Most women today perform two demanding roles simultaneously: the role of mother and the role of worker. Moreover, working mothers can also be engaged in additional roles such as student, studying at a university or a college which empowers them to improve their professional skills, broaden their horizons and fulfill their potential. Another role that most kazakh women perform is “nurse” who takes care of elderly parents-in law who usually live with them and require a lot of attention from their daughters-in law. However, I want to focus mainly on construing the dual role of mother and employee.
My inspiration for writing this post came from the idea to construct a work-family balance in my everyday life. In my seven years of job experience I have worked at six different schools and definitely have had work-family conflicts. Consequently, I would like to share my thoughts on how I managed to handle them. According to Kulik and Liberman (2013), women feel stressed when “distress spills over from the domain of work to the domain of the family and vice versa” (p.458). In a more simply way, any women can be tortured when her work responsibilities interfere with the family matters. Gilbert et al. (1981), define work-family conflict as extremely stressful for females and it occurs when a woman tries to fulfill the roles of full-time professional and full-time parent. Women choosing a dual-career life style although well trained to handle conflicts arising from the professional role may not be as well prepared to deal with conflicts regarding the maternal role. Thus, regardless of the coping strategy employed, high stress due to role conflict may occur. In addition, their value systems may remain untested until a child enters the family. Gilbert et al. (1981), suggest that emotional support alleviates distress in the family. I totally agree with these researchers since the emotional support from my husband has always assisted me through my working experience and with his endorsement I am here in GSE.
Next, I want to propose my recommendations for making working mothers lives less stressful and tensional. I anticipate that my tips will help every working women to pursue their goals:
- Encourage yourself to adopt behavioral strategies such as efficient time management and setting priorities
- Change your negative perception of work-family conflict and learn to view this conflict as a challenge that can lead to growth
- Try to minimize the tensions between work and family
- Negotiate some kind of change to your professional working hours and conditions
after becoming a mother
- Transform your identities
- Share responsibilities with your spouse, other family members or social agents
- Ask your spouse to SUPPORT for your professional role and to PARTICIPATE in parenting
To sum up, I consider motherhood as a very powerful experience, at times joyful and at times equally painful. The interactions of personal and public life for most women can be challenging and becoming a parent is often in contradiction with their desire to continue their professional career. That is every woman’s own wish to turn this process of contradiction into a process of redefinition and transformation of the self by embracing the professional and personal identities. Are you ready to transform your identities? Or how do you cope with a conflict between professional and maternity roles?
Gilbert, L. A., Holahan, C.K., & Manning L. (1981). Coping with conflict between professional and maternal roles. Family Relations, 30(3), 419-426. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/584037?sid=21105679449203&uid=3737864&uid=4&uid=2
Kulik, L. and Liberman, G. (2013). Work–family conflict, resources and role set density; assessing their effects on distress among working mothers. Journal of Career Development, 40(5), 445-465. Retrieved from http://jcd.sagepub.com/content/40/5/445.short