I am sure most of you have read this article online in the past week or so, and maybe got inspired or got a stamp for your decisions in the past. There have been women sharing and talking about this post on Facebook, twitter, websites and other social media.
I read it, and like many other women out there I could relate to it myself. Of course we can’t compare our lives, work and social obligations to Ms Indra Nooyi, but may face a lot of similar challenges (to a less/more extent) in our lives, in our work environment, in our parental lives, in our marriage and what not? But, there’s one question that I want to ask the women who feel battered by all these roles that they play? Why do you think you don’t have it all? Why do you compare your lives? Who sets all these standards for you? Who troubles you? Where do you want to be? It wasn’t supposed to be this hard!!
I think our generation is much luckier than the past ones, we’ve been given so many more opportunities and chances that maybe our mothers, grand mothers, great grandmothers couldn’t even think of. Like many other women, I grew thinking I was equal to men and think the same now as well. I have worked in an organization where I was the only woman in a boardroom full of men and an organization, which has a very less presence of women overall; I have studied in class room where majority of students were not from the fairer sex. I have had an opportunity to live on my terms, marry on my terms, work on my terms, and have a child when I wanted. Feminism has made our lives easier but in turn it has also brought about many other expectations and needs to become ‘perfect’.
There have been certain standards that have been set for us or should i say, we’ve set for ourselves (as a part of the feminism tide):
A) Yes, I am a mother- Even if you are a working mom or a stay at home one, you do not cease to be a 24-hour mom anyways. There are very high being a mom standards going around and we have very high expectations out of ourselves in that segment. You are bound to play that role all the time. The magazines and social media are full of glamorous baby bumps, we plan births around our work life, there are those 40 year old friends who are either trying IVF again or finding a surrogate for themselves- it is very important to be beautifully fertile (instead of just adopting) because science has given us so many options. It is very important to attend all school gatherings, participate in all school bake sales, and rsvp to all play-dates and birthday parties’ possible. But why? If you choose to be a working mom (you go girl!!), with all the work deadlines, travel, meetings, you have to sacrifice a little here and there and be prepared to do that. You can’t have it all, and you need to be ready with some escape mechanisms. It will always be helpful if you stay near your parents or siblings, so that some support is there to take care of the kids (when the husband is tied up too). RSVP to the play-dates and other get-togethers only if you can comfortably make it to them. Don’t pressurize yourself unnecessarily! Try giving quality time to the kids, even if it is less (hour wise)- sitting and chatting with the kids, reading stories to the little ones is far more productive than a drive to drop them to a birthday party or a dance class.
B) Yes, I am a wife- We like being equal to men, but we still want the men to pay all the bills, get all the insurances sorted, get the car serviced. We want our husbands to love our parents (the way they love theirs) but we still crib when our in-laws visit. We want the men to mow the lawns on their off-days and still be happy at the BBQ at a friend’s place in the evening. Well, too many expectations there! A perfect marriage and a perfect wife/husband is a myth. You have to work together to get a marriage to work. Again, spending quality time with each other is far more important than spending a day together without talking.
C) Yes, I am a home goddess- Even if you are working really hard on a job, you expect yourself to be a great homemaker. You want to furnish that apartment yourself, you try to be the best host for all your home parties, you want to be the baking queen and you spend three hours trying that simple new recipe out from a friend’s baking blog and you end up burning the oven and your fingers. It is ok, if you don’t have a perfect home, you can hire people to do that, you can hire people to take care of your home, you can outsource while catering for a party. There are so many ways to take that pressure off you.
D) Yes, I am at a workplace- It is very important for us to succeed at work too. We join organizations after graduation and are expected not only to keep our jobs but also to excel at them while taking care of a house, a husband and children (and of course looking beautiful while doing all that). It is not easy and every successful woman has had her share of compromises. It is just a game of balancing and not feeling guilty about it (easier said than done- for woman out there… I know).
We as women wear too many hats and sometimes while juggling those, a few are bound to fall off. It is wiser to juggle only the hats that you can manage at any given time. It has to be your own decision, and needs to be guilt free (that’s a must!). And believe me I have seen women ridiculing themselves, their styles of living especially once they have children. Your life does change drastically after becoming a mother, but it should change for the better and not for the worse. Work at a job that you love (if you want to really)- be it part-time, full-time, from home. Get your priorities right, and have faith- You can still have all that is important to you 🙂
Top picture credit