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Why this executive doesn’t believe in work-life balance

Kim Getty, president of Deutsch LAKim Getty, president of Deutsch LA
Kim Getty, president of Deutsch LACourtesy of Deutsch

MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: What is your Sunday routine? is written by Kim Getty, president of Deutsch LA.

I do my very best to always dedicate my Sundays to my family. Here’s why. Personally, I’ve never bought into the idea of “work-life balance.” I think it places unrealistic expectations on women, and ends up driving people crazy when they try to be good at everything all the time. I have two incredible daughters, and I also have a demanding job as the president of Deutsch LA. I love it all, but the reality is that I have two full-time jobs. In order to give both “jobs” the attention they deserve, I reject the idea of balance in favor of the seesaw: I go back and forth, giving 100% of my attention where it’s needed most at the moment. That means I don’t miss a school play or a recital, and when I’m there, I’m not checking emails. It also means that I don’t miss a pitch meeting or a call with an important client.

One of my favorite things about this strategy is that I get to spend Sundays cooking with my kids. Our ritual starts with a family visit to the farmer’s market to get food for a big Sunday dinner, and to stock up for the week. My husband and I let the kids–Campbell (age 11) and Quincy (age 9) have a say in what we pick out, and how we’re going to cook it. Like many families, we strive for the regular family dinners Monday through Friday, but with everyone’s busy schedules, we consider it a victory to get three out of four of us at the table during the week. Sundays, however, are non-negotiable. It’s the one time we can all check in and catch up before the beginning of a hectic work week.

Cooking is a great opportunity for our children to express themselves, and allows us to see what they’re into at the moment. Right now, Quincy is all about presentation. No matter what we’re eating, she will arrange every platter and plate to perfection. It’s like she’s been secretly interning with a sous chef. Campbell, on the other hand, is completely obsessed with shrimp. Shrimp pasta, BBQ shrimp, shrimp salad–like a tween Bubba Gump. As we all go through the week, it makes a difference to know that no matter how busy we get, regardless of the ups and downs thrown our way, we’re willing to put it all aside on Sunday to focus on enjoying each other’s company.

Read all answers to the MPW Insider question: What is your Sunday routine?

Ever wonder how successful people spend their weekends? by Shannon Schuyler, U.S. corporate responsibility leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Why this executive never works on the weekend by Liz Wiseman, president of Wiseman Group.

How this CEO recharges on the weekend by Perry Yeatman, CEO of Perry Yeatman Global Partners.

Why this entrepreneur uses meditation to start her work week by Lynn Jurich, CEO and co-founder of Sunrun.