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There is a particular question that makes women feel inadequate, and it shouldn’t, writes Aarti Nair.
What is the rudest thing you can ask a woman? “How old are you?” “What’s your weight?” No.
No, the worst question is, “How do you juggle it all?”, people constantly ask me and they have that look in their eyes. “You’re fucking it all, aren’t you?” their eyes say.
She’s right. We then compare ourselves and our work to colleagues, usually men, who have far fewer home chores; and find ourselves doing inadequate. Look at her, she is the ‘10 to 6′ type. And so, you are generally kept out of the late night meetings, slowly you don’t get invited to parties, and even if you do go by any chance, everyone keeps reminding you of your ‘Cinderella’ time.
On the other hand, we compare ourselves to our mothers who have dedicated their lives to their family and we again feel miserable. So we fall prey to judgmental statements, that “she must not be cooking at home, or giving enough time to her family.” “Enough time” is an imaginary percentage that is generated according to the time you spend doing things directly for your family. That decides your worth in the end. So, what did I say before? Miserable.
The key lies in understanding that we can’t do it all. There are some jacks and hacks that we ought to make. And still we won’t be perfect.
Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) was petrified to open up to her office colleagues about her routine of leaving at 5:30 PM. But she was later successful in making them understand that she gives two hours after 9 PM to her beloved work when she’s done feeding and spending time with her beloved family.
That’s a small hack. I understand that not everyone has the luxury to do that. Not everyone has bosses or colleagues who’d understand that. You have to find your own hack.
I have a little hack too. I live 12 kms/45 minutes away from office and it’s generally difficult to reach sharp at 10:30 a.m. with my home chores and personal schedule. Although I am the owner and I can have my own schedule, I see how it affects my employees who are directionless for the first 30 minutes of their working day. It reduces their productivity. So I’ve found a hack to it. I take out 20 minutes, any time between from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. to plan the day for them and for me. Then I write to them about their tasks for the day. With time, I’ve seen that this works magically. When I finally reach office, they are already working and after their first sprint, I can sit with them to solve doubts. This way, it doesn’t feel like I wasn’t there all this while.
I am lucky. Luck is most of the times directly proportional to your efforts and intentions. So, what is your hack? I would love to hear from you. Do leave your comments below.
Image via Shutterstock.
Co-founder of Collegebol.com, India's first platform for college reviews and ratings, she
Sometimes that question depicts admiration too. Yes, I agree that societal standards want to show that women can’t. I do a similar thing like yours by checking my mailbox before stepping out for work. That gives me a good heads up to how my day is looking like and even if I am running late, I know I am covered.
That’s brilliant, Parul. After all these hacks keep us safe in the balancing act. I am glad you could relate with my experiences.
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