugh at yourself!

Chances are that your neighbor, or office mate has many of the same challenges on her plate that you do. Instead of looking to celebrities for advice, start a mother's network and talk to your women friends. Then. check out your local PBS station for Balancing Your Life. and check out this blog for weekly excerpts and suggestions from women like you. Balancing Your Life--we focus on solutions!