Famous working moms share their secrets to success

Mother and baby in home office with laptop iStockphoto

(MoneyWatch) Even famous working moms find it difficult to balance their office and home lives. As Tori Spelling shared with Babble.com, "There are days when I struggle with wanting to be a full-time, stay-at-home mom, and feeling guilty about that because I work." While you might not have the resources for childcare (or a chef and a cleaning person) that someone in Tori's position might, you may be able to relate to the sentiment. Below are five pieces of sound advice from celebrity working moms. Please share your own best advice in the comments section.

Be present and turn off tech

"I'm more effective when I compartmentalize my day, so when I'm with my son, I'm focused on my son, and when I'm at work, I'm focused on work. My motto is: think, prioritize, delegate, and let go. At home, my husband and I have a strict 'no iPhones allowed at the table or in the bedroom' rule. It lets us focus on each other and Lazer and leave the stress of the day outside." -- Sara Blakely, CEO of Spanx and mother of Lazer, 4.

Sandwich travel with quality time

"I try to limit the things I do at night and not travel too much. If I do have to be away for work, I make sure I'm home for the nights before I leave and build in plenty of time at home once I return." -- Katie Couric, talk show host and mother of Ellie, 21 and Carrie, 16.

Ask for help -- and use it

"It can be easy to forget that you are not alone when you have so much on your plate. Building your own support system gives you a shoulder to lean on...In my case, I'm incredibly lucky because in addition to my family and close friends, so many of us on the set of Up All Night have kids around the same age. We even have a playroom on set!" -- Christina Applegate, actress and mother of Sadie, 2. 

Coordinate busy work days with your co-parent

"There are many months when I'm not working and many months when Matthew isn't working and it can't all be on one person. You pass the baton and then the guy sprints ahead and runs his ass off!" -- Sarah Jessica Parker, actress and mother of James, 10, and twins Tabitha and Marion, 3.

Feel good about how your working affects your child

"I always feel guilty when I'm working and not with Honor. But I do love to work, and I know that will have a positive influence on who she becomes as a person and a woman." -- Jessica Alba, actress and mother of Honor, 4 and Haven, 1.

This is part 4 of a 5-part series on working motherhood. Read part 1, "Job seekers: 5 signs a workplace is family-friendly," here. Read part 2, "Working Moms: 6 must-dos before maternity leave," here. Read part 3, "Things to do your first week back from maternity leave,"here. Check back Monday for part 5, "How telecommuting moms can get more done."

  • Amy Levin-Epstein On Twitter»

    Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com.

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