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19 June

Work-life balance is a realistic goal that is increasingly being propagated in recent times with due diligence. It must not be confused as an equal distribution of time to all ends.Work-life balance is rather about building and maintaining healthy yet supportive work environments wherein personal responsibilities as well as work productivity are congruently met. Attaining such a balance is arguably more difficult among women considering the plethora of daily responsibilities that lie on their shoulders.

Women are the glue of the household wherein they pull the strings in all departments. Earlier, men were the primary breadwinners of the family, with women managing the home front. However, in today’s scenario, the woman is jugglingat home and work. According to Accenture, about 70% female employees feel work-life balance is the key to their definition of ‘success’, but at the same time 48% quit their jobs due to a lack of it.

Personal and professional health go hand-in-hand where one cannot be aloof from another. To attain a balance,women must gain and build the support from their families to establish integrity and unity among each member. Strong familial support is the most important contributor for work-life balance. Once a woman has gained backing and understanding from her family, she will be better equipped to concentrate on the aspects that can give her self-satisfaction and fulfilment.

However, familial support is merely a part of the whole rejuvenation process for postpartum mothers.A lot of it is also about the thoughts, emotions, and perceptions of mothers themselves. This is where executive coaches come in withtheir expertise to understand such work-life imbalances and guide women onto a structured path of harmony and productivity.

For instance, there typically comes a time before returning to work when postpartum mothers go through a roller coaster of emotions, especially if the job is demanding and required immense hard work to achieve that position. They feel more tired than ever in addition to feeling scattered, messy, and out of control. The instability in thought makes it difficult to even make simple decisions. In addition, haunting dilemmas arise such as ‘How will I function at work, continue breastfeeding, and juggle my career and baby?’ There’s guilt within the mother where one mind is split between work the baby; because the former is still part of her identity and the finances will only help the family. These feelings of anxiety are normal and develop into what is known as ‘mom guilt’. The additional stress and expectations from society, media, friends, and family do not make things any easier.

Executive coaches understand the fog within the minds of postpartum mothers and women and train them to tackle such problems. They help in attaining clarity in terms of both body and mind which is why the power of meditation and yoga must never be underestimated. Coaches help in delicately integrating these into the lives of women apart from acknowledging the guilt and buildingoptimism and resilience among women. Underlying negative thoughts like “I should stop working” will be replaced with “I am a better mom because I am providing for my child”.

Coaches also help in eradicating perfectionism and embracing vulnerabilities. Once a woman embraces vulnerabilities she can walk on the path to betterment and focus on eating healthy, prioritising sleep, and exercising. Finding time and engaging in self-fulfilling activities can not only have a positive impact on women professionals but also on those around them. A work-life balance may be comparatively difficult to attain, but once achieved it can enhance work productivity as well as interpersonal relationships leading to overall health and well-being. It would be wise to seek the expert understanding of the same from executive coaches because they will eliminate probable errors and pitfalls along the way to work-life balance, while inversely preparing women for the long-haul to attain fulfilment in both work and personal life.