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So, as working mothers especially in Nigeria, we often have to deal with guilt. It should not have to be that way, but that’s the way it is. We’re often torn in different conflicting directions; battling our need to be there for our children with the need to earn a living.
Let’s face it, work life balance is a challenge and coping with the every day stress is something most women find incredibly hard. But there are ways to balance motherhood and a career (or business) and Christa Carone, a mum and chief marketing officer of Xerox shares some tips that have worked for her over the years. There are 8 tips in all, but we will only share 3. You can find the rest of it here.
How to Balance Motherhood and a Career
- Be true to yourself. Know who you are and what you want in life. If you are going to manage a job and nurture a family, stay true to what’s most important to you. There will be days when reading a story at your kid’s school will mean you need to take time out of the office. Don’t be apologetic about that. You need to find a workplace that allows employees to be honest about their lives. If someone is going to give you a hard time, deny you a promotion, or penalize you in any way because you’re living a full life, find a new place to excel. I’m happy to report that more enlightened companies, like Xerox, where I work, are out there.
- Understand that your priorities and interests will change. I like to talk about “adaptable ambition.” Your ambition will ebb and flow over your lifetime. Your world view will shift as your life changes. It’s crazy to think that having children won’t rock your world. Just as having a sick parent or a sick friend forces you to re-examine your life and your priorities, having a child does that, too. It’s okay. You can set the world on fire at work without fanning the flames 24/7.
- Realize that flexibility is a two-way street. If you’re lucky enough to find an enlightened company that can be flexible about where and when employees work, know that you’ll have to be flexible too. There will be trips, conferences, and work events you can’t miss, no matter what. And work sometimes eats into family time in the evenings and on weekends. It’s a mistake to expect flexibility without giving some back. I must admit that I still fume that a colleague once stepped out of a weekend-long, all-hands-on-deck crisis meeting because he wanted to coach a little-league game. It wasn’t a playoff game. It wasn’t a championship. It was a regular game. A regular little-league game vs. a company crisis? Sometimes work does need to win. Be smart about making the right judgment calls.