I am a firm believer of Work-Life Balance…I like my job but it is just one part of my life not the only thing, I really believe family comes first and touch wood over the last 15 years of working I have been able to maintain that balance. Now maybe I have been able to successfully maintain the work-life balance because my family has not been very demanding, I don’t have small children who really need attention and I only have adults like my husband parents siblings cousins who pretty much don’t need me.
My current dilemma is that while I am proud of my ability to maintain a work-life balance and put my family before work but my current family is only my husband who does not believe in balance and family comes last in his pecking order which is very distressing to me for multiple reasons.
It makes me question my core values…am i right to have work only as one part of my life? Should I be putting more into work? The answer is a very clear no…work cannot be the only thing in my life…there so so much more to my time here on earth…but what?
My second core belief for the last 37 years of my life has been about putting family first….if the ‘family’ ( read husband!;-) ) does not put you and your priorities first…is it still the right thing to do? Is it foolish? is it putting more into the relationship than you get back? Are you ‘suppose’ to even measure relationships? Are women just ‘suppose’ to put more in a relationship? Why should women put more in a relationship ? Women are equally competent…earn as much if not more in the outside world….drive…manage the finances…pay the bills….do everything that men do…and do it better….then why is still not an equal relationship? It just does not seem right. This is my internal conflict.
I have grown up with mixed messages…
I was taught as a girl I could do anything, study anything and succeed in any career that I choose, travel the world if I wanted and my parents would support me. There was never any discrimination between me and my younger brother in the access to resources and we both did not really’ have’ to work around the house so gender did not really play a role and we were equals.
But what we ‘saw‘ was different….
My mother was a working mom and worked as a banker just like my dad as we were growing up. She was independent, made her own money and she was a rock star at work but she was still expected to do all the house work….my dad never lifted a finger to help. She gave up on her promotion because that would mean a transfer outside Mumbai but my dad never had any of these constrains and was free to take a role out side the city….why? Is that fair? I can bet my life that my mom overall had a higher earning potential than my Dad if she put her career first….but she did not…family always came first and this is something she choose and is very happy about.
These are subtle messages that have been embedded in my sub-conscious mind which cause a conflict till date….
What are my values? What is important to me? What is the right thing to do? As an adult now how do i reconcile the duality of what I was told and what I saw growing up? Would having a child just solve my dilemma because then I will have ‘family’ that ‘needs’ me to make them a priority? Is that really the answer or just an escape from dealing with the duality?
It is easy to blame the husband for not acting like an ‘equal’ partner but i think i share equal responsibility because somewhere deep inside I ‘believe’ I need to do more and put in more in the relationship and put family first…but why? More importantly how do I change my deep rooted beliefs which will then definitely change the balance of the relationship. If I don’t put family first and I don’t want to put work first then what comes first? Hobbies? Passions? So what are my hobbies and passions? That is a very loaded question which sadly I don’t know the answer to but I hope to find out soon enough…