Industry in Focus – Need to be a trapeze artist to strike a balance

Tips for professional working mothers during the pandemic

Neeti Lobo, Sr Vice President, Confluence Consulting

I feel there should be some magic that can be done during these times. For working professional women, say with 1 or 2 kids of school-going age, life is quite a challenge.

Let me take you through the pulls and pressure one faces in these times. 

A typical day would start early with a few tasks to be completed before the office day starts. Those include breakfast & lunch preparation, cleaning the house, washing the clothes, setting up the child to be ready for the online classes. During the day you have deliveries that are to be washed and disinfected….the list is long and never-ending. 

That itself is a lot of chores done before the office world kicks in. Depending on the role, the WFH brings more coordination, one on one calls to keep teams motivated and productive, team calls, reviews, client interactions, execution, MIS, etc, etc.

In between these, you have to organize the snacks, lunch for the children, ensure they are paying attention to their classes and at the end ensure you know the homework they have like that too needs to be monitored and completed. And to add to the chaos, if one of the laptops crashes, life can be a living hell between who uses the laptops when!!!. I am not even venturing into that. 

If you have elderly parents or in-laws then it can get even more challenging as their needs are to be addressed as well. 

All one remembers is hopping from one task to the other between, home, child, office. It is one physical and emotional test, no one should go through. If you have a caring partner who chips in then life is much better.  

So all one can say is, be organized. Prioritize the task based on urgency. Some tasks can be done at a nonoffice time, done once in 2-3 days. Managing the limited time and getting the best out of it without burning oneself out is the biggest learning for any working mother. 

And we keep looking for the genie up there who can make it all go away. Vaccine and Hope. We shall overcome and we shall come out of it stronger, better and more focussed on what we really want from life.