What does it mean to be a woman in the modern world? Women play an important role both in society and within the family. Over the last century, women have increasingly been joining the work force – whether by choice or by necessity. This requires a certain level of cohesion between work obligations and family obligations, while not neglecting one or the other. But it’s not so easy! On the contrary, sometimes it really proves women’s heroism, who put all their skills as strategists into action.
Is the concept of the woman as mother and wife still relevant?
We all know that women are good multitaskers and are multifaceted—leaving my own bias as a female out of this. These traits objectively belong to a woman's tenderness, grace, kindness, but also perceptiveness, dedication, moral courage, and decisiveness – and of course motherhood, which is a life-bringing gift unique to her alone. Her peculiar ability to show love and her unique charisma, make her a very valuable asset to her work environment, which is humanized by her presence. While at the same time, she holds an irreplaceable role in her family. It is primarily the woman who is required to be a caring spouse, patient mother, and efficient worker. Women have the unique gift of creating a culture that is capable of reconciling both reason and feelings.
But it’s not so easy to not allow oneself to be consumed by work commitments, which could easily fill an agenda and leave no room for anything else. This is why it is necessary to set limits, to cast off the role of the workingwoman and step into that of the wife-mother-friend. And let's not forget that the fully-realized woman is not the one who reaches professional heights while having cared little for her family; a woman feels satisfied when she feels loved and when she puts love into the things she does, giving herself totally to her husband, children, and society. But how can we achieve this without becoming stressed and neurotic?
Here are some tips for balancing the different roles:
1. First of all, admit that you are not Wonder Woman! No more “I can do everything myself” or “I know how to do it better.” Instead accept your limits and ask for help, both from those you live with (in managing domestic affairs, the only skill required of a man is good will, and fortunately many husbands have it!) and, when possible, ask from outside help: Sometimes a domestic collaborator may help, even a few hours a week, in spite of equalling incomes and expenses in your budget.
2. Schedule everything. Google Calendar can make all the difference, keeping a single agenda of work commitments and private life obligations. Even in a woman's agenda, time dedicated to her spouse, children, and friends should be highlighted with a bright colour, so that they are not seen as just another commitment among many. Rather, she should fight tooth and nail to keep them. In addition, there are apps that allow you to share your calendar with your spouse by labelling events "Family," which will immediately show up for both people. The same goes for Google Shopping Lists, which allows you to share your shopping list and each add whatever comes to mind. And when the situation gets complicated – for example, multiple children… summer vacation… – chauffeuring the children between grandparents, summer camps, and school activities, we use Office’s Excel, so that we don’t forget which child is with whom and when.
3. Be disciplined when creating your schedule. Unless there are emergencies or deadlines, try to set work schedules and stick to them. That way, you can fairly redistribute the time left for your children, husband, home and, of course, yourself.
4. Take advantage of technology. For example, there are some machines that are really helpful in household cleaning – like the robot vacuum cleaner – or apps that allow us to have everything at an arm’s reach, so that we don't even have to get up from the desk. I'm thinking, for example, of the bank or post office apps, which keep you from having to wait in long lines and waste time looking for parking. Then there are the precious online shopping apps, with which we can buy everything from clothing to household appliances with just one click. We fill a cart, check out, and everything arrives at our doorstep! There’s even the handy app that allows us to check what our children are eating at school on a daily basis, making sure they are getting a varied and balanced diet. In short, why not take advantage of the positive sides of technology?
5. Finally ask everyone in the family to be more dependable. Husbands and children, especially if they are older, should be involved in the "to do list." Simply creating a chat group called “Family,” in which anyone can write what he needs and others can help, can do this. For younger children, it is important to do this as we help them grow in self-esteem, making them continuously more autonomous: from dressing themselves and cleaning their own bedrooms, to entrusting them with simple house chores, such as setting or clearing the table. And, this goes for everyone: educate one another on mutual respect and empathy: if I see that mom is tired, I don't wait for her to ask me to do something, I do it before she even has to ask.
Let’s remember that a woman has a full life if she works in humane conditions and at the same time manages to educate her children – who will be the generations of the future – about values and virtues. We are women on our way to building a more humane society through our ability to bring unity to the various aspects of our lives, with a clear sense of existence and a clear hierarchy of values. Even the writer is in the process of doing this, but she finds herself still on point one…