I believe women can really have it all, anything they want in life…just not at all at once. I worked as a pharmacist for ten years before quitting to become a stay at home mom, because as my life changed my priorities did also. There is nothing is the world more important to me than spending time with my sons, teaching them and building memories. However, I felt the pinch of being a one income family, and wanted to enjoy some of my hobbies that I had been neglecting, so I decided to start working again. This time, though, I'd work from home, and make money doing what I love. There are many reasons women today choose to work while maintaining a happy family life, but it can be difficult balancing family life and work. Relationships may suffer, your best work isn't being produced, and the truth is none of us can be 100% of everything at the same time. What is a solution? Prioritize. If you have to cut back on a hobby or start working out at home in order to have more free time, it's worth doing so to keep the most important relationships healthy and strong. You can always rejoin a gym or finish a project later, but your children are young now, your relationship with your spouse needs attention now, and if you work, your boss deserves your best effort now. Women have to put their foot down when other things that are less important start demanding their attention and time. Your mother, friends, or child's PTA may not like it, but unless there is an emergency, they all take a back seat in your day to day life. Another aspect that would help women in balancing family life and work is to recruit the support and help of their family. Talk to your husband and children and explain that while they will always come first, there may be a few times that your job becomes a priority (like tax season if you are an accountant), and ask for their understanding and patience during these times so that you aren't overwhelmed by the stress. Have them help out by taking over some of your home responsibilities short term, and return to your normal family routine once the work emergency is over. I often hear that society needs to change to make things easier for women, but I don't agree. I don't need anyone else's support of my dreams or goals to balance both a happy family and a fulfilling career, as long as my family is on board. I chose to be a work-at-home mom, and with my husband's support (and because I always put my family first), I was able to forge a new career path that provided us with a happier home life. It didn't matter what my mother or friends or neighbors or society thought. I was determined and my husband was lovingly supportive, and as a result, I've been successful in balancing family life and work.
I’ve noticed how women so often feel caught between their interests in family life and their creative or career aspirations. I wonder if it has to be this way. What would have to change—in your life, in people’s attitudes, or in our society—for women to have an easier time managing work-life balance? Share your answer below to be entered to win a Haier microwave for your family along with an additional microwave to be donated to the Food Bank for New York City!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Haier. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Contest Rules.