For many years we have heard of the notion of a ‘Work-Life Balance’ when trying to maintain the battle of multiple priorities in our lives.
As Pip Marlow (former Microsoft Australia Managing Director) put it, it’s a “Work-Life Conflict” particularly for women in the workforce when it comes to pursuing a career or business with children.
These conflicts have arisen due to the expectations of what women should achieve. In the media we see many articles telling women how they should manage aspects of their lives. Within the work office, they have the constant pressures of achieving more and being contactable 24 hours a day. Then we have a society which places pressures on parents to conform to certain expectations and stereotypes on parenting.
The current trend sees many avoiding these conflicts, rather than finding a balance with them. This can involve many women stepping away from leadership positions or even pursuing a career change to avoid dealing with these expectations. Ambition is still often perceived as conflicting with the need to make time for interests outside of work.
This battle brings about a special kind of guilt termed ‘working parent guilt’. This guilt is fuelled by parenting cultures of our time, social and mainstream media, whereby women are in a constant limbo trying to manage work-life conflict. If you’re not feeling guilt as a parent, then you should be feeling bad about how you’re keeping up at work.
Maintaining a career and kids and other priorities will continue to be more about the ‘conflict’ than it is about the ‘balance’, as guilt is inevitable. If you are a woman in the workforce with children, it is important to set personal goals of feeling less guilty. Certain strategies will enable you to have small wins whilst pursuing a career and being a mum.
You shouldn’t need to apologise to your kids for having your career; talk to your kids about what you do at work and why. Grant yourself the permission to enjoy work while you’re working, and parenting whilst you’re being a mum.
We are a small business accounting service located on the beautiful Sunshine Coast and would appreciate the opportunity to help you, your friends, family and colleagues. Contact us on 07 5451 1118 for obligation-free confidential discussions today.