Work-life balance: 'Yes, Mrs Nooyi, you are right. Women cannot have it all'. But...
We'd asked you, dear readers to tell us how you strike a balance between your personal and professional lives.
Anila Nair from USA shares her experience of being a working mom.
Everyday I have to rip my heart out and hand it over to someone.
I have to watch it cry and wail with arms opened towards me.
I have to fight back tears , smile and wave.
And turn around and walk.
Yes , Indra Nooyi is right. Women cannot have it all.
While in office, rummaging my bag for something -- a tiny hair clip or a single sock can make me crumble and want to run back to the day care and hug my kid.
In the middle of a meeting, I sometimes get distracted with the thought of that runny nose.
Every evening when I have to pick up a small bundle that has fallen asleep crying for me, my heart lurches.
Every time my elder daughter says 'can we go to the pool AT LEAST today?', I feel inadequate.
When someone in the 'neighboring ladies committee' says ' I really don't know how mothers can go to work leaving their kids with strangers?', I flinch.
When my friend forwards me the video of a maid harassing a kid with a note 'would you leave your purse with Maid? Then why do you leave your kid with her?' and I HAVE to argue vehemently saying I would never leave my kid with a maid whom I don't trust with even my purse, I feel drained of justifying myself to people.
Guilt, pain, futility, helplessness, tiredness -- these are feelings I have to deal with daily.
Yes, Mrs Nooyi, you are right. I can never have it all.
But when someone sends an email of appreciation for my great work, when my boss tells me how indispensable I have become to the team, there is a shine of pride in me.
When my commitment is applauded in meetings, my heart beats a little faster with glee.
When I buy an expensive saree for my mom or a mobile for my dad and need no one's 'permission' for it, I have a sense of achievement.
When my team mates sometime involuntarily get up from their seat when I enter the room, it makes me feel respected.
When my husband talks to his friends with pride about my promotion, I have a beam on my face.
Most people think that women work for the money, the so-called 'double income'. But these are the small things in my 'career' that actually give me joy.
The REAL reason that I have not quit.
I feel relieved that I do not have to endure what most of my stay-at-home friends have to endure -- 'being taken for granted'.
But yet, the morning arrives again, and it is time to rip out the heart again.
Yes Mrs Nooyi, we can never have it all.
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: Photograph used only for representational purposes.
Photographs: Jayanta Shaw JS/TW/ Reuters