Can a woman be a good wife, mother, employee and also good with herself?
Women have attempted to integrate work and motherhood since the beginning of time. Research shows that in the US roughly 61% of moms work - that's 7 out of 10 mothers.
More women work because they have to share the financial responsibilities with their husbands. The Middle East is no different.
My experience is similar to millions. I'm a work addict. I've given my career a priority over my social life. Exhaustion is a given, but time management is a whole different ball game. My motto is: if you can set a strategy for your next meeting surely you can set a strategy for your life. If you know how to delegate at work, you can learn how to delegate at home.”
Infographic: Struggle to juggle
Working moms have no choice but to make it work. Supporting husbands help a lot. You can’t sit around feeling guilty because it creates a negative energy. I have created a routine based on my schedule and my family’s and I stick by it.
Every week I stick a schedule and a menu on the fridge so everyone is in the know.
It details who is picking who up and from which activity, when homework time is and what’s cooking tonight.
I have learned over the years to say 'NO' to social activities that will stress me out the next day; and have learned to save my energy with an 'accepting' and 'make it happen' attitude rather than complaining the whole time. The older my children get, the easier it becomes as there is less sleep deprivation and more real conversation. My daughter used to ask me why I couldn’t pick her up from school as she didn’t like taking the bus. I explained to both my kids that I loved working and I will always work because it challenges my mind and keeps me busy in a good way.
I remember an incident when my daughter was 18 months old and I was at work. It was around 2:00 pm. I got a call from the nanny telling me there is blood on my daughter's toe. While she was still explaining, in her broken English, what had happened, I'd already packed my bag, got my car keys out, wrote a note to my boss saying I had an emergency and had to run. By the time I got off the phone, I'd told her to put ice and meet me downstairs; called my husband who rushed to the hospital emergency, called a friend to pick up my son from his nursery and keep him at her house not knowing how long the hospital would take.
When I met them, blood was pouring from my daughter’s toe wrapped in a towel. We rushed to the emergency where we were told she needed plastic surgery as she'd crushed her toe nail due to a small statue falling on it. Although I'd removed all heavy items, I'd forgotten this because in my mind it was small but obviously was still heavy enough to mall her tender toe.
That night my daughter and I both slept at the hospital. I tossed and turned looking at my little angel wondering whether the accident could have been avoided had I been at home. The answer is simple, no one knows. You can’t let guilt rule your life. On the contrary, let your children be proud that you’re a working mum, involve them in your job, tell them about the challenges you face and the decisions you have to make.
Don’t forget to create some “me time” with friends. I’m not saying it’s easy but you need to learn to master juggling a home, your husband, your kids and yourself.