In a world that frequently demands women to 'have it all,' achieving a work-life balance can seem like a tightrope walk. The challenge intensifies when women take on dual roles as working professionals and parents. How can companies support parents in this juggling act? We spoke to Simone and Paula, working mothers and trusted employees at ARTUS Tax Advisors, to learn their strategies for maintaining equilibrium in both family and career.
balancing acts: navigating the myth of the 'perfect' working mother
Women in the workforce are often held to a formidable standard: the pressure to perform flawlessly in all roles, from the boardroom to the playroom. This intense scrutiny not only fosters an environment ripe for the "motherhood penalty" — where biases can lead to lower pay or hindered career progression — but also erects barriers to leadership positions. The prevailing myth is that motherhood saps a woman's commitment to her career. Yet, time and again, working mothers are demonstrating their ability to shatter these outdated stereotypes, excelling both as professionals and parents, and showcasing that the synergy of family and work is not only possible but also enriching to the corporate landscape.
"Work-life balance isn't just a trendy term; it's a real juggling act," says Simone Gerner, COO at ARTUS
meet the working mums:
In our conversation with Simone and Paula we gathered invaluable insights on mastering the work-life balance for working mums. They shared their tried-and-tested strategies that help maintain a fulfilling career while nurturing family life, offering a blueprint for mothers who strive to excel in both domains. Here are five key strategies that can guide working mums to find equilibrium in their busy lives.
1. time-blocking: scheduling family as a priority
"Work-life balance isn't just a trendy term; it's a real juggling act," says Simone Gerner, COO at ARTUS. To manage this, successful working mothers like Simone use time-blocking as a strategy to ensure family time is sacred, approaching it with the same commitment as they would an important business meeting.
2. delegation: embracing the art of letting go
Paula Timofte, a tax advisor at ARTUS, champions delegation both at home and in the workplace. "Delegate tasks, whether at home or at work. Trust me, it's liberating," she states, suggesting that letting go of minor tasks can free up essential time for family and reduce stress.
3. open communication: setting expectations with your team
Transparency with colleagues about family responsibilities can create a supportive work environment. "Effective communication with my team about my family commitments means they respect that," explains Paula, underscoring the importance of clear dialogue.
4. weekly planning: the power of preparation
The adage 'a stitch in time saves nine' holds true when balancing work and family life. "A little planning on Sunday can make the whole week go smoother," highlighting how preparation can alleviate the rush and pressure of weekly commitments.
5. presence over perfection: defining realistic balance
Simone Gerner reflects on what balance means to her: "Ideal work-life balance is when neither work nor family life is compromised." This perspective emphasizes quality of presence over the illusion of perfection, urging mothers to be fully engaged in the moment, whether at work or with family.
6. an extra tip: seek a supportive work environment
Finding a workplace that champions your role as a mother and a professional is essential. Seek out companies that value work-life integration and offer flexible arrangements, knowing that a satisfied employee thrives in both their professional and personal life. Simone Gerner, COO explains: "At ARTUS, we understand the unique challenges that working mothers face. That's why we're committed to providing a supportive, inclusive environment where our team members can thrive professionally without having to sacrifice their personal life. We believe in a work culture that values flexibility, understanding, and a balanced life."
"Working in the fast-paced, complex field of tax while raising a family might sound like a challenging juggle, but it's entirely possible - and rewarding. At ARTUS, I have always felt that my role as a mother is valued and supported just as much as my professional contribution. This culture of respect, flexibility, and understanding has empowered me to succeed in both facets of my life." says Paula Timofte.
what companies can do to support working mothers
Companies have a crucial role to play in supporting their employees' work-life balance. ARTUS, for example, provides flexible work hours and an understanding work culture. "At ARTUS, they understand that life doesn't fit into neat 9-5 boxes," says Paula. Extended parental leaves and remote work options have also been revolutionary in empowering parents.
While balancing work and family life may never be effortless, it's entirely possible to 'have it all' with the right strategies and a supportive work environment. The experiences of working mothers at ARTUS show that with proper planning, delegation, and corporate support, you can not only walk the tightrope but also master it. And as for those societal 'supermom' expectations? It's high time they catch up with reality.
Learn more about ARTUS as an employer (and great tax advisor) here.