The best way for mothers to juggle work and family is to prioritise
Mothers as multi-taskers
Ms Laura Hwang, President of Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) and Advisor to the Women’s Initiative for Ageing Successfully (WINGS), does not believe that being 40 and above poses any barrier in achieving one’s dreams and goals.
Well, as some say, if power were human, her name would be ‘Woman’. The reason for this is simple. A graceful creature and sometimes, miracle-worker who embraces resilience just as a true hero does bravado, she is notorious for playing the role of multi-tasker. In her mind, nothing is impossible if you really put your mind to it and Ms Hwang is a living embodiment of this sentiment.
Tuning in to the transition
Commenting on the steps to take when transitioning from long-time housewife to fresh member of the workforce, the SCWO head shares, “She will need to arrange for child care, either at home or at care centres and then assess the job market and see what fits her skills. I do know that NTUC has an excellent programme called ‘Back to Work’, which provides very useful information on options.”
However, there is no path, old or new, which presents without challenges. But then again, the hardships and perseverance that follows them are exactly what defines a strong and tenacious woman. Good advice to heed while in pursuit of this cross-over includes “employing a positive attitude, being adaptable and having sturdy support networks both on a personal and professional level”.
Establishing a balance
Everyone has to have priorities, as we all have the same number of hours in a day. According to the industry advocate, is it essential to shift these around so that nothing gets totally neglected by being at the bottom of the pile for too long as [things get really bad down there].
“It is difficult, just about impossible to have work-life balance—rather; we need to see how to reach the point of work-life harmony. Only then, can the emphasis shift from one to the other according to prevailing needs, but of course, this occurs over a span of time.”
So women, if you ever had any doubts over how far you can still go or if those innate abilities you once possessed were still there, it’s time to stop wondering. Just put on those running shoes and keep going. It’s what we do best, so why stop now?
We hope this article on women going from unemployed mother to working professional has empowered you to pick up the baton once again and get back into the race.
Click here for Part I: From homemaker to breadwinner (featuring expert advice from Ms Tan Gek Khim, Senior Director at Management Development Institute of Singapore)