Thank you for reading my article on domestic-career bliss. The comments have been encouraging and to a great extent, we all are on the same page. And where we deviate, that certainly is thought provoking.
Having recognized that domestic-career bliss is a necessity and that you have to align your spouse and others to your vision, what is equally critical is that family be engaged at a tactical level too. The members have to be inducted into home chores and responsibilities. Doing it all by yourself and not letting others in, is certainly not sustainable for that aspirational bliss. Women have to master the art of delegating and letting go.
As you align your family to your vision, understand that managing the home has to be teamwork, a collaborative effort. Spouse, children, parents, in-laws all make those critical stakeholders to be won over. They have to partner, they have to contribute and perform. The family is as much theirs as it is yours. Right? A big favor you can do for yourself is to let go of expectations- self-imposed or otherwise- that you have to do it all. That you as a mother are expected to carry the brunt on your shoulders, that you have to be a martyr; that you are being measured and graded. Quit worrying and also quit judging others on these grounds. Do what you can peacefully, keeping your priorities at the front.
Just like you do at work, encourage and recognize your family members for stepping up and giving you a hand. Help them gain the confidence, belief in themselves that they can engage in domesticity. Enable them to build their success experiences. A pat on the back can go a long way and favorably too. The worst that could happen- kid’s clothes not color coordinated, toys not picked up, or eating in front of the television set. Nothing earth shattering. Slowly but surely, men can be taught and groomed to parent, to nurture.
Likewise, encourage your children to pick after them and introduce a habit of independence. Allow them to manage things; hold them accountable. You will be doing them a favor- preparing them for their future. Further, enlist support from parents and in-laws to tide your tough moments. Whether it is cooking, playing, or reading to children, parents are just as good if not better at this. And why not, they have already done it once. While these are day-to day chores, they can also help in long-term planning aligned to your vision. The key for you is to ask for their support and learn to let go.
Think you can let go? It is worth a try and believe me, it is liberating!
Read #Step Up to find more!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on advancing women in the workplace. Please do leave your ideas in the comments section below.
Dr. Anju is the author of the book Step Up, published by Penguin Random House. In this engaging, witty and conversational book, she explains why gender disparity is an issue both at home and work and how that can be changed. With insights gained from extensive research and experience, she presents practical techniques in a simple matrix for women and their environment to embrace to drive more women in leadership.