“Why are we doing this?”

“What are the priorities?”

Those are the questions that Sheila McGuirk, D.V.M., asked herself when dealing with cancer, an accident, or someone else’s health.

Those two questions helped Sheila keep her life in balance.

As a wife, mother of three, and an accomplished professional, what advice would you impart to others starting their careers and balancing family and work?

Sheila: It’s hard. Family, friends, health, and faith are priorities. However you order them, follow that order and get back on track.

It requires compromise.

For me, it was a huge adjustment, but I think establishing ground rules with your partner and understanding priorities are paramount. Once you establish the priorities, it makes the decisions and the compromises easier.

Again, it’s not easy.

In my case, once children arrived, we said family is the priority. When push came to shove, if a child was sick, we knew our schedules, and we knew who was going to stay home. We knew who was going to make the trips to the doctor.

It takes a very clear understanding of shared priorities and how you are going to deal with the most difficult stresses that come along. For me, the balance requires managing the little things that upset order. Those little things are generally the hardest to deal with.

You have to be able to remember, “Why are we doing this? What are the priorities?” It’s not that the balance doesn’t get tipped now and then to challenge you. In my lifetime, all it takes is dealing with cancer, an accident, or someone else’s health that takes you right back to what’s important.

To learn more:

To read more about Sheila McGuirk, click on the title to read the full feature, “The cows brought her to Madison.”

Additional coverage in Hoard’s Dairyman Intel can be found by clicking on the links:

She’s the Mother Teresa of World Dairy Expo

She beat cancer, biked with Lance Armstrong

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2018
September 17, 2018
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