Work Life Balance – April 20 2010

Rashmi was happy working in her new office and was looking forward to her promotion. Marriage had not changed anything much for her except that she got herself transferred to her company’s other office in the city where her husband worked. She regarded herself as lucky since they complied with her request. She was a good worker and was well on her way to learn the job better. These were happy times as her husband was very cooperative in sharing domestic duties as much as he could. Then came her pregnancy and her long leave from the office. She was granted the official leave that was due to her and she looked forward to the baby’s arrival. After the baby arrived and slowly as the months of leave passed by in a dream she started having severe doubts about going back to work. It seemed like a herculean task to balance both the baby and the work schedules which were going to be heavier than before. After weighing the pros and cons of her job the couple decided that Rashmi should quit her job. ‘She could rethink about work after a couple of years’ was the consensus.

For men the work life balance equation works in different ways. They too must make the balance according to their changing needs. When they are single work can be given extra hours. Once married home too becomes a focus and needs attention. Again with each stage of life the work life balance has to be worked upon consciously. It is also an individual choice and prerogative for each one’s life follows differently. Raghu decided that he would not opt for his due promotion as his children who were in their crucial stages of their career- making studies would need not just his presence but his support in actual terms. He needed to sit down with them, take their studies and support them in more ways than one. His family was very important to him and he was ready to make some sacrifices for them. He did not want to neglect this aspect and regret it later in life.

But making this happy balance is not easy and many persons fail to strike this harmonious balance. A mother who went to work for strictly economic reasons, to supplement the meager income of her husband, was in for a shock later in her middle age as her grown up daughter showed utter disgust and disregard for her. Her reasoning was that ‘all said and done her mother was absent whenever she needed her in her most crucial times’. She had spent her teens in loneliness and confusion and her parents were not there for her. Her mother could now do nothing to undo the damage and the revelation was thoroughly painful! She was full of regret and remorse. With all the good intentions of parents of making money for their children, they cannot undo the feeling of neglect which their children complain of, until they learn to balance the home and the work areas.

A senior executive in a higher position was success driven and paid no heed to his personal well being roughing it out day and night. The successes were tremendous for everyone to see and the rewards were plenty too but the price he had to pay after several years of success was equally appalling. He made a big mess of his health and suffered cardiac problems. All his parameters of good health went down as he landed himself in the hospital. After he was pinned down did he rethink his life style and decided to slow down. His family had been warning him of his excessive involvement in work, his high drive was irritating the family as they feared some calamity like this. But typical of a type A personality he was addicted to work and took pride in his achievements while he scoffed at people who rested. But alas a day had to come. He needed that shock to shake him out of his rosy dream.

Published in The Hitavada Future – April 20, 2010

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