I work with a leader who is sloppy: a bit disorganised, he forgets things and at times drops the ball. He is also extremely successful and admired. The thing is, his sloppiness is interpreted (accurately) as big thinking and creativity. It occurs to me that I don't know any women in senior positions who are also sloppy and successful; that bothers me.
The trick is, to not feel the pressure from all sides, but instead to accept that you can have it all as long as you have help. If giving up work to have children is what's important to you, then do it. If you don't want to give up work but do want to give your children enough of your time, then look at working part time or taking some time off before going back to work.
These days, young, career women are prolific. Which is awesome. But also problematic. Because now there's a pressure to be just that; young and career-y. Suddenly, it feels old and boring to be in a long-term, serious relationship when others born in the same year are gallivanting around the world, playing out episodes of Girls (string vests, reckless sex, you get the gist).
The career advice that they are given at these events from strong successful women often centres around learning what gets the attention of male bosses, competing in a mans world and being more confident. This is all sound advice and may even help you to be viewed as one of the boys, but is that what we really want?