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Few days back a colleague broke down in the middle of a discussion. She was unable to take few negative comments on her project proposal. Team head was a very empathetic person and managed the situation quite sensibly.
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Thanks for sharing your experiences. It is quite clear that it is not easy to choose between your booming career and family.
Switching to a job with more flexible timings or moving to a partial work from home arrangement, all these are quite practical strategies. One has to decide according to one’s social realities. I agree that she should very thoughtfully chalk down a strategy that works best in her scenario.
If we do not take care of ourselves, we will eventually burn out and the cost of that may be more than just our careers or our family stability. While it is perfectly understandable that people, especially moms who work outside the home, feel the need to be "everything for everybody" it is almost impossible to do this without sacrificing our physical or mental health.
As in the situation with your friend, the fear of suffering professionally for prioritising mental wellness or family is not uncommon in corporate environments. Equally, when one does not focus on one's own wellbeing, there is a very good chance that it will negatively impact work focus and performance.
With the pandemic, many companies are slowly realising that a happy and healthy employee is also a productive and dedicated one. In this respect, companies are focussing some of their human resource budgets on mental wellbeing. Women are valuable team members at work, but they also often disproportionately carry the additional load of household and childcare responsibility.
I feel that if you can prioritise your personal wellbeing, you will be better equipped to deal with your job or your family challenges. It is wise to remember that at work we are replaceable, while to our family we are irreplaceable.
I have been in her place in the past with a booming career and raising children. My husband was absent due to his work and own schedule keeping him away from home.
I loved that my boss saw my potential and rewarded it with frequent promotions. It was exhilarating. And stressful due to juggling all of my balls of responsibility at home and work. I recall times when I felt that I could not breathe (anxiety) and once when I was asked to do just one more thing, breaking down like your friend.
However, my children needed me more and more. As time went on, I had to choose between my career and family. Eventually, I chose family. I did not give up my career altogether but took a job in a school where I had the same hours as my kids with summers and holidays off. That seemed like a good compromise.
And I have never regretted my decision.
Looking back, I still have wonderful memories of my "glory days", but I also have been able to be there for my children as they have grown up.
I personally had to choose between a "booming" career and family a couple of years ago. The decision was not easy because I worked hard for 10 years of my life and suddenly, I needed to stay-at-home to be with the kids.
My work back then was a very high-pressure one, I needed to deliver otherwise it will affect the whole chain. I became accustomed to this kind of set-up and I have managed to live with the pressure that comes with the job which includes, beating a lot of deadlines, meeting with clients, report submission, etc. Of course, it took a toll on me at times, and a few times I wanted to quit too. Back then, I'd always choose professional growth, because, to me, opportunities knock only once. But, was it worth it? I guess I am still torn between a yes and a no. Sometimes, professional growth can also do a lot with your personal well-being because there will always be a sense of fulfillment and independence. I feel good whenever I knew I did a great job and I could not be prouder of myself if I hit a professional milestone.
But now, I am a full-time wife and mother. I still wonder what could have been if I did not quit my job. Perhaps, I'm juggling how to balance my work and family until now. But hey, I am happy where I am right now. I get to spend a lot of time with family while doing some things that I love the most like homeschooling, writing, and cooking. Is it worth it? It definitely is.