Archive for the ‘work-life balance’ Tag

Every little action has a consequence   Leave a comment

When I was younger, I aggressively pursued my career … believing that the things I did (and the money I brought home) would make a significant difference to the world and my family.

My children up until this day, still have difficulty understanding what I did as an accountant. They’re not even interested.

It is not from the lack of explanations, trust me.

Yet, from the moment I decided to start writing, they have taken an active interest in my creative thought process from wanting to understand the story, giving their opinions on my book covers to actively proclaiming to the whole wide world their mom is an author (and no, I’ve never let them read my books. They need to grow up first!)

I never got that kind of enthusiasm when I was working as an accountant.

And now, my eldest has overcome her fear of writing and decided she likes to come up with stories too. She wrote one for her teachers as a Christmas present. My youngest sits in my lap and asks me to read what I wrote for her that day. She questions the main idea of the story and actually makes an awesome editor (surprisingly for a seven year old – Maybe she sees things so much clearer than this jaded old soul).

Definitely not what I was expecting when I first embarked on my writing adventure. So now, I have to write something for them too …

Who knows what lies beyond the horizon … but at least we’re doing it together ❤

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The Unexpected Intersection Between Motherhood and Womanhood   Leave a comment

“Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings boredom, exhaustion, and sorrow, too.  Nothing else ever will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality, especially while you struggle to keep your own ~ Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons”

It is never easy … balancing between:

  • the family and self
  • career and home
  • the partner and the kids
  • time and money

And yet, despite it all … we should never give up.

Guilt is my steadfast motherhood companion   1 comment

Since embracing motherhood years ago, guilt has been my steadfast companion. No matter how much I think I’ve found the perfect solution – guilt has never left me.

Armed with my education and experience, my climb up the corporate ladder was rewarding yet disturbing with guilt constantly whispering in my ear about the time I wasn’t spending with my kids, the concerts I had missed, the times I didn’t make it home to tuck them in bed … The times I spent screaming at them to hurry in the mornings because I was late for a meeting, the weekends spent at the laptop instead of outside in the sun with them because I had a deadline to meet.

Sacrifice! I told myself. Career can take a back seat, I told myself. Stay at home, make them your priority, you don’t need to have it all. They need you. Money isn’t everything.

And now, after years of being home with them, I find myself a shadow of the independent woman I once was, dependent on my partner to support the family. Guilty because I don’t contribute financially to the family, guilty because I wasted all the years I invested in my education and my career, trying to be the best I could be …

Now guilt haunts me as I ask the children to study hard and do their best … What kind of example are you setting for your children? It asks me.

The choices have never been easy.

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Losing Top Talent Because Of An Unfriendly Work Environment   Leave a comment

Women account for over half of the management, professional and related occupations in the United States and yet, despite their own preferences and the investments they have made in their education and career, when the new baby arrives, only 64.2% of new mothers are likely to still be working within the first six years. Even though corporate figures such as Sheryl Sandberg strive to inspire working women to “lean-in” and pursue their careers, many organizations continue to find themselves in danger of losing their top talent as women choose to opt-out and leave their professional life altogether.

So, how can organizations retain top talent by cultivating a friendly work environment?
– Introduce flexible work hours. Empower her to choose where and when she spends her hours working as long as deliverables are met.
– Provide the infrastructure necessary to make it possible for new parents to work remotely – a laptop, access to the organization’s systems through the VPN (Virtual Private Network), and the ability to hold meetings via video or tele-conferencing.
– Make it easier for her to be in the office. Provide the facilities for her to express and store her milk safely so she can continue to nurse her child in the long run.
– Foster support groups for new parents within the organisation. Assign mentors through these support groups which can help the new parents adjust to the new phase of their lives.
– Ensure that corporate policies are family friendly through the advocacy of flexible work hours, granting parents the ability to use sick leave to care for children, paid maternity leave or even access to child-care benefits.
– Promoting solid opportunities for professional advancement and raises to make it worth their while (both as individuals and for their families) to continue working with the organization.

…Read more

Every woman has a right to choose   Leave a comment

“We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.” – Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Work-Life Balance for New Mothers – Is It Even Possible?   Leave a comment

Every new mother lives in fear – about her newborn baby’s health, growth and development; about her relationship with her spouse; and even about going back to work after her maternity leave is over. How is she going to juggle it all? “Can you blame her?  Every millennium mom wants to have it all – to be the perfect parent, spouse and employee. Which career-oriented woman wouldn’t want to be successful like Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO? She’s #6 on Forbes List of Power Women now. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter which stage of her career she is at – she can’t help but worry about her work-life balance once she’s back at work.”

Sure, but does it affect all women?

In the United States, 55% of mothers returned to work six months after they gave birth as compared to a mere 14 percent in the early 1960s. Not all moms can afford to stay at home. New parents in the United States are only guaranteed their jobs for 12 weeks after the arrival of a new baby, thanks to the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and they even don’t have to be paid during that time.
With June to September being the busiest baby season every year, it’s no surprise that many moms-to-be are now busy preparing for their coming bundle of joy … but with barely enough time to adjust to sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, physical changes in her body and the newcomer in her life, will the working mom be prepared to return to work in such a short span of time?

It’s not going to be easy but it’s definitely not impossible.

Every mother tries to prepare as best as she can but with a baby that’s less than six months old, how can a millennium mom achieve a healthy work-life balance once she is back at work?

  • Make time for yourself – When mom is happy, everyone else is happy. The family appreciates your sacrifices but your own personal well-being is also important. You need to carve out a few moments for yourself amidst all the demands of your everyday life, even if it is as simple as exercising, reading a book or relaxing in a hot bath.
  • Let go of the guilt – Forget the housework for a few minutes. Put down the computer. Stop checking e-mails. Schedule some time to just play with your little one and enjoy those precious moments.
  • Know why you work – According to the Pew Research Center, 86% of working moms sometimes/ frequently feel stress. Identifying and remembering the key reasons why you need to work – ambition, financial necessity or independence – will help you remain focused in times of stress.
  • Spend quality time with your significant other half – He deserves some of your attention too. Don’t forget to take care of your relationship with him. Getting a babysitter and/or hiring a cleaning service will buy you precious moments alone with him, without stretching yourself further by sacrificing your sleep or time.
  • You are not alone – By creating a support group amongst other mothers / women in the community, you can develop friendships and help each other as well as reduce the stress and loneliness of having to do it all by yourself.
  • Be thankful – Find happiness today and don’t be buried by the daily struggles. Look forward to the future for your family.
  • Redefine your expectations – Don’t let your dream of being the perfect mom stress you out and bury you in guilt. Remember: “You may be only one person in this world, but to one person … you are the world.”

See the full article here

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