Mother’ in itself is a tag that commands respect. Bringing a life into this world is no less than heroic. Inculcating good habits into that little being is a process of great patience and perseverance. One must monitor the baby at all times — from meal times to nap slots; play time to reading …hours are well calculated to conclude a purposeful day. In all this calibration, how does an ambitious mother do justice to her work profile? Unfortunately, there isn’t a grey area. You are either a full-time mom or a part-time worker. Because one can’t ever be a part-time mother. That role demands our full attention — no negotiations there! Does that mean being a homemaker is our only option? Nada! You have a role greater than just a tag. You are your own person so whatever you do, do not get lost in the web of motherhood. That means the only option is to combine them both — whereby, you are always there for your child by tweaking your working style. That’s the definition of SmartMoms!
SmartMoms don’t compromise; instead, they integrate availability and delegate responsibilities. How? Well, firstly, define your hours of work clearly and stick to the plan as much as possible. For e.g., if you’ve chosen to work three days a week or only weekends then you do just that. Be committed to your baby during the non-working hours. Let work associates know that you are strict about your availability and be unapologetic about that. Rules bring clarity, so don’t be afraid to make them and abide by them.
Secondly, do not bring work home. That’s the greatest faux pas we working mothers make. We all know a five-minute work conversation is never that— it eats into your family time and brings unnecessary tension, often leading to arguments with your spouse or in-laws. Why get into it in the first place? If you are self-employed or working from home, have a cut-off time. No work talks after the stated hours. That time is reserved for your loved ones so make some joyous memories instead.
Thirdly, don’t underestimate the power of delegation — both at work and at home. I’m an anchor/emcee and my work needs me to travel 3-4 times a month, sometimes internationally too. I can’t always take my 2 years old with me. Therefore, I ensure that between my husband, my mum or my mother-in-law; I have a couple of helping hands. If you are earning, then I believe it’s only fair to make an expense towards your responsibility. Get a nanny, even if part-time. It eases off the pressure on the family. It’s true that money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you nappi-ness (the blissful state of knowing that there is someone dedicated to changing your child’s nappies) I too have part-time help and this arrangement ensures that my mum can still put her feet up while watching over the little one or my husband can work peacefully without missing his commitments. The challenging parts of bathing him, changing him, playing with him, feeding him and putting him to sleep are all achieved within the nanny’s working hours. And I’m in constant touch with her (without going overboard that is!)
Just like work shouldn’t interfere with home time, personal calls shouldn’t interfere with business hours; unless it’s a case of emergency. My nanny/family know that they can contact me if it’s urgent, but frivolous messages are best left to WhatsApp/ social media to be checked at my leisure.
Similarly, try and delegate tasks to colleagues/subordinates at work. It’s easy to get stuck in the “I do it the best” zone. Sometimes being a perfectionist is pretty much the same as being finicky and finding faults unnecessarily. Take chances on others. Train them if required. And most importantly, trust them and your instinct. Ever noticed how most superheroes have a sidekick? Well, find yours and achieve that balance that will make you whole again. Because Supermoms aren’t born, they are strategically created. Now go on…be one!
This article has been contributed by Supreet Bedi, an educationalist by profession, but her passion lies in the field of anchoring. Supreet has had both corporate and commercial hosting experiences that comprised working with top artists and cheering large gatherings.