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Work-life balance: 'Girls should be financially independent'

July 19, 2014 13:00 IST

Work-life balance: 'Girls should be financially independent'

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We'd asked you, dear readers to tell us how you strike a balance between your personal and professional lives.

Luiza Dsouza from Goa tells us how she manages to survive the every-day challenges at home and work.

I am a daughter, sister, wife, daughter-in-law and mother of three. I am working full-time in a very prestigious organisation.

There have been times when I have felt guilty wondering whether my kids needed me when I was not around for them.

At the same time, I've always made myself available to my kids at home whenever they needed my help, advice and support.

I have jeopardised my job more than one time when I had to take leave and be with my kids when they were sick -- one had a fracture, another had acid in the eye.

I took leave when I was diagnosed pregnant with gestational diabetes, when I had a threatened abortion with my first kid, when my kids had viral infections, fever after vaccinations, unexplained stomach aches, etc.

Thankfully, I am still with the same company.

I have missed promotions and am still anticipating one.

I have given up good opportunities so as to work close to my home and kids' school.

I have also passed up many opportunities to attend conferences and meetings in faraway places in India and abroad.

I still feel that I'm doing the best I can. And I credit myself for that.

I really appreciate home-makers who take care of hearth and home exclusively.

Though I have tried, I cannot reconcile to be one.

I get really bogged down with the routine, repetitive, never-ending and thankless work at home.

I got bored during my maternity leaves also.

I love to work -- the hurry in the morning, the paycheck, the extra goodies I can afford, to especially take my parents and family for holidays sometimes...

Worth mentioning is that I am able to survive the hectic (sometimes really erratic) schedule and maintain sanity.

All this is possible because of my maid, who incidentally is more vociferous about women working.

She is the mother of four, one of them a toddler, but she is quite punctual and sincere.

I am proud that I am enabling another woman to be financially empowered.

I guess it’s mainly due my mother's influence, who worked full-time as a clerk (and extra hours) along with taking care of four kids.

I had never heard her crib about her work times and kids, except during one incident.

When she finally resigned when we relocated and settled in our native place in a village (we moved from a Gulf country to a village), I found her dissatisfied and grumbling about being 'at home', 'doing nothing'.

Ironically, I found her the busiest during this time.

She'd tell me that girls should always be self-sufficient and financially independent.

I too would like to pass on the same advice to all the girls and women -- to be financially independent, unless it's really impossible.

I am proud of my distinction degrees, my job, my company, my ability to manage (or scrape through) almost any situation in office and the home.

I had never imagined I would have to face so many lows but I have learned to appreciate the things that'll matter in the future and ignore the things that don't.

I can always change my job and company or even choose to become an entrepreneur and start afresh. But, I won't be able to re-create my kids' childhood.

Hence, I have always prioritised my family and kids.

I support women who work as long as it does not affect the lives of their kids and families adversely.

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Are you a career woman too?

Do you, feel the guilt of not being around for your kids?

How do you cope with it?

How do you strike a healthy balance between your professional and personal lives?

Tell us! We want to know!

Share your experience and advice with working moms and moms-to-be.

Write in to getahead@rediff.co.in (Subject: Work-life balance) and we'll publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com!


Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
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