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A few years ago, Austin attorney Monica Samuels was offered a position with the Bush administration. But after much deliberation, she turned down the job to stay home with her two young sons. "I was working 24-7," says Samuels, co-author of Comeback Moms, a new book that helps mothers reenter the workforce. "Everybody was making demands on me. My kids were becoming my last priority, because I had so many other commitments. I just got to a point in my life where I had to make a decision."

When it came time to go back to work, Samuels realized that even the short hiatus she had taken was enough to leave her out of the loop. "I was running into people I went to law school with, at the toy store and grocery store in the middle of the day," she recalls. "They were staying home with their kids too. They all wanted to go back to work some day, but they didn't know how." So, she and coauthor J.C. Conklin wrote Comeback Moms, which is subtitled How to Leave Work, Raise Children, and Restart Your Career Even If You Haven't Had a Job in Years. The biggest problem, says Samuels, is that most returning moms get discouraged too quickly. "You're not going to get a job right away," she says. "It's a process over several months. It's like getting a job after college."

Comeback Moms is full of tips on what to do before, during, and after a hiatus. "Be strategic before your exit," says Samuels. "Figure out who you want to keep in contact with and go to those people." Most important, the book provides readers with everything they need to know about managing motherhood and a career at the same time. "Just be extremely organized," says Samuels. "You have to learn to juggle things."
Fri., July 7, 7 p.m.

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