There has been a lot of banter about whether women can have it all, whether they should want to have it all. Being a woman, a mother, an entrepreneur, an artist, I have some insights of my own on this. I have been judged for a long time by others with questions like â€“ donâ€™t you think you neglect your child to slow down arenâ€™t you doing to much (not a concern, judgment) blah blah.
Should a woman want it all? That depends on individuals really. We donâ€™t want to prove anything to anyone, so if as a woman I choose to be at home and take care of the kid, thatâ€™s good too. Or if despite being a mother I want to chase my corporate dream, so be it. I wonder why there is so much pressure for women to justify a choice that they have made. I wonder if there is similar spotlight on our male counterparts when they choose a corporate career and have a family to take care of.
Can a woman have it all? We live in a biased society. I do strongly believe that women are good at certain things and men on certain other things. But shouldnâ€™t we all revel in our differences, to reinforce the power of Yin and Yang. Should we not stop judging each other, women judging women for choosing a career or men judging men for deciding to stay at home?
I know of a gentleman who has decided to be a stay-at-home dad while his wife has a flourishing career. But what concern me are the snickers of other men and women who judge him. Does he become a lesser man if he takes care of the child? No. He is just doing what he has chosen for him in life. What we need is acceptance, for ourselves and for others.
Coming back to the topic of women. I am a mother, a co-founder of two start-ups, an artist, a daughter, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a friend and many more things. I manage to do all of this, I leave things that are beyond my control and I try to balance the things I can. All this is possible because I also have a strong support system in the form of my husband. We manage our roles and balance things out based on what the other has to do on a particular day. We take each day as it comes for childcare and home care.
Some tips from Experience:
Donâ€™t feel Guilty
I donâ€™t blame myself for not being able to cook on some days, we either order out or He cooks. Women need to stop feeling guilty. Once you stop self pitying, your family and loved ones would start looking at your differently.
Take time out
Make lists and limit yourself to what you can do in a day. Do at least one thing you love to do in a day, keep 30 minutes for yourself in a day. I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s a difficult feat to achieve. I use the travel time to read/listen to music. Thatâ€™s instant mood alleviation for me.
Set expectations of your familyâ€™s and friendâ€™s right. Tell them where you need to draw the boundaries and what you can do and what you cant as a working mother. This would alleviate a lot of unwanted stress in your life. I have refused so many social events because I know how much I can squeeze in a day. They will understand.
Donâ€™t do what you canâ€™t
If you canâ€™t cook every day, donâ€™t cook, hire help. If you have a room full of clothes that need folding, push it for the weekend. Donâ€™t do anything that you can at that time. Exhaustion and the frustration that follows it are more harmful.
Learn the art of letting go. Letting go of the anger, the frustration and disappointment. Once you clear your head, life would be all rosy again.
Seek Help if you need it
Donâ€™t be shy to ask for help when you need it, from family, from friends, from hired help. They will be only glad to pitch in.
Spend time with friends
Take out some time in the week to spend with adult friends. Talking about your trials and sharing your stories helps. Be it mothers of your kids school friends or friends from society or childhood pals. Spend some adult downtime.
Thatâ€™s the best one. Just put on a smile and do what you want to. For me a tight hug with my kiddo works like therapy. Try it.
I want it all. Yes I do. But my â€˜allâ€™ is different from yours. There are no apologies about it. Choose what you want for yourself, and strive to advance in that. Be it just home or work or home & work. I want a career and kids and vacations and family get-together. Our lives are Works in Progress. Stop judging. Start living.
- Srushti Rao
- March 18, 2016
- 1 Comment