Work-life balance: 'When I work, I feel empowered'
We'd asked you, dear readers to tell us how you strike a balance between your personal and professional lives.
Here, Swarna Patel tells us her story:
As a working mother and colleague to several working mothers, I have heard people say how the life of a professional woman is similar to walking on the edge of a sword.
Even my heart breaks into a million pieces especially when my son is sick and I have to make a presentation to a client who is visiting office the same day.
However, there is a bright side too.
As a working professional, I am financially independent which gives me a sense of security.
If anything goes wrong at all -- since life, we all know, is unpredictable -- a working woman feels she can tackle the problem easily.
It is not always about money.
When I work, believe it or not, I feel empowered.
When the client responds with an appreciation certificate which is displayed in the hall of fame, the feel-good factor is instant.
Besides, everyone values the opinion of working women.
How you integrate your personal and professional lives varies from person to person and the perfect situation is, probably, non-existent.
However, having a good work-life balance is not far from reach.
I have adopted a few strategies so that I'm able to manage my work-life balance in a considerate manner.
I'd like to share the following tips with working mothers:
- Do not consider yourself a super woman and do everything yourself. Learn to delegate and take help from others.
- Prioritise your activities. Maintain a to-do list. Try to complete the high priority ones first.
- Feeling guilty is not the solution. You need not be the best of all; so long as you are happy you did the best you could.
- Have a good professional relationship with co-workers, who can support you in difficult situations, if the need arises.
- If the kids are elder, teach them to take responsibility and if feasible help you with household chores. This is something, both you and kid will be proud of later on.
- Keep the communication channel open. Discuss your issues with all the people who matter to you. If there is late night call and you are not ready to attend, inform to your manager accordingly. This will help you avoid chaos. Whenever required, take advantage of work-from-home option.
- Planning for your week ahead during the weekends is one of the best ways to strike a balance. Wash, iron and plan your wardrobe for the week ahead. You might consider preparing a list of breakfast, curries to be prepared on weekdays and stuff your refrigerator accordingly.
- Use technology for advantage. You can use shopping sites to buy vegetables. Take help of the electronic household appliances -- microwave, rice cooker, dish washer -- to make life easier.
- Spend quality family time together. Have dinner together, catch a movie over the weekend, visit a museum, take a walk and most importantly laugh out loud together for silly reasons. It will give you energy to carry on.
- Last, but not least, take time to rejuvenate yourself by pursuing something you like.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject: Work-life balance) and we'll publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com!
Image: Are you a working mother? How do you balance work and family? Tell us
Photographs: Sivaram V/Reuters