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Mary Pugh

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Reclaim your yeses and noes. That’s the advice of Mary Pugh, and it’s something she learned the hard way.

Pugh was a medical malpractice attorney before becoming the first executive director of the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project. Dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect, MCAP provides legal services, advocacy and education in courtrooms, classrooms and elsewhere. Leading an organization like MCAP fulfills a lifelong goal for Pugh, but going back to work full time—after she had four kids—was an adjustment. Managing her schedule took some doing. “When you lose balance, you say yes to things you don’t need and no to things you need,” Pugh says. “You have to prioritize and get your yeses and noes back.”

Simplicity helps, as does having a supportive family. As a wise judge once told Pugh, you can have everything, but not at the same time.

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