I could have never imagined if anyone had told me that a period will come when you will be asked to work virtually for an indefinite period of time. With no certainty amidst a complete lockdown of the human socialization process, I have been craving to hear my doorbell ring and move out of my home to see the physical world again. A complete delusion! Quite unbelievable, but the value of human presence has never been felt as strong and mysterious as ever before.
Initially, the move was wholeheartedly welcomed by many of us, especially the working moms who always live in a guilt conscious syndrome of not being able to devote time with family and kids. In fact, I too was in full sync and charged to know that I can be with my family 24 by 7. Not a bad situation at all. And the first few weeks went so very well. We felt differently nice and were all good. Perhaps this is what we as working moms have always craved for – work from home. Hurray!
What happened next then?
This joy was short-lived. We never knew that this unfathomed state of existence also has its pros and cons.
With your full family at home round the clock along with their unique set of needs, never-ending household chores, an unimaginably maid-less life, incessant screen time and super dilution of ‘work – personal’ space; now moms across the world are seen striving hard to overcome and balance the situation in their own unique ways.
So what do my colleagues in India do to maintain the balance? Let us hear out straight from them:
Stick to a schedule
Crisis or no crisis, it is important for mothers to stick to a schedule to balance both work life and home life.
Sonal Kapur Sinha, Head - Human Resources, Modern Foods states, ‘I find defining and sticking to my daily routine thereby making the day predictable for all at work and back at home.’
Sonal feels that this has worked wonders for her in keeping up the efficacy in all fronts, not to mention the smiles on everyone around.
Self-care is important
Even while juggling every responsibility, working mothers need to remember the importance of self-care.
Meenakshi Khera - Director HR, EvueMe Selection Robort & Senior HR Advisor with D-Edge Hospitality Solutions stresses the importance of self-care.
As per Meenakshi, ‘in times of lockdown, you can’t go out, but you can definitely get creative by categorically having ‘me-time’.
One must try to take out time for meditation as mental well-being should be your number one priority.’
Enlist family support
Working mothers need to understand that while they can do everything on their own, enlisting family support is important in this tough time.
Monika Diwan - Head HR, GfK Ltd. (India) quotes ‘being a professional and a mother to a nine-year-old is a tough balance to maintain in this period of lockdown.’ She beautifully summarizes few modifications that she has adopted like explaining the do’s and don’ts of office discipline to her son, teaching him to cook basic non-fire meals, allowing him to occasionally greet her colleagues on the call, having scattered breaks to accommodate everyone’s schedule at home and office; and accepting the fact that such learning will lead to a more adaptable and purposeful living in future.
We are super moms; we have the ability to manage both our worlds.
This is a feeling and thought that keeps most of our spirits high. And as we all know that isolation and such a high level of disconnection can be a bad recipe for one’s mental health, especially for mothers; so it’s a priority to balance our ‘inner self’.
With all such real-life experiences, it is clearly evident how this new normal has brought in its own set of learning and complexities, especially for all working mothers. On one hand, it brings in unprecedented challenges for each one of us. And on the other hand, our super-mom abilities are getting tested in full strength.
I wish all my fellow colleagues and friends from the same gender a very Happy Mother’s Day, 2020. Keep shining, maintain the inner strength, and be kind to yourself. I am hopeful that through this journey, we will surely create many new colors of wisdom and soon will celebrate the life that we all deserve.