Balance or Making a Choice - What Would you do?
“Forget ‘Work-Life Balance’ -- Give Us Choices Instead”, declares a recent article in Forbes Woman. No longer are we women content with mere ‘work-life balance’. We want a bit of everything. From being the omnipresent supermom at all important school functions, to hosting the best parties in town, to whittling away the waistline at zumba classes, making the right impression at boardroom presentations and navigating the career landscape…we want to be part of it all. And hence, our choices are not just about whether to stay at home or go to work. Our choices are increasingly about which part of our lives to prioritize and which to put on the backburner. We have all those balls up in the air, with no option to drop even one.
For women, staying home means sacrificing family income, financial freedom and ambition. Going back to work means investing in child support, juggling household responsibilities and sacrificing time with the children. Neither choice is easy. The problem about the term ‘work-life balance’ is that it assumes that one excludes the other, whereas, in reality, one is a sub set of the other. Work is an integral part of our lives and not a separate compartment. Moreover, this phrase assumes that women have only two aspects in their lives, viz juggling work and kids. However, reality is that we want to Have It All.
Whether it is exercise, sports, travel, art, practicing our faith, volunteering our time, we are, in fact, multi-dimensional creatures. Neglecting or ignoring any vital aspect of our lives is, in fact, what leads to imbalance and frustration. Hence, our choices should involve the right mix and the right balance of all the important facets of our lives.
The bottom line is, that we find ourselves at crossroads many a time in life, wherein we are compelled to make certain life-altering choices. Women must assess for themselves their personal and professional goals and understand that everything is a choice, and a valid one. The key to stability is to make peace with the choices that we have made, accept them and cease to mull over the ‘what if’ scenarios. At times our best choices could very well be to lean back when we think we should be leaning in. In the midst of being on the ‘Superwoman treadmill’, we should, at times, pause and make the right choice – we should choose happiness instead of guilt.