Although the International Women’s Day was on March 8, the issues that plagued women globally is not a one day discussion. There are still too many biases against the female gender that need to be addressed and tackled adequately. And today, we are looking into one of those issues, which is; balancing motherhood and career.
In this new normal, women are building careers and managing their homes as well. And by managing homes, we mean being a present wife and a model mother.
Motherhood can be quite challenging, especially when you have to balance it with a stable career and dreams you aim to achieve before a certain age.
It is in this vein that some question begs for an answer. How effectively are women balancing motherhood and career in present times? What percentage do they give to motherhood and what is left for their career, and vice versa? While some women find a way to navigate both, others give up their careers for motherhood.
A chat with Oreoluwa on balancing motherhood and career.
Oreoluwa is a mother of one and a full-time content writer, and she sheds some light on the issue at hand.
What happens daily? How does she find a balance between both?
Oreoluwa works from home and she wakes up as early as 5:30am to prepare for the day. A typical weekday for her involves doing chores, taking her son to school and returning to focus on her own work.
One would assume that as a work-from-home mum, she’d have limitless time to take care of her child but is this so for her?
Oreoluwa says, “ full-time working has negative effects on bonding with my child. It’s like my 24 hours aren’t even enough, sometimes, I write articles into the weekends. It was earlier this year I decided to stop working on the weekends when I discovered that I don’t even have time to play with my child.
“So, I stopped working on weekends as a freelancer, but still, there’s not enough time for bonding. I feel so bad about it, but what can I do? The economy is not smiling. I hope and pray that my kids will grow up to understand why it is like that. I know that when they grow up, they will understand better. But for now, I try to maximise the little time I have to bond with them and I’d always make sure they understand that I have to work so that we can all be comfortable.”
What other challenges could there be?
Oreoluwa emphasises the pain of mothers bearing a lot of financial responsibilities alone as though they have no partners; so this could mean optimization of their career in order to pay bills at home.
“ Before now, the men were usually involved in many jobs that helped them cater to their family, but now, it’s a different story. Many men seem so relaxed and have pushed their responsibilities to the women, so the women have no choice than to work endlessly to cater to their children. This has made the balance challenging.
“I also think motherhood was a lot easier before because the economy was okay, the man’s salary was enough to cater to the needs of the family, but now, even both salaries seem not to be enough. The present economy has contributed a lot to motherhood. Women just have to assist their husbands and relieve him of the financial stress, despite the fact that it would take a huge toll on them.”
Crèche or no Crèche?
An incident prompted an ongoing discussion on Twitter. The incident was a mother losing her child in a crèche and the discussion is about how women take children to crèches before they are mature enough. Does taking a baby of a few months old to a crèche mean a mother is irresponsible?
Oreoluwa answers, “I started dropping my first son at crèche when he was just two weeks old, not because I’m a bad mum but I had no choice. There is no manual to this thing. Some women have been dropping kids at crèche since the beginning of their motherhood and they’ve had no complaints. On the other hand, some have refrained from taking kids to crèche but still end up losing them (the kids) to illness or poverty. We just have to pray to not be victims of circumstances.”
What advice does she have for women contemplating infusion of motherhood in their career life?
Motherhood requires strength. On some days, crying would be inevitable. “It’s okay to cry when the going gets tough,” she says. But you can’t afford to get tired, she added. Draw from your inner strength to keep going.
Also, Oreoluwa explains that having a source of income is important so giving up a career for motherhood in this economy could be regretted in the long run.
“And don’t let people’s pressures get to you. If you’re not mentally and financially prepared for it, stay away.”
Article written by Sola Tales