A very cliché topic but still an unsolved mystery, in the minds of many. And especially for a women it is a million dollar question (literally sometimes!). WLB – Work Life Balance, Is there something as a unit to objectively measure this? I suppose I will drastically fail in the eyes of many, though I struggle every day to find a solution for this ever eluding balance.
This fast paced corporate life, changed the lifestyle of everyone, money lost value, time became crucial, health is a question, people lost values, and finally none are sure where we are heading and what each one of us want in life! I am one among that women in corporate crowd. Yes, here I have to be gender specific.
The guilt hits me when my son longingly looks at me begging to play with him or just to spend some time with him than hugging my laptop every evening, when I have to tell him ” sorry my boy, I have a call”, or sometimes have to lock myself inside the room so the clients whom I know only by voice are not disturbed. Perplexed what that actually means, he learnt to spend his time on his own and engages himself till he goes to bed. I wish someday he understands that. But for my coworkers at work, ah, women, get to leave the office early and spend the rest of the day with family. In this era of smart world, where our voyages are through electronic gadgets connecting us to the remote world, how important is it to sit in one particular place to complete the work? There is no concept of 8 hours and 5/6 days a week work time, it’s always 24 x 7.
The rules seem like these at least in India: connected through laptop always, check mails on phone, manage escalations on WhatsApp, monitor team through social media, and maintain a close watch through professional links in LinkedIn. Is there a place where you are really alone, away from all this? This is definitely not an exaggeration, I am sure many readers can relate to their working style. We are been looked down or mocked when this regime is not followed.
I am not sure if this guilt is only for a women, but definitely the pressure is more on a woman for sure, there is no denial, and the look on the teachers face when you forget to send what you are supposed to, and when he/she is late to school or when child is not done with the homework. Why is it always the mother who gets blamed, as if parenting is a sole proprietorship of Mother!
This might have been the effect of previous few generations, where we were taught a family consist of working dad, mother to take care, and two lovely kids and grandparents. Yes, the members remains the same, but new roles are defined. The multitasking mom and dad runs behind work, is the need of the hour at this growing cost of schools & lifestyle, self-sufficient grandparents are not allowed to relax their retire life but overtaxed with taking care of grandkids and managing cook, housemaids and drivers. So everyone s roles are vital, and even a small change in this home organizational structure brings in some remarkable calamities during weekdays.
Every woman start their career life with high aspirations and hope, grow pretty fast, And the first big break comes when woman has to go through a maternity leave, at work she has to forego the impending promotion, miss a year appraisal, and go on loss of pay and after a struggle of kid ready for day care, it takes another toll to build the trust on her and get back to her position. This is very true especially in an Indian mind set. And believe me every woman long for an extra hour with family and friends, that’s one reason I avoid office parties and weekend office get together, just clearing my conscience 😃
And working woman will never be acknowledged at school as the best mom nor at work!! Smart worker doesn’t have to spend 12 hours starring at the laptop to finish his/her work! And a good mom is not always the one who pampers the kid to the core and takes the kids decision by herself, but a mother who brings up the child to think on his own and lead an independent life! May be these are just still in books and still considered to be a theory.
So if you look at me as if I am the most casual mother who forgets to put him on a Friday Uniform because I missed the calendar, or consider as the worst employee since I did not spend 14 hours in office, go ahead and call me so! But I know what I am doing!
WLB: lies in the eyes of the beholder