Balancing career and family: working women's dilemma

6 years ago


Balancing career and family: working women’s dilemma


Gracy Silveira D'souza


Working women oftentimes face problems having to juggle office and household chores.  Women are often seen in roles of handling household chores and are expected to take on such roles within families.  
Women feel they are constantly on a roller-coaster ride in life, going through ups and down, having hectic days at home and at work. Oftentimes, women have no time for themselves. They are constantly racing through days; seeking to find a balance between both, home and office. Their minds constantly work overtime thinking of all the to-do things, problems, and solutions.   

Pitfalls of doing things singlehandedly:
  • Restlessness
  • Sleepless nights
  • Health negligence
  • Fatigue and drop in energy level
  • Depression
  • Emotionally strung-out
  • Edgy and in attack mode
  • Whiner
  • Self-neglect
  • Frustration      
  • Skipping meals and thus eating delayed heavy meals at wrong times leading to weight gain
  • Unable to spend quality time with spouse and kids
Since women tend to worry about numerous tasks waiting to be accomplished at home, time management and prioritising work becomes imperative.   Getting all work done is strenous; women should seek assistance.
Guidelines on how to manage household chores:
Don’t think you are a super-human being and overwhelm yourself with doing everything single-handedly; you are not a machine! You need to take rest too. Let family members share in doing household chores; here are some examples which could help:

KIDS: How can kids help? 

Kids can help: speak your children and let them know how they can contribute. You may be surprised to find out that they actually like being treated as equals, and they help willing. 
Kids can:
  • Assist in minor kitchen work
  • Keep their bedrooms clean. 
  • Place toys and books back in place
  • Fold their clothes
  • Arrange their closets
  • Pack their school bags everyday
  • Do their homework on their own and ask for help only if there are stuck or assistance is must.

 Doing things on their own, enable children to become self-reliant and responsible.

SPOUSE: How can your spouse help?

Your spouse should also be involved in helping you at home. He should understand, that just like himself, you too are working in office and need time to rest and relax. He would definitely want you to finish and wind-up things soon, so you can spend time with him and your children.
Your spouse can:  
  • Help in the kitchen: assist in cooking/chopping vegetables, meat etc. Some men can even cook and are better cooks than women, but don’t expect your spouse to cook on a daily basis, take turns in doing so. 
  • Help in washing dishes after food while you do the ironing, or vice versa
  • Help in washing clothes while you vacuum-clean the house, or vice versa
  • Get groceries
  • Help with children’s homework
  • Help in other little things like dusting furniture, changing pillow cases, making the bed, etc.
  • Dropping the kids to school


 IN-LAWs: How can in-laws help?

For those who have able-bodied in-laws living with them, can request in-laws to do some light work, keeping in mind their old age! Don't expect them to do everything since they are at home- that would be very wrong, and could make them feel awkward. 
In-laws can: 
    • Spend time with their grandchildren
    • Babysit your pre-schoolers 
    • Assist you in preparing morning breakfast
    • Prepare evening tea.     
    • Assist grandchildren in doing their homework
    • Help grandchildren in cleaning/arranging their bedrooms  
    • If possible, water plants in your garden (if you have a garden)
    • Serve food to pet  (if you have a pet) and take it (dog) for a short walk.  This can also serve as a means of daily exercise for your in-laws, as walking is beneficial to health.
    • if possible, help you with groceries – take in-law(s) along with you, and you will finish shopping faster. This will be in outing for your in-law(s) who spends all day at home.     

Additional tips which could also help a great deal:
  • If possible, employ domestic help. I can’t stress enough on how beneficial this is- I have a live-in maid who has been with us for the past seven years, and having her has made things so much easier for me. I can devote more time to my family and still have ample for myself too.
  • If possible, take on a job closer to where you live (I did this and it helps)
  • If possible, take on a job where working hours are better in terms of time, so you will spend less time at work and have more time for your family and self (I did this too, and trust me it does make a difference)
  • Prioritise work- take on important tasks first.
  • Keep ready things in the night that you might need in next morning
  • Organise things at home- place items of each family member separately so each one can find their things easily. 
  • Group together and organise other general things so you can find them faster e.g. toys in toy box, books in bookshelf, newspapers and magazines in magazine holder, stationery in stationery cabinet, keys on key holder, jewellery in jewellery boxes, medicines in the medicine cabinet, etc. Note: Family members should put back things in place after use.
  • Do not bring office work home; unfinished work can be done on priority basis the next day.


Most importantly:
  • Take adequate rest and good care of yourself. 
  • Do not neglect your health; you are an important member of your family so give importance to your health. 
  • Take a body  massage at least once a month, this will release tension and help you relax.   
  • Set aside some time, if not daily then once or twice a week, for your personal interests and activities, such as reading books, writing, swimming, going out with friends, social-networking, shopping, meditating, exercising in the gym or at home, etc. 




  All the above pictures are taken from the Internet

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