Women in America have come a long way. We now have freedom and choices that were once only a dream. Today, women comprise more than fifty percent of the workforce and are represented in executive ranks. We have closed the gap and broken through the glass ceiling. We’ve earned the right to choose a career, stay at home with the family or do both. Over the years we’ve fought for a woman’s right to have it all, and now we have the obligation to do it all.

The kicker: How do we do it all without taking valuable time away from our family, our marriages, our careers and ourselves?

The answer: mastering plate spinning.

You’ve got to keep all your plates going at once. My personal experience in this comes from early in my career when I became overextended trying to do everything. I had accumulated so many obligations and responsibilities that my head was spinning, not the plates.

Through this experience, I learned a valuable life lesson. Some plates will bounce when they fall, while others, including family, health, friends and spirit, are fragile and will break if not watched.

The takeaway was learning what was really important in my life. I realized that as a working woman, I could have it all – just not all at the same time.

Plate spinning requires many checks and balances, especially for career-minded women who do want it all. You must check in with your personal business plan and re-connect with where you are headed, why it is important to you and how it will impact others in your life. As a plate spinner, you will often have to re-prioritize. Take time to step back from the craziness and make certain you’re happy. Also, don’t be afraid to use your woman’s intuition.

And last, take a look at all the great women who have shown us it’s possible to thrive in the business world and embrace our roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. We can have it all, but must work hard to make it happen.