One day, I was interviewing someone for an important role, when my 4-year-old son came and stood outside, trying to get my attention. I was trying to signal that I needed a few more minutes. He got impatient. I got aggravated. The rest is history.
Being an entrepreneur complicates life. I have multiple babies to take care of! Early mornings, late evenings become a perennial norm. 3am is feed time and 4am is email time, and it is all in a days work.
This is the kind of craziness that working mothers go through trying to achieve work life balance.
But ever since I was a child, I always believed – to learn is to be alive, and to be alive is to know ‘the full picture’. Becoming an entrepreneur stemmed from this very essence of my being and I could never let that go.
For working mothers, our work life balance may be like those of fathers, but still so different. You want to know how we feel? Mostly oscillating between prioritizing work and feeling guilty.
My challenge is always how I can be my best at work and be the best mother. It becomes even more difficult for me as an entrepreneur; I have always believed that being a women entrepreneur is pretty much all about being the ‘entrepreneur’- there’s no difference, really! Through my lenses, I have never seen it as two different worlds, because I have always received mentorship, guidance and leadership from the best teachers, who have always made me feel empowered and had faith in my dreams. There has never been a moment where I could have paused, and sat down to list pros and cons of being a woman entrepreneur. I have been lucky to not have faced any biases so far.
However, not all working mothers have the same smooth sailing. So, my advice to you is to change the way you think about having kids and a career. As shared by @Deepa Dey, the guiding principle that brings peace in chaos is that ‘a happy mom is the best mom’.
You can’t be two places at one time – leading a meeting in the board room and changing your baby’s diaper at the same time. Switch how you feel about that reality. If you are someone who loves work and you are home with a baby all day long, it is not going to be good for you and it is not going to be good for your relationship with your kid. If you are happier being engaged in your career, then it will be good for you and your kid, for you to be at work.
Often, colleagues, bosses, and even your employees make assumptions about what they think a pregnant woman or new mom prefers. While their intentions may be good, they may inadvertently be short circuiting a woman’s ambitions. Whether you want to work from home part time or you want to be sure your boss knows that you still want that promotion, even though you have just had a baby, you need to be ready to communicate often and clearly.
The process can be very intimidating. Somethings can go wrong, and they likely will, but if you’re able to be fluid and acceptable about the new realities of your life, you and your little one will be able to sail through in tough times like a breeze.
In simple words, keep your head high, ego low and focus straight, at a time of change.
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