Sunday, July 6, 2014

Career and Family, Can Women Have It All?

A recent interview of PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has taken the world by the storm. In a very candid interview, Nooyi had said, 'I don't think women can have it all. I just don't think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all.' So is it such a dichotomy for women, to have a great career and a great family life?

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi

Work-life balance has always affected women more than men. We are called 'nurturers' and 'caregivers' and looking after the family is simply our business, that's how the society thinks of us. Yes, even now, in this 21st century of women storming almost all the professions, we still fight the age-old pressure of needing to put 'family first'. Yet may be in the corner of my mind I have harboured this hope that may be, just may be, some women do find it easy to have a super successful career. May be they have a hugely supportive family and domestic staff, people who step in to help when she goes out to solve people's problems. And the Nooi says, 'And every day you have to make a decision about whether you are going to be a wife or a mother, in fact many times during the day you have to make those decisions. And you have to co-opt a lot of people to help you. We co-opted our families to help us. We plan our lives meticulously so we can be decent parents. But if you ask our daughters, I'm not sure they will say that I've been a good mom. I'm not sure. And I try all kinds of coping mechanisms. ' And I am left thinking, 'Really?! This happens to you too?!' 

 Of course I know women can't have everything, my own constant struggle with work and career had been an example to this fact that women don't get everything, something which probably comes much easier to men. Every day I see examples of women who struggles to keep a family and a career. My colleagues and friends, who had opted to work from home or freelance, in order to be home with their kids, women who do not have support of having a family member at home to look after children when she goes out to work, women whose husbands are so busy in their careers, they hardly have the time, space or inclination to talk or think about their wives' careers, are all silent examples of this fact that, no, women can't have it all.

In fact, forget a career, it's a struggle everyday to keep our jobs, to be as good, or even better professionals than the people on a career growth path. Yet everyday countless women do that, walk this extremely wobbly path of career and family happily. We don't want to become super moms, or super women, we simply want to be regular women, trying to keep our families together, and bring in an additional income home to ease things a bit.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Why Mondays Are the Best Part of the Week

I love Mondays. Oh yes, the work week starts then, but it is also so much full of possibilities of an entire week, that Mondays always bring a spring in my steps.

I know, most people will not be relating to my thoughts, and a whole lot of my friends think it to be like The Bangles song:
It's just another manic Monday
I wish it were Sunday…
But somehow, I feel most energized on a Monday, the first day of the workweek.

It’s a New Beginning
A Monday is like a new beginning every time. All that I wanted to accomplish comes back to me on a Monday.  New work ideas, new ways to push myself and new solutions, yes they all are bubbling inside my head on a Monday. A good Monday means a lot of positivity in my life.

So if you are searching for ways to feel peppy on Mondays, here are my tips:

Have a Good Weekend:

On the weekend, have a good meal, spend time with your family, and get a lot of rest. A good Sunday holiday can only brighten up your Monday mornings.

Wake up Early:

Getting out of bed early means having more time to accomplish things in the morning before you begin your work day. You can go for that exercise routine, or a quick meditation early in the morning, to keep your nerves calm before the day’s rush takes away your peace of mind.

Practice a Monday Morning Routine:

Even on days when I work from home, I practice a Monday morning getting ready routine. This keeps me calm and energized. Simple things as a set of activities, or going to bed early the night before can take away the blue feeling on a Monday morning.

Prepare Yourself on Sunday Night:

Instead of partying on a Sunday, I try and keep myself busy at home on Sundays, organizing things like lunch boxes, or menus for the week, grocery shopping, laundry etc.  Sunday dinners are strictly family affairs at home, so that we all pack up early and are set to start early on Mondays.

Don’t Anticipate Troubles:

Even if you are expecting a troublesome week, leave your anxieties until Monday, don’t do a countdown for trouble, it will make your Mondays worse. Face the problem, once it comes.

Have a great week ahead.

©Moumita Basu