First things first, we too hate the tag “working mom” for the simple reason that you would never address a man as a “working dad” and as Women’s Day 2022 in India is themed around ‘Women of Tomorrow’, while emphasising the psychosocial well-being of women in the country and aiming at improving their mental health, we are ditching the tag right away before we progress with the article. Yes, a mother can have the best of both the worlds – a successful career and a happy family.
If superpowers ever had a face, they would look like our mothers because who else would be able to house a baby for 9 months? That’s just something superheroes do and that’s what only women can (sorry boys)!
If you are you a woman who never settles for the less, be it at the workplace or at home, this article is just for you. Ahead of Women’s Day 2022, we got experts on board to spill the beans on how to balance your emotions around work-life-mom and assert that even though a lot of times this does not look like what you may have planned, it’s alright – just take it one day at a time.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Khushboo shared, “Moms generally have a tough time deciding whether to work or not as they are often judged for their choices. Being fully committed to work – to being able to work and manage the family is a dauntingly impossible task that most moms have to take on. It can be exhausting and often thankless. While pursuing a fulfilling career and taking an active role as a mother, the most challenging part is to find your balance.”
Echoing the same, Dr Vanshika stressed that women are known to lead life in multifaceted spheres and for mothers, life brings with it yet another sphere that requires intrinsic balance and profound self-faith, She elaborated, “Managing home and professional life in themselves do not come easy. Add to this the third pillar of raising a baby and every mother must juggle her way through this. It is not just about professional pressures, home responsibilities or time for motherhood but also about being able to navigate one’s own emotions and mental well-being while striving to give ones best in all these areas of life.”
According to her, the biggest setbacks often come from ourselves given that we as mothers expect the world from ourselves. “It’s almost like trying to compete with one selves to excel above and beyond, bending backwards till a snapping point in reached,” she said.
Tips on work-life-mom balance:
Dr Khushboo shared tips to help mothers juggle and make life a little easier while striking a work-life-mom balance. These include:
1. Stay organized and save time like a pro – When you want to get a lot done in a small amount of time, effective planning, strategy and shortcuts have to be in your magic bag. There are immense responsibilities for a working mother – you have to keep in charge of the doctors appointments, birthdays, classes, planning everyday meals – just to name a few. So make use of planners and apps to keep a track of your to do list and ease off on that mental load. I personally use Google Keep to make a list and take notes simply because it is extremely easy to use. Planning ahead helps you to enjoy your time instead of rushing out at the last minute for everything.
2. Create a support system that you trust – Knowing that your child is happy and in safe hands, really adds peace to your mind when you’re away at work. Make sure to find the right help or someone that you can trust with your child.
3. Make time to reconnect with your partner – Very often we tend to neglect our partners when we are so busy trying to manage everything. It’s important to make your marriage your priority because it will have an immense impact on everything. Get the right support system and plan date-nights and do things that you enjoyed with your partner before having children. What is simple is to just have an honest conversation with your partner and really listen to what they have to say as well.
4. Create fun family activities – Plan some fun activities that everyone as a family can do together – it can be as simple as a game night or a picnic on the beach or a walk in the park. Make sure to involve your children in making the plans.
5. Choose who and what you say “yes” to – Not everyone deserves a “yes” from you. Choose those events or people that bring you joy not anxiety. It’s okay to say no to some people and you need to stop feeling bad about it. Pushing yourself extra takes all the fun out of every experience. So simply choose you and your family.
Highlighting that despite trying all of the tips, you might still deal with guilt and exhaustion from the sheer nature of it all, Jennifer Mulchandani, Founder of The Boutique Project, advised, “It all comes down to one thing – constantly reminding yourself what you’re capable of – you’re a mom. You can do anything, so put on those big girl pants and believe in the power of YOU. ”
She too listed some tips to help women ace that work-life-mom balance. These include
1. Make your own rules no matter what anyone says.
2. Accept your new life- the messes, the sleep deprivation – all of it.
3. Stay as positive as you possibly can because there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Make sure you get your husband and family to share the load more often.
5. Plan your day a night in advance to avoid any surprises.
Dr Vanshika advised, “It is necessary to stop, reflect and let go: there will be work opportunities that will sometimes be lost because the baby needed to be cared for on a sick day. There will be times when as a mother, you wished you tried feeding your baby a certain way but instead chose a method that was faster and suited you and your baby both. The home may look messy, the meals may be simpler, forget reflecting on being judged for having hired that extra help because you choose to spend your time with your family instead of micromanaging all the way.”
She added, “Yes choices do have to be made but go by your instincts for you and your family and not by the norms set by society and if anybody harps about having found the perfect work-home-baby balance in life, remember – life isn’t about trying to make it picture perfect in every sphere.”