Can Women Wear Aprons & Power Suits Too?

Can women assume both heavy responsibilities and still remain cool and collected? Climbing the corporate ladder during wakeful hours and thereafter, being a wife and mother at home is no ABC. We all know that women champion as multi-taskers. We often read and heard from many women, finding it quite difficult to make choices between staying at home or building a career. This is especially so when these women just entered motherhood. It is an emotional experience for any new mom, to be separated from her newborn after confinement or end of maternity leave, to return to work. Some had at the end, decided to leave their jobs to care for their own babies.

There are women who remain in their jobs, by choice or circumstances, as their families really need dual income with the new addition. Working moms may struggle to cope with increasing demands from home and office. They not only work for 8 to 10 hours outside, but upon reaching home, another “job” awaits them. There is no break in between at all, unless they are blessed with wonder domestic helpers. I think, it would be close to midnight before they can finally sit back to relax but by then, it’s bedtime already. That’s the end of another busy day.

Staying in the corporate world when you are a mom is no crime. If you are in it, don’t feel guilty. The world needs intellectual contribution from men and women alike. More women today, are well educated, intelligent, sophisticated and able to carry out work responsibilities as well as, if not better than their male counterpart. It would be a waste of talent in the human capital department if all mature and experienced women leave the workforce due to motherhood. Some caring organisations go all out to provide childcare centres or flexible working arrangements, to keep these female employees continue working with them. I think for anyone with grown children, if you wish to go back to the workforce, you should be given the chance to. After all, your knowledge and skill is your valuable assets and should be put to good use. However, before you start doing so, make sure you engage reliable extra help at home, to free your mind, so that you can focus on your work in the office. Delegate and plan well, for all will work out at the end. A happy and confident mom will have happy and confident children too. And yes, you still have to spare some time for your husband and children too – that, you can’t delegate and I’m sure you don’t want to either.

Some women choose to quit 9-6 jobs to start being an entrepreneur with flexi hours and working from own SOHO (small office home office). This way, they can have the best (and worst) of both worlds, while watching their children grow up. One has to be very disciplined and good at time management in order to carry this off. It is tough indeed to draw a bold line separating home and work. If one is not careful, she will be distracted by adorable baby demanding attention, other children walking in and out asking for help with their school works, the pull of television soap opera, the inviting bed, etc. Being on your own also means you are your own boss….don’t spend productive time on shopping and personal grooming too often. By the end of the day, nothing much was accomplished in the work department. Self-discipline is vital.

Working solo from home has another disadvantage too, on the self-development department. The danger of being complacent might make you lose track of the growth in the industry. There may be times when decisions and actions made become unclear and there isn’t anyone else to conduct check and balance. On a more positive note, as long as one knows the threat to a given situation one is in, and be pro-active enough to deal with it, where one works, at home or office, is immaterial. Engage a buddy or two to work with and for brainstorming sessions. Then, one will not feel so lonely.

There are books authored by successful women around the world, who wrote about not having to choose either/or, but to have it all, i.e. being able to take care of the family as well as keeping the career. These authors provided ways and guide to time management systems with less stress, making smart choices, not wasting time on un-productive activities, the list goes on. I’m sure you have read some of these books yourself.

I believe, as women, regardless where you are, who you are, we basically share the same issues. We are continuously seeking solutions to make our lives simpler, to seek the right connections with our husbands and growing children, to develop our personal skills and knowledge in our areas of expertise/interest, to uphold the family values, spread our love and laughter, and create harmony in our families.

Sounds like a Super Mom or Super Woman’s job descriptions? That’s the wonder of women. We don’t fret over small stuffs, we focus on problem-solving to leave our men clear heads to do their jobs without unnecessary distractions, we make sure our family members return to a warm and loving home after a tiring day, we make sure there’s warm food on the dining table, despite having a tough day at work or we are in the midst of handling a huge project/case. For those of you who have to work or run your business and at the same time carrying out your responsibilities as a wife and mother, my hats off to you for your contributions to your family.

To men reading this, please appreciate what your wives have done for the family. They don’t ask for material rewards but, validation and recognition from you will make wonders. Let them know that you appreciate what they have done to provide you with a loving home, caring for your children, being your faithful partner through thick and thin. Be generous with kind words and gestures to the most-deserving partner of yours. Do give them a break sometimes….let them enjoy the companies of their girlfriends or simply to have a day out on their own. This break will actually do more good than harm.

A little note to the homemakers, I haven’t forgotten your contributions to your families. I shall write about it soon. You have done superbly well too.

Well, busy women wearing power suits and apron, keep doing what you enjoy doing most and carry your heads high. You have done well for yourselves and your families. May I say that only a contented and confident woman will breed a happy and respectful family?

Cheers to you!

~ Alice N.

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