As more people join the corporate world, many of them fail to balance the demands of the workplace and those of the family. Sometimes, failure to balance two roles has resulted into stress, domestic violence, child neglect and divorce.
The experience of a corporate woman
Maureen Twahirwa, the Private Sector Federation communications officer, tells Business Times about her work day and how she juggles her roles as a mother and wife, as well as a corporate woman.
Twahirwa, who has been a communications officer for the past six years with different institutions in the public and private sectors, says she ensures that neither of her roles conflict.
The mother of two wakes up at 6:15am everyday and makes sure that the children have had breakfast before they are picked up by school bus.
“When I wake up, I say a word of prayer and then start preparing the children for school. This has been the routine for the past several years now,” she says.
Later, I get a shower a set out for the office and arrive by 8:00am. I check the day’s schedule and also review the previous day’s work as I prepare for the tasks ahead.
“When I am at the office, I work toward achieving the organisation’s goals. this can sometimes be stressful, but its can’t stop me from calling home to inquire about the children and my husband.
“There is no way I will use my busy schedule at work as an excuse of not taking care of my family,” she notes.
It’s also important that workers understand that drawing a boundary between your office and family issues is essential as far as harmonising the two is concerned.
“Do not let office stress spill into your home to avoid problems with your family. equally, don’t carry your family problems to the workplace as this can affect your performance,” she counsels.
Twahirwa says it’s imperative that workers, especially women, take time to communicate with their families during the course of the day to ensure that all is well.
“There are times we have meetings that end at 10pm and, yet, as a woman in the family, I ensure that I notify my family about the late engagement.”
Twahirwa notes that communication among partners and family is an important aspect to ensure stress-free work and family experiences.
Whenever she can, she spends time with the children after they return from school in the evening, helping them with homework.
As a staunch Catholic, the she crowns her day with a prayer to thank God for His mercies and protection.
Advice to working women, men
Twahirwa advises women against stressing their husbands financially to avoid problems. Women in the corporate world should understand that they go to work every morning to support their husbands and their families.
She advises corporate women to always plan their time well to be able to serve the various roles satisfactorily.
These, according to Twahirwa, are fundamental to ensuring a healthy family/work life.
Twahirwa advises men to understand that once you have allowed your wife to work, you have to respect the fact that sometimes her work has challenges.
She adds that though one has to value their work, they also need to understand that family is an important aspect in one’s life.
On maternity leave
The question of maternity leave for pregnant mothers being reduced from three months to six weeks, Twahirwa says that it is important to give working mothers enough time to take care of their newborns as it helps create a special bond between the mother and the baby.
What inspires her
Twahira is inspired by people like evangelist Joyce Meyer and former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. When she is not taking care of her family, she visits friends.
Her husband is her anchor, especially when the going gets tough.