The modern woman wants to “have it all”, and while some people turn up their nose at that, we’re all for it at The Lady’s Room. That phrase tends to mean different things to different people, but the goal is the same: a full life with no area lagging behind. This search for balance is not at all misplaced or misguided, but there are a lot of unrealistic myths flying around about work-life balance, especially for the Nigerian woman. Let’s look at a few of them:
1. The strong woman does it all
They say you’re supposed to put in major hours at work, and do all the shopping, cooking and cleaning at home by yourself, and still look fab. You’re also supposed to be a visibly active participant in whatever religion you practise, if any, and attend all family functions. You must ensure you’re married or in a healthy relationship with a highly eligible man. All at once and by yourself.
This one is a lie. There’s no other way to say it, really. Everyone needs help, paid or unpaid, so outsource as much as you can. If you have a thriving career and ANY life outside of it, you’re already a superwoman. Don’t kill yourself trying to please people.
2. If she can do it, so can you
This is also false. With all the different challenges each person faces, such comparison is not at all helpful. It can even prove to be rather unhealthy and dangerous, putting unrealistic pressure on an already demanding life. If you can’t afford to give birth abroad, don’t borrow heavily just to go get stranded. Besides, you never know just how much support—financial, emotional or otherwise—is available to the person with whom you’re comparing yourself. You need to work toward your own goals, to meet your unique needs, regardless of what’s popular. Your unpopular hobbies are valid too. With work-life balance, comparison is THE enemy.
3. You need to overhaul your life
This is not necessarily true. Yes, there are times when your life can be so out of balance that you need to make big changes. Most of the time though, the real secret is in small, almost imperceptible changes: listening to uplifting music while commuting, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going to bed or waking up twenty minutes earlier, or saying a two-minute prayer first thing in the morning. When it comes to lifestyle changes, a little can really go a long way.
4. A balanced life has no dormant area
This is unnecessary pressure to have too much on your plate at any given time. Life is in seasons and cycles. You must decide what your priorities are and adjust accordingly. One season might be for career and family, the next for hobbies and public service. It’s different for everyone but one thing remains the same, you can’t do everything at the same time, no matter how much help you have.
5.Time management is the key
This is only part of the truth. Time management IS important, but it’s just one of many management skills required for a balanced life. Others, such as self-management, stress-management, financial management, and even leisure management, work together with time management to help you achieve work-life balance.
So, while you’re putting in all that work trying to achieve work-life balance, remember that the best route to a balanced life is a custom-made journey that serves you. Having it all is about what you want for yourself, not what the world thinks is “all”.