Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How do the new age working mom's make it work everyday? – Nuggets of wisdom from real-life experiences

Ever since I have become a mother, I have a new found respect and admiration for all working mom's. Because she possibly and probably endures more than what anyone would ever know or imagine every single day – Juggling the many roles and expectations for self, family, friends, workplace; doing a balancing act everyday and hoping that it will all be OK!

Ever since I have embarked on this journey, I have recognized and realized that all working mom's find a way to make it all work. After all, where there is a will, there is a way! So whenever I meet any such mom, I ask her what is her tip / trick / mantra / best practice. I always go back wiser from these interactions because I learn some little insight that I can apply in my daily life.
In this post, I am sharing a round-up on some of these honest confessions from working mom's. Read on below:
  1. I remind myself of my priorities every morning and evening – so I know who / what is the most important for the day– my kids, my boss, my work, my spouse, my maid, my family or myself
  2. I plan my day meticulously – so I know what needs to be done and when and for how long
  3. I have realized over the years that health is wealth – So I try to eat right, take some vitamin supplements and walk at every opportunity that I get. Good food and exercise have to be integrated into everyday life ; else it does not work
  4. Whatever I can’t / don’t want to do at home – If there is a way to outsource it and I can afford it, I just hire help
  5. I don’t drive. Driving adds to my stress. So either private transport, company transport
  6. I don’t cook. Cooking is a waste of time. So I have employed a cook
  7. I have a fixed time-table / routine for the working days for kids and myself. I don’t entertain / approve deviations, unless there is a compelling reason to do so
  8. I meditate everyday twice – morning and evening
  9. As soon as I enter home, I lock myself in my bedroom for 30 minutes. I don’t talk to anyone. This is my time to unwind
  10. A hot cup of tea / coffee as soon as I step in to work / home gives me the thrust to keep going
  11. Before I get back home, I ensure that I take a nap in the bus / car. A power nap always energizes me
  12. I do a quick round of deep breathing before I enter home. Nothing calms me like conscious breath
  13. I make sure I eat something before I leave and enter home, so I am not hungry. An hungry tummy is the cause for anger and irritation many a times – both at work and home
  14. I take a walk or do some form of exercise every day. It energizes me
  15. I give myself days/ time to do nothing. Idle time rejuvenates me like nothing else does
  16. I have outsourced the house maintenance work completely. It comes at a premium, but worth it for my sanity
  17. I have made peace with the fact that I will never get a certificate for the most beautifully maintained house. I can sleep with mess / clothes / toys on the floor, cutlery on the table and unfinished work at home
  18. Sleep is non-negotiable. I have fixed time for going to bed and waking up. Adequate physical rest is vital to keep me going
  19. I say No to people or events which I don’t enjoy, and take me away from where I want to do. I realize YOLO (You Only Live Once), so why bother about what I don’t want to do!
  20. I have a glass of alcohol every day after the kids go to bed. That is my personal way to unwind
  21. I clean my house for 15 minutes in the morning and evening to organize things. That relaxes me. I can’t think straight when the house is unkempt
  22. I let free advice or feedback or suggestions fall on deaf ears ; The worthy advice / feedback / suggestions somehow
  23. I let-go of things which don’t add any value to my life or my kids life
  24. I don’t watch TV
  25. I time-box social media time – Facebook, Twitter are for a fixed time slot everyday. When time is up, I log off
  26. I take parenting advice only from my mom / mom-in-law. They know best, and it appears that children’s personality is 80% based on genes from mom / dad, right? And nothing like real-life experiences to handle personality-types, so these 2 women are my goddesses. Whatever they advise, always makes sense and works wonders
  27. I disabled notifications for WhatsApp messages. It is a big distractor
  28. I do my grocery shopping once a week ; That saves me time and effort
  29. I stopped living up to everyone’s expectations
  30. I have accepted that I am imperfect, and am Ok with it. Perfection is not my goal in life
  31. I give myself 1 hour every week to do things I love – It can be something different every time, but it is just my time to myself
  32. I meditate for 30 minutes every Sunday. That is non-negotiable and my private sanctuary
  33. I’m selectively blind, deaf and dumb – based on need, situation or circumstance
  34. A poor memory; So no time to remember what I don’t need to remember
  35. I ensure I spend time with people who make me feel good about myself – happy and positive
  36. I talk to my mother for 10 minutes every day. She is my lifeline and keeps me going
  37. I never do my children’s home-work. I made it clear from Day 1 that home-work is not mummy’s work
  38. I encourage independence in my kids, so they own up their tasks and also help out with domestic responsibilities at home
  39. I practice the “silent hour” everyday; No talking / noise at home. Everyone can do what they want, but in silence
  40. I am generous with praise when I interact with others. I realize no great motivator to enlist support than well-meaning appreciation
  41. I don’t stress / sweat about how I look or dressing up. When you don’t bother / care about the need to look good, you spend less time and energy on external frills
  42. A few moments of prayer and gratitude everyday keep me going
  43. Weekly menu planning is done every weekend. I can’t think about what to cook on week-days. It is a big operational hazard!
  44. I keep expectations of others very low
  45. I use technology and mobile for everything  - lists, payments, organizing stuff, etc.  It saves time, energy and brain-power. So I don't have to think or worry about operational stuff
  46. I plan for the worst and hope for the best. That makes it easy for me to deal with anything!
What is your mantra? Leave a comment to let us know..

A version of this post was first published on WomensWeb
Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in India, Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

And my blogs feature among the List of Top Indian Blogs ...

There it is.. My blogs continue to feature among the list of Top Indian blogs and most widely read bloggers.. As a blogger, no better accolade! Thank for reading me!

Directory of Best Indian Blogs ; CATEGORY : Personal

Directory of Best Indian Blogs ; CATEGORY : Marketing, PR and Social Media

Indian Top Blogs - 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

To immortalize the mortal..

The immortal
The mortal
Are states of being

Sometimes they are physical
Sometimes emotional
Sometimes intellectual
Sometimes social
Sometimes financial
Sometimes spiritual

They all matter
The words
The emotions
The thoughts
The intent
The spirit

The voice
The appearance
The smile
The laughs
The tears

The shared moments
The solitary journey

The independance
The dependence
The inter-dependence

The fears
The concerns
The quest

The Yes
The No
The Maybe

The truth
The lies
Everything in-between

The agreements
The disagreements

The ignorance
The arrogance
The pretense

The questions
The answers

The priorities
The choices
The preferences
The expereinces
The perspectives

The values
The principles
the short term
the medium term
the long term

The daily routine
The Do's and Don'ts

They all matter
They all add up
They add value
They make a difference

What was said
What was unsaid

What was done
What was undone
What was never done

What was felt
What was never felt

The emotions
The thoughts
The actions
The reality

Yesterday when you were mortal
Today when you are immortal?

This post is dedicated to D

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

So my blog post has inspired a session in an event..

A few days back the event organizers of Career Konnect 2015 called and asked if I could be part of a panel discussion at the event. For those who don't know Career Konnect is an opportunities and networking forum for Indian women. Unfortunately, my schedule did not permit, so I had to say No.

Interestingly, the conversation went on.
Career Konnect Event Organizer: Could you suggest what topics would be of interest to the Indian women, since you anyways write a lot on the subject of Indian women at work
Me: Sure. I'd written an article for The Economic Times on "Women At Work Manifesto" : The post talks about what skills women should make at the start of their career. A session of each would be enriching to any woman who is part of the workforce.
Career Konnect Event Organizer: OK. Also, I found one of your earlier posts interesting "Dear Mr.Maslow - Does your hierarchy of needs apply to the working woman?". Can we plan a session around it?
 Me: Sure, go ahead. As long as you give me credit for it ;)

And below is the Event Agenda. - Refer text highlighted in yellow

PS: When I started blogging - I'd never have imagined that my blog post becomes the topic of an event session :).. So life's like that! It can take you to places you'd never have thought or imagined.. Just got to start something with an open mind, keep at it and then be open to new ideas / opportunities / windows that open..  That is my view.. What is yours? Leave a comment to let me know...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

When my mission statement was "I won't let her cry"

No mother likes to see her kids cry. I'm no different. There are times when my little baby cries and brings the roof down, and there are times when she cries for good reason (at least from her point of view).. A few days ago, when I'd had just about enough of her cries - I embarked on a mission - That I would do everything in my capacity to ensure she DOES NOT CRY!. 3 days into my mission.. this is what I learned

Crying is her way of communication
And communication is vital to human existence and interactions. Just like every one needs to breathe, every one of us needs to be heard. And for that we need to express. For her, it is through her tears. 
Crying gets her the fastest response she desires
Again, she understands effectiveness in communication and cause-and-effect really well. If she smiles.. she does not get it. She asks gently....she does not get what she wants. She cries, she gets it immediately. It is probably for good reason that way too many women I know have the arsenal of tears ready! I mean it always works, so why bother the circuitous route of discussions and explanations and logic, when a few drops of tears can generate desired outcomes. After all, the results matter the most right?
No matter what I do, she will still cry .. out of habit
Hmmm.... Again, habit formation is a complex science and interesting art form! And crying sometimes becomes a habit simply because it is done way too much in kids. How else can you explain it when she looks at herself in the mirror and practices which 'crying face' to make to maximize her 'sympathy quotient'.. Sigh!

Not matter what I do, she has to cry sometimes – as a way of experiencing life
What can I say? Life has its share of good, bad and ugly. And no matter how much I protect her and try to keep negative things at bay, sometimes unexpected things happen. Like running and banging against the wall, or slipping over water she spilled over the floor, or eating stuff which she shouldn't eat and then crying over an upset stomach! And then she sheds those tears....

In the end, though I aspired to NOT let her cry.. She did CRY :(