This writeup is for those categories of working moms who are struggling to make balance in their personal and professional life. Here I am supposed to write upon the challenges of a working mom, hence let me be focused on the topic ignoring several struggles of a working dad, which are popping up vigorously in my mind.
Life is another name of challenge. You are alive because you are successful, in dealing with challenges. Irrespective of you like or dislike challenges, whenever you tackle it properly, effectively, efficiently, it gives you immense pleasure satisfaction and happiness. Whether working or non-working, motherhood posts you in wave of challenges. Rearing child is a full-time job in itself, sharing this responsibility with an additional occupation exposes you to the wave of additional challenges. First and foremost, step is to calculate the possibilities of your resources i.e., man and material; requirements, strength and weaknesses; then work upon it whole heartedly. Keep that burning lamp of driving force lit always to light your heart and mind to adjust and justify yourself as working mom.
Being a boy or a girl, things change drastically after marriage. Both of them undergoes lots of changes and adjustments. But and this is a huge BUT; as soon as a lady becomes pregnant her world shifts. You have to undergo several physical as well as mental changes and challenges. You become happy and excited, at the same time thoughts of loss of freedom overwhelms you. Here, I’m not saying that father is not anxious and adjusting to changing scenario but in a different way which is beyond the scope of writeup of mine.
There are various categories of working mom as for example those who;
- Resume working after first issue(child) or starting afresh career
- Resume working after second issue(child)
- Long term career woman with grown up kids
As human we all are different in some or the other way. Our way of getting challenges, looking at it, evaluating it, solving it; all are unique to each and every individual. Likewise working moms get challenges in different ways, their perspective to look towards it, evaluate it and solve it matters most towards stability of their career. Once you are stable in your career, have balance in your personal life; your growth in professional life will definitely be seen sooner or later after consistent effort.
Here I would like to discuss challenges and there diffusion as per categories I have chosen for working moms. The lady who starts working after delivering first child has to work hard to come out of her comfort zone. The family, mom and the child all get used to a certain way of lifestyle. In this situation when lady steps out for work lots of adjustment has to be done. As per nature’s law, humans are lazy being, they resist changes. But nature’s another law governs fate of a working mom basically i.e., “survival of the fittest”. So, you can make balance in this situation and survive professional life by diffusing challenges with patience and wittiness. You start slow and go slow until your grip upon holding changing situations become firm and strong; both at home and at workplace.
Challenges posed by workplace cannot be ignored to balance personal life as personal life challenges has to be tackled to hold grip on professional life; “Balance is the key”. At workplace your superior, subordinate and colleague might be supportive or might not be supportive. If You get supportive staff, you may often think “am I less capable for my job”, “why am I getting extra support?” If you get non supportive fellows, you may think of quitting or you may start struggling for balance at another front too (i.e., home). Then you ought to ignore such thoughts, give them full stop. Key to make balance is to focus upon the dream you were chasing, that driving force of opting and chasing second occupation apart from being mom, as it was your choice and hard work not theirs. Stay focused upon your ambition. Situation will get adjusted as per law of nature when you think about the root cause of problem calmly. Mostly by influence of chain reaction we start thinking more about the repercussions of the problem rather than focusing upon the cause of problem which may give lead to its solution itself. For a little while I would like to take you towards your own childhood. While solving math problems or answering any difficult question of any subject in exams we were asked to read the questions repeatedly. Hints were hidden in question itself. Until we learn to get clues of that hidden hints, exams were scary for us. Similar are the situations in life. Rectify the cause of problem, problem itself will be rectified. Relate yourself to it, definitely you will get answer. You are the master of your own life; you can only help yourself to find solutions of situations around you. Miracle happens in fairy tales, but alas it’s a real life, help yourself to get helped.
Once you sustain at workplace and able to strike with family, child and job certain pattern of life get settled again. When you start planning for second kid, you try to disrupt that set pattern. Nature’s rule governs us as earlier, we human resists changes and resist to come out of our comfort zone. Remember Darwin’s law “survival of the fittest” i.e., rule of nature that ultimately governs towards stability of a working mom’s career. Having some exposure to previous challenges lady is now experienced to be patient, to be more focused, to be grateful to helpers, to manage time etc. But then challenges do not cease here. You have to raise your guard too. It is well said that communication is the best way to get brainstorming done for handling situations in life. Right from your planning you should start communicating with family members, elder kid, helper etc and try to get them on board. Plan in advance the course of actions to cope with developments round the corner of your life. Devote some time and energy to tackle your emotions too. Once you have made up your mind, you should move ahead and remain oriented in your moves. You should try to solve challenges one at a time. You should try to avoid extrapolating things or situations which can be handled presently by your bit extra effort. You should be kind and considerate to yourself. Perfection can be achieved later, once you get settled with second kid at both fronts i.e., home and office. At workplace people might think that lady has become less effective. Ignoring others, you should pay attention to your conditions and keep working consistently. You would definitely make a fierce come back and show your results. When there are changes inevitable, nature adjusts itself and so do we. If things work in your way you should give it a go ahead and can intensify your efforts to meet expectations which has been kept at hold to overshadow settlement unrests. If not, you should take a step back, think again, rework your avenues. Exercise your resources at hand, collect yourself and get back to tackle the situation with little slow but consistent pace. Expectations could be met afterwards. Once you have started never think of quitting or you would have not started at all.
There are different types of challenges at different point of everyone’s life. When kids are small you face certain sets of challenges while making balance in your life. As kid grow up you face certain other sets of challenges. Here I would like to discuss the power and knowledge of using your time and energy effectively.
Once the kids are small don’t hesitate to get helped. Develop good rapport with your helpers and teachers, so that you can stay aware of any valuable milestone development in your kid’s life. You could stay aware of any extra need of the kid to be fulfilled apart from existing care and guidance. You will be satisfied by putting conscious effort in shaping child’s life.
Once your kids are grown up try to make them independent. Help them to help themselves. Be there with them for their emotional support always but let them take small responsibilities like cleaning themselves, organising their books, selves, toys etc, remaining updated regarding school/ college works. Make them understand that if they need your quality time, they will have to help you to fix and share the day-to-day chores at home. Independent kids grow up into smart and responsible adults. In this simple manner you will be teaching them to face the world themselves.
You should try to avoid intermingling of responsibilities of both the fronts i.e., home and office as much as possible. When you are at workplace you should be present there fully and when at home you should be present fully. As your appraisal meetings are vital for professional growth, so is your presence at kid’s and spouses’ space in their important events. You should workout the way and time to be together with your family as much as possible. Rather you should do anything to make it possible to enjoy the families’ great days and to become sad in their gloomy days. You should make them feel your presence in their life whenever they need it. Remember family bonding gives us greatest support if we reap it. Jobs could be changed but family cannot. You should make small goals at home and workplace. You should assess, reassess them, rectify the loopholes and move ahead consistently. Emergencies or unavoidable situations in life cannot be ignored; Like every night is followed by a beautiful dawn; those days will also pass. Maintain your calmness and think logically, count upon your resources. Never attempt to take erratic decisions in case of any type of emergency situation anywhere i.e., workplace or home. Let the emergency situation cool off. Take your own time to think and evaluate; get back with afresh determination.
Our biggest challenge as working mom is our own conflicting mind. We always keep our emotion in conflict, sometimes we create it ourselves and sometimes society possess it to us. Once you have decided to pick up professional life, you should stay focused upon it. In situation like guilt or emotional turmoil’s; imaginary or real; mind made or forced upon by society i.e. at work place colleagues, by extended family members or by so called friends; stay strong and determined. Guilt has it’s vague quality like guilt of not giving time and appropriate attention to kids and spouse, unable to attend certain family event, comparing yourself with other moms, not able to justify your job responsibility, stretching the capabilities of people around you etc.
At first place get rid of the thought that you are the only reason whatever happening in everyone’s life around you. The guilt you are building upon your shoulder can be due to their own deed and cause. Try to acknowledge and rectify difficulties of persons you are surrounded without involving yourself as central pillar of cause. You should talk to yourself and figure out what was the driving force for opting and chasing your dream. With the passing time that dream gets more chiselled and take a grand shape if you give moulding with your sincere efforts and by adjusting in ongoing situations of yours.
Every lady should have her own choice to figure out herself, what does she wants. Being mom in itself is a fulltime occupation, goal should be clear for the second occupation, that only be the guiding and driving force towards sustenance of your journey. Both for working or non-working mom, I would like to suggest to channelise your energy in a positive way. As a law, energy could not be created nor it could be destroyed, it can only change its form. So, if you will not put extra effort to channelize your energy in keeping yourself updated, informed, groomed in positive way, I am afraid to say it could get drained in opposite direction or in negative undesirable way. Key is to use your time wisely and effectively.
As non-working mom can give more time to her kids, a working mom can be ideal for kids to learn how to lead a balanced life. Last but not the least, becoming mom itself teaches you to balance your life and tackle challenges in it effectively. Being a working mom is an additional exercise of your knowledge and skills to earn money and become independent.