If you are a working woman, specifically a mother, you probably have heard of the term work-life balance.
But what exactly does it mean?
It is a term used to identify the various demands that we face in our lives. As the cost of living continues to rise, women are encouraged to pursue their own careers to help pay for the various financial obligations around the house. When children are added to the family, the cost and the personal responsibilities in the house will also increase.
While men also need this, women seem to be more concerned about achieving this type of balance. It probably has something to do with the fact that women are the nurturers in the family. It is not diminished even if after we have started to become providers too.
Juggling a thriving career and taking care of family affairs forces most of us to become superwomen. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. The demands of our work and that of the family are equally important.
The reality is, most of us tend to prioritise one over the other. Since our finances significantly affect our lifestyle, our work is typically prioritised. Obviously, this is incorrect because the whole point of finding a balance between your work and personal life is that neither should be compromised.
So what can you do to achieve a work-life balance?
5 things you must know to achieve a work-life balance
Balancing your work and personal life means knowing these 5 things.
Know your priorities.
Because of the role of women in society, their priorities are usually leaning towards their family – specifically their children. Even as you strive to pursue a career, your reason for doing so is for the financial benefit of your kids. Once you have established this priority, it is easier to align and filter the rest of the tasks that you need to accomplish. Your priorities change over time so make sure to reconsider it every now and then.
Know your limitations.
Women are great multi-taskers – that is a fact. However, you need to draw the line somewhere. It is important to keep your work and personal lives separate. When you have a full-time job, try not to commit to PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) positions in the school. When you are at home, avoid answering work-related emails or calls. Treasure the time that you have for each area of your life so you can focus on whatever is in front of you.
Know the company policies.
Your work-life balance will depend on the policies of the company. You need to know how long you will be expected to work each week, their rules for filing leaves, etc. Some management positions in Singapore require you to work late at night. Specifically, you want to know about their maternity leave and emergency leaves – in case a family member gets sick. Some careers are very demanding. These make it difficult to achieve a balance in your life. The knowledge will also allow you to determine if the company is abusing your rights already or not.
Know the tools available.
Technology will allow you to function at work efficiently and effectively. You have to identify the tools that you can use to make your task easier. That way, you do not have to spend a lot of time completing a task. It leaves more room in your schedule for other things.
Know your options.
Some companies offer options that will make work-life balance possible. For instance, some will allow you to telecommute – which basically means you can work from home. This is a popular option for new mothers. It allows them to continue working while caring for the needs of their baby. If telecommuting is not possible, at least ask for a flexible schedule. That way, you can attend to personal matters and just work longer shifts on other days.
5 rules for working mothers to have a work-life balance
Apart from that, there are also 5 rules that you need to follow to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
This is true for both work and personal responsibilities. Working moms usually feel burnt out because they fail to give themselves time to relax. If you want to function well while working or taking care of your family’s needs, you have to give yourself time to recharge. “ME” time is a very important part of a work-life balance.
Rule 2: Learn how to say NO
Even if it is your boss asking you a favour, if you already made a commitment, just learn how to say no. Remember your priorities and the limitations of the company when it comes to your workload. This is also something that you need to apply to your personal life. Make sure your work gets enough attention from you too. Decline a PTA position if it will make your to-do list longer.
Rule 3: Stop feeling guilty
Women, in general, feel like they have to prove something. Maybe it is because of our history of fighting for equal rights. Well, that is no longer the case in our society today. You do not have to prove anything because society knows your true value. If you need to say “no” because of your children, do not feel guilty for doing so. Remember, you are not superwoman. You cannot devote 100% of your time to one task – and you have to be okay with that.
Rule 4: Communicate and compromise
This actually goes hand in hand with rule number 2. When you say no, make sure you communicate it well. You do not want to burn bridges or compromise opportunities. Ensure that you explain why you are saying no and try to compromise so everybody is happy.
Rule 5: Do not be afraid to ask for help
Sometimes, it is hard to achieve a work-life balance because you are trying to do everything yourself. Ask help if you must. When it comes to household chores, we live in a society where men are already helping out. Husbands are more than willing to be hands on when it comes to caring for the kids. Delegate so you do not feel stressed about all the tasks that have to be accomplished.
A work-life balance is very important because it keeps you from feeling burnt out or stressed about your life. That will minimise any stress-related health issues. Not only that, it gives you adequate control to focus on the tasks that you have to accomplish. For instance, if you do not mix your work and personal life, you can focus on each – depending on where you are. You get to be the best of you in both areas of your life.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in