Is it possible for working mothers to strike a balance between personal and professional life? If yes, how?
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Balance is an illusion.
One could argue either side. My gut-reaction is no. Someone who is looking to achieve balance with work and family is one who is wanting to give 100% to two different things. It is impossible to be in two places at once: at a school's vision screening and at a pharmaceutical conference 200 miles away. A mother is only able to carpool for a field trip at 10 am on a Tuesday if she is not otherwise arguing a case in court.
Making the choice to work outside the home or work within are both noble vocations, and in today's economy, the former is one of luxury.
However, achieving balance is an illusion. When a child wakes up on a Monday with a fever and cough, a working mother is faced with an awful choice of going to work, leaving the sick child in somone else's care, staying home and forfeiting her day in her profession or worse, sending the child to school. A stay-at-home mother, regardless of her obligations, does not jepordize the family's income, her profession or the child's illness by staying at home taking care of the child.
None of these choices are balanced. None should be judged. In a larger perspective, women in western societies, have choices to pursue their futures, opting to find a balance somewhere and hopefully coming to the realization that balance, although an illusion, can be an experience rich in its rewards.
Hope this helps!
Yes, we need to look into the matter seriously. Now a days, we all talk about right of women at par with men. Men are also crazy for money and so most of them always lool for a working girl. Hence its becomes imperative for the husband to cooperate with her wife and run the show. But when we come to the point of bringing up the children, we feel, it becomes necessary for a mother with lots of love for their children, giving them full time to acquire culture and attitude. It may annoy some one but charity begins at home and none other than a mother is a good teacher for children. From this point of view, it seems, she can not maintain a balance between her personal and professional life. Many people are of the opinion that this has also led to deviation of children from right path to wrong.
Even then it will be wrong to generalise, some may be able to do so. But how far is the question remains for ever. Man and women are created with different physic and in our society, since beginning, some duties are rendered with ease by women. In this competitive world people are struggling for own existence. Therefore, I come to an end making a remark that its impossible for a working mother to maintain a balance.
Of course it's possible. Millions of working mothers do it. To me, the most important part is to have a husband who is willing to do his share of the work. If the marriage is truly a partnership it makes it a lot easier for the woman to be able to work full-time because it is not like she is coming home and having to do all the work at home. This gives her more time for activities that are personally fulfilling.
Rather than looking at the issue of working mothers, I think the discussion needs to be broadened to working parents. Why is the assumption always that the mother must forfeit her day's work or other obligations to care for a sick child? The discussion needs to be about balancing responsbilities in a "family", whatever your particular family may look like. More and more women today are the primary breadwinners for their family so in those families, it may make more financial sense for the father to miss work in the case of a sick child.
As far as balance, on a day-to-day basis, no. Over a longer period of time, yes. If you've ever looked at the diet of a toddler, you'll see that one day's diet is not particularly balanced. However, over the span of a week or two, it averages out. The same idea can be applied to working parents. One day may be more family or more work, over the long term, it balances out.
My experience has been a juggling act - and I've dropped the ball more times than I would like to. Meeting at 8am, 20 minutes across town, creche that opens at 8am so I show up before the staff in the hope someone is early so I can avoid being late... I love teaching, but when my son was little he was in daycare from 7.45 am (yes the staff were always early) until 6pm. It took me a while to see the madness in the idea of me paying to have my child looked after from the money I was paid to look after other people's children... I am sure some people are phenomenal at being organised, calm workers and patient, nurturing mothers. I found it an overwhelming task.
It really depends on the support system the working mother has. If a mother has people to help her take care of the children, it will be easier for her to be both a good mother and a good employee. I would add that a flexible employment is important too.
I have to agree with post #2 (and well said). Though post 3 suggests that "millions of mothers do it," I have yet to meet one who is fully satisfied in both work and motherhood. There is always a sacrifice on one end or the other.
I personally don't believe it is possible to have the best of both worlds. I am not saying it's impossible to have both worlds. But I know from experience and observation, that there simply is always a sacrifice on one side or the other. The woman who leans toward job a little more feels guilty for the time (or moments) she spent working rather than with her kids, and the woman who leans toward motherhood always has a sense that things could be slightly better at work if she could only devote more of her time or attention in that direction.
Finding balance between work and personal life is possible, but extremely difficult. Being able to find balance depends on many factors such as the type of job you have, the hours you work, number of children and their ages, your helpmate, salary, and even your personality. Some women are "Type A" and need everything in both personal and professional life to be very satisfactory. I think the biggest key is the partner that you have. My husband is 100% hands-on and we work as a team in regards to parental duties.
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