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There are few things in life I regret.

I do regret my 1980s mullet. And not ever having had the chance to thank my high school guidance counselor for changing my life. Or keeping in touch with Zachary, the nicest boy in the world to me when I was the shy, new girl in 5th grade. When I had my two boys, I had to name one of them after my childhood crush.

One thing I don’t regret-ever-is working while raising children. Instead, I struggled with the decision on when to have them. Should I wait until I was more senior and established in my job? Or should I have kids before I was 30 so I didn’t have to worry about getting too “old” to conceive. I threw caution to the wind and eventually had my twin boys at exactly the right moment in my life.

Once I had my kids, though, there was never a question of whether I would give up my career. That has led many women to ask me how I’ve been able to juggle a full-time job while raising kids.

For practical purposes, having great help is essential. I have my family nearby and a nanny who’s been with us for many years. My father relishes his role as grandpa and whenever I travel, he is there to take the boys to school and teach them Chinese (the latter I’m sure the boys wish he would forgo).

But I know what the women are really asking: How do I justify being away from my kids? And to that, I’ve told each of them what I’m about to tell you, knowing it sounds hard and controversial.

I have near zero guilt about being a working mom.

I told this to a group of women recently, and we all joked, somewhat uncomfortably, that I was likely the only one among them who felt this way. Truth is, I’ve never felt guilty about my choice to work and I’ve told my kids from a very young age that they have a mother who has a full-time job and that means I won’t be there for everything, but I will be there for the most important things. I also tell them I’m very lucky I have a job and career I love passionately and that they will count themselves just as lucky if they find that same passion in life (yes, sometimes this elicits an eye roll).

Not having this guilt has made our lives much easier. My kids know what to expect and they know why I do the things I do. On the flip side, being guilt-free also allows me to say no to things at work if it means compromising my obligation to the kids. While sometimes neither party will be entirely happy with my decisions, I always say life is long. Stop sweating the small stuff.

A few years ago, I was interviewed by a fellow woman journalist about my outlook on kids and work. She was herself a new mom and working part-time to stay at home with the baby, but I could tell she was really struggling with whether to come back fully or quit entirely. Even being on the phone with me was a hardship for her-she felt so guilty working on the article which took time away from her daughter.

That’s what guilt does-it makes you believe that balancing work and family is a zero sum game where someone wins and the other loses. Life is not like that at all and kids don’t see it that way either. More important than you being there at every soccer game is that you’re actually there as a parent. I am my boys’ rock for the rest of my life and for as long as I’m here, I will be there for them. That’s the truth.

I told this woman about my views on guilt-free parenting and it was as if a lightbulb went off. She wrote about it later in her piece. As I said, I have near zero guilt-once in a while, I’ll wish I could split myself in two and be both at home and work at the same time. We all do. But I go forward knowing that I’m 100 percent confident in the choice-I leave the guilt for someone else.

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