A lot can be achieved at home no doubt, but having some additional growth opportunities outside the family unit is something a lot of women desire. Women want to be able to help and serve others, be productive, solve problems, use their creativity, meet challenges and learn new concepts and skills.
Of course, the extra source of income for the family is a huge motivator for women who work. For some it may be to buy “wants” rather than “needs.” But these days, with the costs of a home, utilities, taxes, car expenses, food, clothing and educational expenses many households feel the need for two incomes just to get by financially.
However many of us feel overwhelmed with having so much to do and all of these take a toll on us in unimaginable ways.
We get so busy, worn-out and burned-out that we let more important priorities slide including something as key as prayer time. Relationships with our spouses and children suffer. We do not have enough time together, and when we do have a bit of time, we have so much we are figuring out in our heads we hardly are present and this reduces the happiness and satisfaction of marriage. When we feel we are doing more than a fair share of the housework we become resentful, causing unecessary arguments and tension in the home.
Overwork also leaves us with limited time, attention or energy for our children; we push them off when they come to us, out of frustration. Then we carry around a guilt feeling that we are not doing enough and therefore not good mothers.
Another minus we often overlook is how all of these affect our physical and emotional wellbeing. We try to cram too much into our schedules we do not have enough time to relax. We do not get enough sleep either and that is certainly something everyone needs. Stress begins to weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to illness.
Really, I think we should applaud our female workforce, past and present for their contributions to our economy and to the society. If only we can retain more women in the workforce, particularly those who are willing to work but circumstances make it extremely difficult to keep up, we would retain useful skills, creative and very innovative minds that can impact the economy more positively than if we had them at home as stay-at-home moms or small business owners.
Employers can create a more flexible and mom-friendly work environment and policies such that working mothers feel like they are included.
We need a society that is kinder to us and not judge us too harshly when we are unable to be there or attend to all children’s need all of the time. Supportive partners would make juggling work and family much easier. We cannot resign from motherhood, but the amount of time we devote to the role is in our own hands. How successful we can become is dependent on how we manage to divide available time between the two activities. We cannot do this on our own, support (family, friends and colleagues) is always a phone call away and we should not be afraid or too embarrassed to ask. Juggling motherhood and career is not for the faint-hearted, and I am yet to see a woman who is!
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