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Hacks for Women to Juggle Home and Work

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Life for women is like a rubber band that stretches between home and work, often twanging painfully, even breaking at times. How can women manage to juggle the two?

Women are taught to be professionals. They are motivated to break glass ceilings. At the same time, they are expected to walk the conventional path and be a daughter, wife and parent. Here are some life hacks and tools to be a superwoman without compromising or giving up one of your roles:

  1. Make lists: Adopt…if you haven’t as yet…LISTS as your go-to mantras. Make a list for everything that you need to do at home and work. Save it on apps on your smartphone, desktop, tablet/iPad…whatever. You can’t remember everything, so jot it down and update this agenda daily…
  2. Plan your weekly menu: This saves standing in front of the fridge and gaping into its innards wondering what to cook. With a menu plan, ingredients fall into place. Some days you won’t have time to cook, other days you will hate the hot cooktop. Sudden guests, ill health, infrastructure breakdowns are par for the course. A few pre-cooked meals in the fridge/freezer can be a life saver!
  • Cook two batches of dal in your pressure cooker; one for current use and the other to be kept in the fridge for later use…you automatically save time.
  • Double soak whole grams or beans, use one portion and freeze the other half. You can cook and freeze it too.
  • Make red gravy in bulk and refrigerate/freeze it.
  • Buy chopped, dressed veggies to save time.
  1. Plan your attire: Clothes and appearance are important in the workplace just as a neat and tidy uniform is vital in your kid’s wardrobe. Roughly plan what you want to wear on a weekday according to meetings, practicality and the style and material best for the day. This will help you to spend those extra minutes with the family and the hectic getting-ready routine will be stress free.
  2. Have a routine: The night before, keep your outfit and the kids’ uniforms ready. Check bags, water bottles, lunch/break boxes too. Get your morning routines finely orchestrated to avoid disharmony. However, problems will crop up; so, take a deep breath and cope.
  3. Get the family to pitch in: A family that eats together and does the chores together is a healthy, happy family. Even the little two-year-old can carry cutlery to the table. Make it a fun thing to do. Put on some music and challenge the family to get tasks done at the end of a line or stanza of a lyric!!
  4. Delegate and share: A father looking after his kids solo is not baby-sitting. He is parenting…and this can be made clear from day one to him and elders after your kid is born. Ensure that both of you share bringing up the kids.
  5. Look after yourself FIRST. Most women put their interests at the bottom of the priority list.
  • Seek medical advice immediately if you are unwell.
  • Snack on healthy food to keep up your energy levels.
  • Add multi-vitamins to your daily diet.
  • Exercise is important for you and your family well-being. Don’t ignore or postpone this.
  1. Socialize: Neighbors are an important part of our daily lives. Make friends and support each other.
  2. Keep spares: Buy spares for important stuff and tuck it away in a reachable place. Include socks, water bottles, break boxes, haversacks, toiletries, accessories, band-aids, milk (stow a packet in the freezer), cookies, batteries, stationary and light bulbs. Duplicating your life necessities saves a great deal of last minute angst!
  3. 10. Be professional: At work do not play the ‘mommy’ victim card! Your boss should know that you can pitch in and that a strong infrastructure is in place back home. Let them know that you are committed to your job, are capable and ready to climb the ladder. Regularly upgrade your skills to help you stay tuned to the latest trends and techniques in your chosen field.

Have some ME time!! As a woman celebrate your own achievements and progress. Spend some of your bonus or your salary hike on yourself. You have worked for it!

Above all…do not hesitate to ASK FOR HELP!

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Padmini Natarajan calls herself Dame Quixote for she is forever tilting at windmills! A storyteller, poet, columnist, blogger, editor and journalist, she has specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. She has worked for over 15 years as Part-time Language Editor and Writer of manuals, curriculum textbooks and other material with an E-education organization, EZVidya/Chrysalis that is aimed at empowering Teachers, Students and Parents. She taught Vedic Heritage at Kalavardini to children from the ages of 3 to 14 and written and directed skits and plays. She won the Gourmand Special Jury Award in Paris in 2009 as co-author of ‘Classic Tamil Brahmin Cuisine’. Her book of short stories - ‘Crossroads: Stories from South Indian Lives’ - has good reviews on Amazon. Padmini has been concerned with paying it forward with her involvement in organizations like Sneha, a suicide prevention NGO, Canstop, Cancer Support group and many women’s organizations. Her other passion was acting, on stage, TV and screen. She is a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff, a music maniac who listens to Golden Oldies and has a strong Facebook presence. Nowadays she is an armchair activist and world traveler from the safety of her home. Quite the hypochondriac, she is exploring spiritual enlightenment through Vedanta and loves to spout philosophical thoughts to unwary audiences.