The Anchor: 5 ways women can swing the work-life balance

07 Mar,2012

By Apurva Purohit


#1 Learning to prioritize: We can’t be great moms and wives and great professionals, and have an active social life and learn painting and scuba diving all at the same time. So we need to make tough choices about what is essential and what is not. For years my husband and I didn’t socialize at all because whatever time we could spare from work was spent at home with our son.


#2 Living with guilt: We have all dealt with the guilt of leaving a cranky child or an ailing parent at home while we rushed off to complete that presentation. Or with the guilt of missing an important office event to manage a household crisis. It is a fact that Indian moms have an exaggerated sense of guilt. My son doesn’t seem to have any emotional scars that I left him with his grandmom when he had chickenpox, but I carry along big welts 11 years later!


#3 Asking for help: You know the biggest issue women have in asking for help? That it often accompanies loss of control. Losing control of the kitchen to your mother-in-law, or of the upbringing of your child to your mother. If you are prepared to let go, you can build a really powerful support system around you.


#4 Hard work is a given: Finally, we all need to work exceptionally hard to manage both parts of our lives. As soon as the office shift gets over, the other shift of cooking/feeding/dealing with homework starts. I had morning, afternoon and evening sickness throughout the nine months of my pregnancy. But I just carried plastic bags and boarded the train for the one-hour journey to work every single day. And I know a lot of women friends and colleagues who dealt with similar issues without batting an eyelid.


#5 Keep your foot on the pedal: At critical junctures in their lives, like marriage and babies, women need to make sure that they remain as focused on their career as they are on family. And use whatever support they can get – organization, parents, husband, in-laws – but keep their foot firmly on the pedal. It requires working doubly hard but it is worth the effort.


Apurva Purohit is CEO, Radio City 91.1 FM.


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