In between a fruitful career, a startup, mommy and wife roles it’s becoming more and more of a challenge to keep a balance and, to be brutally honest, I start to think that all the QHSE workshops related to this topic that I attended since I started my career till now were built on incomplete data.
Is there such thing as a balance? Does anyone manage to be fully present at work, while the child has a flu at home? Do you come home from a long day in the office to cook dinner for your family without feeling tired? Do you fully disconnect while on vacation when you have a demanding career to attend to? How do you feel while pregnant and working?
I’m not calling it a balance anymore, but an appeal to conscience. While my professional conscience makes me a responsible adult in the office, proactively tackling my to do lists in the middle of firefighting daily challenges, training and guiding people to achieve their best performances, my mommy conscience makes me wake up at 5am to prepare breakfast for my kids during school days, plan all the after school activities, create family traditions (like the Sunday meal when I bake a cake and cook my special recipes – hoping my kids will remember later on the food cooked by their mom and not only the time their mom spent working) and basically being present when my kids face any challenges (I’m their safety net so I’m always paying attention to their mood and behavior to notice any early stages issue).
While I’m an advocate for gender equality in the workplace, due to a career in an industry dominated by men, I’ve noticed that my workload (considering tasks to accomplish in 24hrs) is net superior to the one of a man in the same age range and with the same family profile as mine. Do I express it out loud? No. Do I feel I’m in disadvantage? Sometimes. But I mostly feel I have double the experience. I’m better at planning, multitasking and problem solving. I’m also more exposed to stress, anxiety, mental health issues and burnout.
Nonetheless, each personal or professional achievement empowers me to grow and develop into a better version of myself.
To sum it up, because I want to reach retirement age, I’ve drafted some lifestyle guidelines for myself:
- Taking “me” time – having at least 15mins each day for myself to clear my mind and recharge batteries, meditating, doing my skincare routine (…because skincare is selfcare)
- Looking after my health – periodical checkups, eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, workout
- Not being harsh to myself – doing my best each day (perfection is fiction so don’t get lost in details)
So, Ladies, how do you manage work-life balance?