Work-Life Balance is Hard, But…
Work-Life balance is the topic I am asked most frequently about around the world (I like to call it work-life integration, or blending, because I think seeking balance is impossible). Yes, it’s tough, but women everywhere ARE making it work in incredible ways!
I’d like to share three additional thoughts on the topic based on the questions I was asked this year:
- WE ARE NOT COMPETING! We, women, are not competing for who is the “best” mom, wife, daughter, sister, or who has the best body, or who has the best job, or does the most in the community, etc. We have to stop judging ourselves by what other women do. If you need to “measure” what you are doing, do so against what works for you, your family, your work and your community.
- CHOOSE FOR YOURSELF. A woman in Qatar asked me if I had to choose between being promoted to management or staying home with my child, what would I do. I told her I’d done both successfully and simultaneously. I asked her what she’d choose. She replied, that she’d made that choice and elected to quit her job and be with her daughter. I told her that I respected her choice and I asked one thing of her: that when the time came, that she allow her daughter to make her own choice and not to influence her decision in either way.
- REVOLUTIONIZE THE WAY YOU ASSESS: Laura Tapia Navarro, a director at P&G Mexico who has had a very successful career and a wonderful family, tells women never to judge how well they are doing at balancing or integrating work and life on any given day. Any number of things at home or work could being going badly on any given day and it likely won’t not give you the perspective, truth or insight you need. Rather, she says, look at how you are doing in each sphere – work, family, your relationship, personal time, etc – over and extended period of time, like over a three to six month period. You’ll likely see that you are actually doing well! If you do find that something needs to be adjusted, you’ll see the opportunities and patterns more clearly.
Here are more work/life integration strategies like these from women like you that you can implement to make work and life more manageable.