Can women truly have it all? Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, whose atypical path to Washington gives her a unique perspective on the work-life debate, weighed in on the hotly debated topic during a recent talk on the #OWNSHOW.
"The truth is, it is hard," she says.
At age 19, Warren dropped out of college to start a family. After having two children, she finished law school at Rutgers University and built a career teaching law students about bankruptcy. At age 62, she won her seat in the U.S. Senate, a journey which is detailed in her bestseller, A Fighting Chance.
Warren says that in some ways things are better now. "That is in the sense that we're not just shocked to see women doing some of the amazing things they're doing," she says.
"But it is the case that we live our lives right out to the margins, very full," she continues. "And we try to manage a lot. And when you have a family and you're trying to get a career going, it's a lot to make happen."
That said, Warren has some advice. "You've got to be a problem solver," she says. "You can either sit around and talk about all the reasons you can't do something; how, Gee, I've got a new baby at home and I've got a toddler and I've got all these other responsibilities, so I'll put it off … or you can just say, 'How am I going to solve that problem?'"
Taking this approach has served Warren well. "I love my children and I love my family and as long as I got that part, we'll make all of the other pieces work," she says.
Challenging as it may be, Warren carves family time into her schedule. "I love the time I spend holding babies," she says. "I love the time I spend standing on the sidelines at soccer games cheering on a 6-year-old little girl. Finding ways to be able to do all those things that you love very much can be a real challenge. But at the end of the day, you got to remind yourself: If you're filling your life full with things you truly, truly love to do –- you couldn't ask for anything more than that, could you?"
Also in the video: Will we see Warren in the 2016 presidential race?
After a good laugh, Warren says, "I am not running for president."
Instead, she says she's focused on her current job in the Senate. "I grew up in a family that didn't have a lot but I got a fighting chance," she says. Now, she wants to give others that same opportunity. "That kids can get an education," she says. "That people who work hard really will be able to earn a wage that will support a family. I want to see us all able to build a secure future, mostly so that we can enjoy our time now and our time with our children."
More from #OWNSHOW: Sen. Warren's rule for sticking to a budget.