Advice from a fellow working mom
All moms are multitasking masters, especially working moms. The word ‘efficiency’ gains a new definition after one experiences the difficulties of juggling between taking care of a family and developing, or just maintaining, a career. So, it is possible to have it all?
As a working mom of two girls, my answer–honestly–is no. It’s nearly impossible to be as dedicated as a full-time mom while accelerating full-speed in the workplace. But there’s no need to be discouraged. My view is that working moms should walk into their role with realistic expectations, so we don’t feel inadequate at work or feel guilty for not spending enough time at home. At different phases of being a working mom, one will experience different levels of satisfaction and stress. The journey always has its ups and downs, but it’s a rewarding one.
How do we balance work and home life? Well, prioritization becomes key. There are only so many hours in the day, after all. The opportunity cost of unproductive meetings, tasks, and networking events is significant, thus, making careful choices and cutting down unnecessary activities are musts.
Delegation is also essential. Understanding one’s capacity and working closely with the team to divide and conquer will provide you a robust support system, and make your life that much easier. In the workplace, starting a family should not limit your ability to add value as you did previously, even though it may manifest in other ways.
For example, a female executive may shift her focus on cultivating close relationships with stakeholders, which allows her to add value with more flexibility. Pinpointing other ways you can consistently deliver results will allow you to continue to contribute equally to the team’s overall success.
The same rule applies at home. A team approach means sharing the work, so you don’t drown yourself with chores and burn out. It’s also about finding and spending quality time with the family, which is the highest priority for working moms, and the most difficult part of maintaning a work-life balance.
I wake up early to send my children to school before going to work, and I try my best to give them undivided attention when we are together. Also, I find it vital to to attend events that are particularly significant for them, such as their school performances, so we can make meaningful memories together. Sharing special experiences daily and reading books before bedtime also help us stay close. From time to time, I will initiate projects, such as organizing celebrations or fundraising events together, so I can teach them life lessons in a fun way.
There are many benefits to be a working mom. Active participation in the workplace enhances my professional and personal growth, which allows me to develop a better version of myself every day–a more fulfilled professional, mom, wife, and friend.
About the Author
Alison is the Managing Director of New Frontier, an investment group specializing in health, innovation, education, and financial investments. Prior to this, she was the Chief Representative in China and Head of New Market Development in Asia for a global expert network. Alison has over 15 years of experience in consulting, corporate finance, and startups. She obtained her MBA from Harvard Business School and is the President of the Harvard Business School Association of Hong Kong and Chairman of the Board for Bring Me A Book. Alison is the proud mom of Alexis and Amelia.