When a soccer mom used to ask me, "Don't you feel guilty leaving your baby every day with a nanny?" I told them, "You learn to live with the guilt." Duh!

Maybe there are some Iron Maiden Moms out there who don't have that nagging feeling when they leave their kids with the nanny, babysitter, daycare, grandma, or other caregiver, but I'm not one of them, and neither is that Wall Street power house mama, Sallie Krawcheck, Bank of America's big wig at the global wealth/investment management desk.

WSJ's "Women in the Economy" team talked to her about that very thing -- the guilt thing--the mommy thing--the "should I or shouldn't I" syndrome.

Know what she said? After crawling around on the floor with her baby son, it hit her. She needed to work. Why? She had too much "neurotic energy," and perhaps didn't want to burn her kid out. She needed to channel that energy into clients. Nevertheless, she felt the guilt.

"When you leave a three-year-old crying, 'Don't go Mommy, don't go,' you have to have a heart of stone not to feel guilt," she said. Oh yeah, Sallie learned to live with the guilt--perhaps like many of us do--but she hung on to climb through Citigroup, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., and now BofA.

Every time I plop down my BofA credit card for Manolos and more, I think of Sallie. What would Sallie do? She'd probably buy those Manolos knowing that yes, a few tears might have been shed by a little person at home, unaware that mommy was not only working to fund her Manolos, but also the Nikes', hockey sticks, basketball camp, drama lessons and probably a college education. And we all know that stuff is far more expensive than a pair of Manolos.

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