Being a career-oriented woman in India takes a lot of hard work, especially, if you’re married and have kids. There is a lot of extra baggage that a working woman has to carry, unlike her male counterparts.
The most important thing for women committed to their careers is to garner support from their family as families play a huge role in an individual’s decision-making, especially in countries like India.
Time management is an essential element and a skill to be mastered if one has to successfully balance home and work. Juggling between kids, husbands, domestic chores while managing office work is what most career-oriented women struggle with.
Despite their multitasking abilities, women are often criticized for not being a below average homemaker and not “being there” for their children. Do women really have to give up their family life for the sake of a career or vice versa?
In India, an ideal woman is the one who devotes most of her time in managing household chores, taking care of her family and grooming her children.
However, at the end of the day, she’s left with no time for herself. Women must realize that irrespective of gender and marital status, they are entitled to pursue their dreams and be financially independent.
Nikita, a 35-year-old mother of two, says, “I started working two years before I got married. Initially, even my in-laws were supportive, but after the birth of my twins, they started objecting to it, saying that I must give all my attention to my kids. The kids now go to school and my husband stays away on business; I regret having to give up my career altogether to maintain domestic harmony and now it seems like quite a challenge to catch up from where I left.”
Most career-oriented women find it hard to balance their work and family perfectly. The best way to deal with this issue is to talk to their respective families and put forth their expectations. With time and a little convincing, family members get used to the work routine and begin extending their support, even if grudgingly.
Most of the time, however, a little help from the spouse is all that is needed to put things into place. Even in absence of familial support, women can set their priorities straight and use their financial independence to hire domestic help to take care of the home front. That will also allow for more quality time with children and elders.
After all, as someone put it very wisely, “It is the ‘quality’ of time that matters, and not the ‘quantity’.” Poonam (32), reporter of a leading news channel, says, “Being physically present for someone is equal to giving him mental support. As far as emotions are concerned, the amount of time has nothing to do with it. It is all about how you utilize the time at hand.”
It is not always necessary for career-oriented women to sacrifice their family life for their careers, although many women still find it to be a convenient and confrontation-free option. By managing time intelligently and prioritizing their duties smartly, women can lead a well-balanced and fulfilling life.