Everyone wants to have it all. The concept dictates that one should be able to juggle multiple roles and responsibilities, such as being a career woman but a dedicated mother, a blooming socialite with a work ethic… But how realistic are these goals? Today, when the average workday finishes long after five, and recognition is given to those who put in the extra hours rather than those who just get the job done, how can any exhausted employee, manage it all?
Finding a balance between work and life can often affect much more than just maintaining a social circle. Of course, for some, this balance is decided by other obligations. This is what happens to working parents, and unfortunately, mostly to working mothers; Career success is incredibly desirable, but women are often made to feel as though they can either have a blooming career, or they can raise their children themselves, as opposed to leaving them with a babysitter or a family member.
However, it really doesn’t have to be so black and white. There are ways to have a stable career, but still ensure that you still have a life away from your desk.
One platform for struggling women is the latest HEROES campaign. HEROES looks to assist working women while they navigate the complexities of working life in order to find success. This initiative was launched by Shazia Syed, the CEO & chairperson of Unilever Pakistan Limited, who will be hosting a live Facebook session this Tuesday, the 10th of July at 7 PM to get into the details of how to make sure it’s not a constant struggle to manage between work and home. A mother of two, Syed has an incredible career, having held various senior management positions before this one, and can share real insight on the subject based on her personal experiences. Having always been an advocate of women empowerment, she is ready to encourage other working mothers specifically to give themselves the opportunities, and self-care they deserve.
One must understand that you are allowed to put yourself first. Especially, in the case of working parents, where women who don’t want to be seen as uncaring and negligent, it can start to seem like what the individual genuinely wants to do for him or herself is secondary to how society sees them. Learn to beat the guilt, and the perceived judgment, and be confident in what you want. Learn to understand what your own capabilities are, and set realistic goals and expectations.
Accept that there are only twenty-four hours in a day, and everyone needs breaks here and there. Learn how long you can work for before you start to feel too tired, and don’t push yourself too hard. If your body is telling you that you need a break, make sure to stop and listen to what you need; your work and your overall mental health will thank you. Step away from the screen for 10 minutes, stretch out your legs and get that blood pumping or simply allow a short time out to recharge. Overextending yourself causes anxiety, which can lead to physical symptoms, and would all in all be counterproductive.
Another important tip is to try and make sure that the work you do is actually rewarding, and to some extent, you can look forward to having a job to do every day. Instead of looking at things as chores, waking up to a career you are passionate about helps you keep up energy levels and stay motived.
Finally, as someone who juggles multiple tasks and jobs in a day, as working parents do, understand that every now and again, you will slip up, miss something important, or have to skip something that you really wanted to do. There is no set of instructions on how to live a stable life, so all you can do really is try to do what is best for you, and for the lifestyle you want for yourself.
This article was written by Shehrbano Khan