We understand that being a working mother is tough. Often, new mothers get stuck in career limbo. Juggling family and career, they try hard to put on a smile to face a day of endless activities. While short maternity leaves, lack of flexible working hours, the wage gap, and an inability to give enough time to their young ones pose challenges, the supermoms move forward undeterred to succeed at both the workplace and home.
Aparna, our very own product manager, is one such supermom who has successfully blazed through many challenges to make a mark in her career. And today, to inspire many more mothers, she shares her experiences, difficulties, successes, joys and pitfalls that come with being a working mother. We are hoping this would help you strike the perfect balance between being a loving mother and a successful businesswoman.
Balancing motherhood and career:
Juggling a career and motherhood isn’t easy. Mothers have to master time management and task prioritisation so that they can have both a rewarding career and a happy family. Aparna re-emphasises this fact. “I plan my day to ensure that I give time to my family, work, and myself.”
“Staying focused is the key to effective time management”. She continues, “Managing work and family requires single-minded focus even when you’re dealing with a small task.” Aparna practices yoga every day to energise and stay focused for the entire day. She prioritises tasks at both work and home to get things done systematically and makes time for her family and herself. Before hitting the bed, she closes out loose ends and plans for the next day.
Returning to work as a new mother:
A few months of maternity break can leave young mothers fearing that their skills are outdated. “There’s always a fear of falling behind when new mothers return to their jobs”, Aparna says. “But today you can easily find help online. You can sign up for online courses, reach out to mentors, and seek help from online communities.” She continues “Also, being at home with kids helps develop skills such as creative problem solving, multi-tasking, and time management. Acknowledge these skills and make your way through without any self-doubts.”
Taking up leadership roles:
Despite decades of sweeping social change, the number of mothers in leadership roles is paltry. Though mothers have all the skills to be great leaders, they often downplay their potential. Aparna insists that mothers should never stop exploring leadership roles. “It is okay to take a break and focus on young children and get back to work when you think you are ready to balance both. It makes you stronger to accept challenges, diverse scenarios, and coworkers.”
She continues to say how mothers make amazing leaders and managers. “Mothers have patience, are empathetic and are excellent at time management. Leverage the skills acquired through motherhood to show why you qualify for that promotion more than ever before. List the new skills on your resume to get a better job.”
Overcoming mother’s guilt:
All mothers, even the most organised and committed ones, at some point feel guilty that they are not spending enough time with their families. Aparna too has been there – “There were times when work commitments prevented me from attending school events and was crushed by the looks of disappointment on my children’s faces.”
One way of handling this would be to choose jobs that allow flexible work hours and supports diversity. “Flexible work hours lets you set your own work hour rather than work according to the work hours pre-set by the company. This way you can be with your loved ones when needed without losing focus on your career.”
Building the support system:
Mothers need a support system that helps them thrive in their career while raising a child. Building a support network helps mothers seek help and pick themselves up when they are down. Aparna has her support group too.“My family, friends, and colleagues have been of great support. I also build my support network online. I’m a part of several groups and communities where working mothers come together to help each other push through the challenges,”
Motherhood is exhilarating, joyful, and stressful. Mothers sacrifice a lot to balance their career with family, but are most often left unappreciated. They are so worried about everyone else that they forget to take care of themselves. Yet, they challenge themselves every day to create an identity for themselves and stand as role models for their kids.
Vtiger team wishes all the super moms who strive to have it all, a very happy Mothers Day!