Managing a job and home is quite challenging. We all know that women join the workforce and then eventually quit due to household responsibilities, which is why they don’t even reach to the senior-most positions, except a few. Even if they somehow manage to accomplish their professional dreams, their relationship with their spouse and/or children may not be that satisfying.
And I am not talking about not doing their basic duties. I am here talking about quality time such as having deep conversations or doing certain activities together that everyone enjoys. There is no wonder why sometimes most happy couples might also file for divorces. The cases are apparently increasing, I am afraid!
Women, whether they work from home or go to offices, are always expected to juggle multiple tasks on a daily basis. This is often because our society still anticipates specific gender roles where women need to make the right work-life balance. If they think that they will not be able to manage that, they likely quit. The surroundings, in general, play a huge role in reinforcing those patterns of that belief system that are deeply rooted.
For instance, if you were born in a family that supports a girl’s complete education and career, you wouldn’t believe otherwise. You will, in fact, proudly say to the world that your family has always been a strong support system for you. On the contrary, if you are unfortunate to be born in a conservative family, you will probably think that this is what a woman’s fate is – get limited excess to education and/or career, and get settled with spouse and children to serve them for the rest of life.
Even though sluggishly, the society is still changing. We can now find many examples in which the spouse and his family do support a woman’s job and career. Nevertheless, lack of compatibility and communication may create chaos, which in turn will affect either personal or professional life or both. Even though there are ways for women to manage both career and relationships so that they flourish in every field without compromising on anything, actually implementing them is too difficult. Yet those who have given it a shot do have their share of success stories.
Following are the possible methods that work for women of all ages to manage both career and relationships. Let’s go through each one of them.
Ways for Women to Manage Both Career and Relationships
The most successful people in this world always follow this mantra, i.e. time management. You have to wake up at the right time to start your day. Make a to-do list and follow through your day. You should have a fair idea of the possible time it will take to complete your tasks. Try to be punctual as possible and your day will be sorted out just fine.
What most people lack is proper will power to start something and determination to continue that. Most of them do not even start it in the first place, or even if they do, it’s kept in their lowest priority until it’s too late to execute it. Your tasks need to be begun as well as finished at the right time.
Set working hours if working from home
If you are a freelancer, your home and office will try to overlap. For instance, there are lots of (urgent) emails that need to be replied right away. If you are at home, you might feel the urge to check them “one last time”, but that is not going to happen. Instead, you will be answering them all post-midnight. The result? Lack of sleep and extreme annoyance the next day! Do you want to compromise on the quality time you could have otherwise spent with your spouse and/or children?
It is indeed very much necessary to set specific working hours, say 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or any other timings that suit your needs so that everyone expects your response only on the said timings. If you are away for lunch for an hour or so, mention that to your clients as well. This will manage the work pressure.
Setting boundaries on many occasions both personally and professionally is necessary to grow in both aspects. There has to be the right kind of balance while you work as well as socialize. A lot of times, you will require to miss countless family functions because you are not going to get offs on working days frequently unless it is a weekend. Do not get disheartened if you are not able to make it for your family. Spend time with them some other day.
As far as your other family members or relatives are concerned who might judge you for your absence then remember that those people wouldn’t be of any assistance while you face issues like financial crises, for instance. Such people are to be kept at a distance anyway because they are going to speak mean statements even if you do every bit of effort.
I still remember a woman and her husband at my previous workplace who used to arrive late and also would take many leaves each month for being part of all family-related gatherings. They were eventually fired and were jobless for over a couple of months.
Therefore, learn to say no both personally and professionally if you know that you cannot meet all kinds of expectations. Personally, because you have a job, and professionally because you cannot commit to all kinds of works that you cannot accomplish within a given set of time.
One should always know what priorities are on a low, medium, or high basis. Some priorities are urgent whereas some are important but not urgent. So, learn the difference between the two and work in accordance with that.
For instance, you have to pick your kids from daycare in the evening, which is urgent. You also have to check a few important emails that you might receive anytime. Which one would you pick? Obviously, you would go to pick your kids from daycare because after a certain time the center will close. Your emails can wait for a while until you come back.
Look for a flexible work schedule
Some people like the idea of flexible timings, while others don’t due to several distractions that show up in the midst. The idea is great if you have children to take care of who need to be dropped and picked from school and/or daycare, fed during mealtime and in between, and so on. This is regardless of your commitment towards a workplace or as a freelancer.
Meditate and exercise
Meditation and exercising can help relieve the stress of the day. These can be done either in the morning or evening, whichever time works for you. You can also do this with your significant other. This will help you have quality time with each other with better mental and physical health. If you are single, these activities will let you socialize with fellow pals.
Involving in things that interest you will always keep you motivated and well charged, especially if performed along with your loved one(s). It can be anyone who might be interested to accompany you – spouse, kids, cousin, neighbor, friend – you name it! By doing this, your complaint about not spending enough time with your friends and family won’t exist anymore. So, just begin embracing activities like playing a musical instrument, dancing, swimming, singing, painting, and the list is endless!
Be open to communicating at home and workplace
Lack of communication is the primary factor that deteriorates already established terms, whether home or workplace. Both parties should be able to meet each other’s expectations. So, it is a good idea to directly communicate on various factors so that one doesn’t face confusion later.
For instance, if you work from home as a freelancer and you don’t tell your boss that you need to pick your child from school by 1 p.m. because the school bus isn’t coming, your boss will expect you to give immediate responses that you won’t be able to fulfill.
Another example can be that of not telling your better half about your meeting with a client at a coffee shop. This can turn into a serious fight because (s)he expects you to meet him/her for lunch.
Encouraging spouse and family
Women’s careers and relationships substantially thrive if they get extremely encouraging spouse and family. I have seen a few families in which grandparents are ready to take care of their grandkids and the couple can go to their respective workplaces without any worry. If all members of the family decide in advance how household chores will be distributed, the burden is greatly reduced. If one lives in a nuclear family then both partners require to adjust in that.
For instance, if one person is cooking, others can do the dishes. Likewise, if one is getting the kids ready in the morning then the other one can guide them in homework in the evening. I wish such kinds of family members are there in every household and not just a handful few.
Don’t trust your memory while you have a huge list to do. It can be of the lowest importance or related to something which should be done at the earliest; it can also be related to home or workplace containing the whole day’s schedule or something based on financial matters. You should always, I repeat, ALWAYS write them down no matter how trivial they sound. So, whether it is a dinner date with your significant other or cash deposit in the bank, you still should write it down. This habit considerably reduces the chances of those tasks of major to minute importance for being overlooked.
Keep away from social media
Yes, it’s a habit that gradually turns into a serious addiction. You will not even realize when you started being so compelled to the point of no interaction with your significant other even if there are chances of conversation on many occasions.
Hence, either limit the access or better still, no access at all. What I do is, keep my phone away while eating whether alone or with my husband. I do not allow him as well if I see him browsing or observe the slightest of interest on his phone. It means the world to me even if we catch for a quick lunch or evening coffee together at times. Luckily our workplaces are nearby!
On the contrary, we also send funny text messages many times a day. It can be something urgent or just a few emojis. This habit reinforces the belief that a couple cares for each other. Know that your phone will be of great use if you are not accompanying one another. Once you do this, you will be aware that you have always had plenty of time.
As I mentioned earlier that having multiple roles is extremely challenging especially if a woman needs to stay at her workplace for a longer duration, yet can be implemented with efforts and dedication. In addition to this, her family and better half should be supportive as well to let her progress as a person in general and as an employee who thrives wherever she works.
Ayoti empowers women by providing them suitable jobs. It does not matter whether you are a fresher or an experienced person who had to take household responsibilities; if you have got the right kind of skills, you are good to work from home and earn wages!