Break the glass ceiling within YOU

Article by Dr. Divya Kumar, Associate Manager – Research, Avtar

Reunions are very always special. It is the time when we take off from our routine, eagerly await to see our pals to relive our cherished moments. It is beautiful to take a trip down our memory lane. It becomes even more special when it is with our all-girls gang. Every year our college alumni association team would send meet invite to our batch. But it was always the “regular few” who come together. This year we speculated whether the meet will be called amidst the COVID-19 , and just then our alumni team sent our first-ever virtual reunion invites. To everyone’s surprise, it was a full house! It was lovely to meet “virtually” every one after so many years. It was amazing to see little kids and families coming together. Truly, we all have come a long way, and each of our lives changed so much. It was amazing!

Reena, our college topper joined the reunion for the first time. She is working in a multinational bank and is a mother of two children at the junior school level. She is in the mid-stage of her amazing career and one of the identified Hi-Po talents at her organization. I was super excited to hear, but Reena did not have that vibrancy as she spoke. Her motherly guilt and more expectations from her at work is not supporting her in any direction and is in the dilemma to choose between family and career. It was just not Reena with this mind-set, but a few more working moms shared the same.

So, I decided to decode the questions that were pondering within me. Why woman like Reena(s) who have made significant progress in being recognized as outstanding managers, aren’t making it to the top? What is derailing them?

In today’s competitive corporate environment, women employees find it a bit more difficult to charter a plan, especially at their mid-career stage. Work-life balance is a major problem for today’s working women. The demands of full-time work conflict with the relational factors in their family life. Women feel they have to make difficult decisions that leads to the sacrifice their career or family, with little understanding of the influences that affect decision making. With the technological advancement of our work modules creating a clear boundary between home and work life is no longer possible. The traditional concept of work-life balance has now evolved as work-life integration. Work-life balance is a separation of your professional and personal lives whereas, work-life integration is a connection between work and personal life. Interestingly, organisations have started to embrace the idea of work-life integration with their career enablers like flexibility, remote work, childcare support etc.

But again, what is still that one factor that often disrupts or derails women professionals? Hay Group examined the performance and paths of 12 of the highest leading women in one Fortune 500 company and other executive women of global organizations. The study reveals that the highest-performing women had in common a strong orientation toward achievement. It is instrumental in driving an advancement to a large extent. To have control over your career requires you to be INTENTIONAL. The word “intent” refers to my mindset at the time of a specific action, and it’s something many don’t think about. While being intentional may mean you have to think more, purposeful actions yield better results as it is the ability to change what requires to be changed with maturity.

Here are the steps which can help you to create alignment of your goals, values and actions-

  • Identify a clear goal that you want to achieve professionally
  • Break down identified big goal into small objectives attached to timelines
  • Assertive and strategic planning enables you to be disciplined with your time and priorities.
  • Invest in professional development by staying open to new opportunities
  • Find innovative solutions to your workplace problems
  • Network and discuss with peers and colleagues to gain new insights
  • Track the progress will motivate to steer it in the direction of attaining your goals
  • Never hesitate to communicate and negotiate on what you want to your reporting managers

Be INTENTIONAL as you will certainly make a DIFFERENCE with more maturity and purposeful engagements to reach your desired GOAL!


FIVE RITUALS THAT WOULD BE USEFUL FOR WOMEN POST COVID-19

Article by: Shobhika Ramanathan, Associate Research Analyst

There is a powerful saying by Eleanor Roosevelt which reads as, “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water”. The situation in which we are living now is exactly the HOT WATER phase for all and especially for women. It is for her to decide that whether she is going to come out as a cup of refreshing hot tea or just remain soaked.

Women are said to be stronger than men generally because of owning the ability to come out of any situation sooner. But without action words are just ‘words’. The current situation is just a testing phase for everyone. To come out of this is to leave the ‘fear’ which rests in us. It is left to us that whether we ‘compete’ against them or to ‘submerge’ in them.

Nobody would have even dreamt that the start of a new decade would be a bag of surprises – not a good one though. Due to this pandemic, there has been a terrible drop in the economy with many companies actually opting for recession. Jobs are now accompanied by a bad friend – ‘Insecurity’. All women are ‘Left and Right Handed Batsman when it comes to the game of life’. Wondering why? Compared to men, they are to manage both their life at home and life at work with equal concentration, without which a Home would just be a House. This time is hard for men but even harder for women.

 There is a ‘New Normal’ waiting for us ahead of this pandemic. Life would never be the same like before. There would be many changes in the work environment after this disaster. For men, they can adjust to their routine provided but for women, certain things can be tough. Thus, they must have a new plan for their daily work.

Let us see the new 5 rituals that will suit HER to abide by, after this COVID period subsides.

Home Is the New Office

All around the world, there are many organizations that have started to provide many policies for women i.e. flexible work from home – She can decide the time of work for the day. Already saddled with her office work, household chores, and childcare, she is already powered down. But since this situation is going to prevail for a little longer, this puzzle has to be solved soon. Better Sooner than Later! Gear Up!

Ask For Help

Do not hesitate to ask for help or even do one. Wherever possible, extend help to your family, co-workers, teams, and the community at large. The world knows that you have more burden in your shoulders. You can also share your work if it is too much to handle. Have a word with your manager/boss whenever you feel stuck. When your time is tough, remember there is always another person in your life to share it with.

Exercise to Energise

Dear ladies, it is important to first take care of yourself. Take nutritious food and try to exercise at least half an hour to be in-line with your day. Energise your fellow mates around you. Be Positive, Spread Positivity!

Resilience Is the New Mantra

Being resilient is itself a solution. It is true that no-one on earth predicted or were ready for this pandemic. Attaching to the feel of panic does not make this better. It is through these times that you can discover yourselves to be strong. Get back to your childhood! Remind yourself of your hobbies and do those while you are out of track. Be in contact with your colleagues and chit-chat to get relax you mind. It is OK to feel low… provided you BOUNCE BACK soon!                         

Time Table Should Be On Table

You might have come across this – “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” Yes! It is important that you manage your time in the right way. Take a pen now. List all the things in 2 separate lists. Things that you want and things you need to do for the day. Sort them out and figure out a final list with timings mentioned beside it. “Stick to the plan” and start your day. It is not the time which decides your start of the day, it is you who should decide it. Anytime can be your start point. So if you are not on track now, pick up your Time Table and get set for your day!

Do not worry about the situation that you are facing now. Do your job right and every other thing will fall in its place. Another famous quote reads – “The Greatest Job Security Is Performance”. Do remember that. Let us not turn back but look forward to a better future with the help of an optimistic sight!

“She was powerful not because she wasn’t scared but because she went on so strongly, despite the fear.” – Atticus.


Covid and Stress: A three-angle view

Article by: Athira Premarajan, Research and Content Development Associate

Having a positive mentality helps. And that is what makes us enjoy the quarantine trolls and lock down day – xy cooking. It also helps us stay away from all the fear and worry the Pandemic had unleashed. Among the umpteen chapters that Covid has opened, the dangerously active one is stress. It was all a merry phase until the boredom leapt into loneliness and anxiety. And that leads to what can be called a pandemic syndrome.

One thing we all need to understand is that quarantine doesn’t mean something just for ‘you’. The entire globe has been put on hold for achieving a complete recovery. However, it is an understandable fact when someone loses their conscience when the situation goes topsy-turvy. And when you watch the events happening around, the tension tightens, making you vulnerable and unable to access a calm mind, even though you are familiar with the fact that you are not in it alone, but together with all the people around the world. This helplessness, fortunately, can be cured with some ‘social medications’.

The boss’ say:

There is never a better chance to unveil that withheld caring approach from the masquerading tough tone. Or sometimes you may be their ‘boss buddy’ already. And so, this is the perfect time to let your employees know that you are the leader who shows the way. The condition the pandemic has exposed has a predominant effect on the work one does. This overlapped by loneliness will affect their stability, in turn making them lose their mind. More screen time with less physical interaction makes them equivalent to machines. And to add on, the economic transformation that they think is going to affect them mostly. So, they think it is work their comfort bubble, which voluntarily makes them feel the need to work longer hours to hit the boredom. This not in long-term effect, but a very short span effect that can affect them adversely.

As a boss, your commitment during these testing times should be to extend your hand to relieve your employees from the social isolation paranoia. The only thing you may need to do is listen. You are dealing with an anxious person who is anticipating a doubtful career and future. Be the compassionate guide who assures only positivity. Ask them to not overwork and suggest spending time on their hobbies or likes. If they hear this from their boss’s side, there needs no other assurance for them to lean on to normalcy. On the other hand, it is also important to watch out for yourself. Engage with your counter-partners to gauge the different approaches or measures you could take. And, if you think there is a lot on your plate, it is advised to get professional help. Only prevention helps, not avoidance.

To the double-duty warriors:

You are doing a wonderful job. With schools closed and child-care facilities locked down, one can imagine the tiring weekdays of yours. Kudos! To each and every one of you.

Studies confirming psychological challenges to rise-up for working parents post Covid, it is imperative that you take certain measures to curb it before it intensifies. As the pressure on working parents is certainly huge when compared to other professionals, the first measure should be to compare your work with your own strength. It is easier to commit to extra hours when you see your counterpart doing it who has fewer responsibilities. But, take a look around before you commit to any new assignments. It is also a blessing that most of the organizations and managements understand and cope up with the pandemic struggles specially for the working parents – especially for working mothers. So, communicate your challenges, get the achievable target in hand, and commit yourself to complete that with all your potential.

Another challenging part of your routine is to handle kids. You cannot complain as they are also restless as us, as not being able to run around outside and meet their friends is an option now. So, deal with them politely and ensure to involve in game nights and movie nights at least twice a week. Activities and getting involved like how they like it will make you the star and make them happy as well.

The pro-view:

Studies have already confirmed the aftereffects of the pandemic on the mental stability of professionals. So, it becomes crucial to note the essential measures to avoid any adverse conditions that may come up – especially for working parents.

Some useful hacks:

Self-analyse your potential: Quarantine days have unleashed a ‘workaholic wave’, which was a voluntary action of many professionals to prove their potential to their managers. What one needs to know is to ensure the tasks in hand is manageable. Know that you are working the same amount, in fact, more than what you used to do while in office.

Family face-time – A must-do: Social distancing is to keep you away from the virus. A five-minute call with your family can help release a lot of stress that has been accumulated in. In the case of working parents, your children will build the special bond with their grandparents, given their limited access to interact with their class buddies and other routine games which they used to play with neighbours.

Consume healthily:  A major threat to any disease is nutritional food. If you are not aware, know that your body has a self-healing power. And the best treatment for both your physical and mental stress is to eat good homemade food.

So, that’s all folks – essential but simple hacks that could help you during this uncertain time. You are the essential part of your life and so ensure you take care of yourself. Stay healthy, stay safe.


Stress: A tired mind’s misery

Article by: Archana Sathish, Marketing & Communication, Avtar

After a long tiring day at work, what is the usual thing that we all do? Some of us would like to watch TV, some would just crash on bed, and many of us won’t even feel like doing anything at all.

Have we ever thought why do we do all these things? Personal space and me time are enjoyed by everyone whenever they have time. Again, why? Well it’s all on our minds, isn’t it? We have so many thoughts running through our mind per second. We exert our emotions and frustration in various ways due to stress, work tension. Believe it or not, stress plays with our health and changes us by playing with the mind. This isn’t a good sign. We all crib and cry. “I’m stressed”, “I hate this job”, “Life is so tiring!”. But how many of us actually sit back and think about the solutions for the stress? How many of us have accepted the changes at work, and tried to adapt ourselves in such circumstances? Just close your eyes and go back for a second. What happened today? What made you feel so stressed? Was there any other way than being stressed to deal with the problem?

The biggest problem with human beings is that we can never be wholly satisfied. We always find some fault somewhere. Maybe at work your manager would have given you a hard day and you would have frowned upon the very same. You might blame it on your manager’s behavior or meeting deadlines. And in the end, you end up declaring that you are stressed. And this is why, we need to first understand what is the problem with us before we say “stress”.

Well, that’s not very hard. All we need to do is to stay calm and take a deep breath. Observe what is going on around you.

  • Think twice before you speak to anyone. If something bad is happening around you, think as to what you did first before you land up getting stressed!
  •  As acceptance plays a huge role for all human beings in every scenario, we have to learn to accept situations, adapt ourselves towards changes, learn the new changes with smiles on our faces.
  • Also, we can try out some home remedies to reduce the pressure. Try the magic spell of yoga and meditation or other relaxation techniques.
  • Spend time with your family and friends.
  • Stop procrastination.
  • Plan your day properly and have a good sleep as it’s very important for all of us to give the brain a good rest.
  • Have your food on time.
  • Avoid taking medicines (if not necessary).
  • If things are difficult at work at least make an effort to give it a chance. Try discussing the issues that are bothering you with your manager. May be a small talk over a coffee break will help in breaking the ice.

It’s common for stress to lurk into your workplace and personal life but with a positive attitude you can bring down the pressure and improve you overall work-life balance.


Keeping up with an extended family

Article by: Murugeswari Natarajan, Associate Manager-Diversity Hiring

Like every woman, my marital life had started with pleasant expectations and beautiful dreams. From day one, the relationship with my in-laws was working out well. Being a retired working woman herself, my MIL who I endearingly call, Amma understood my hardships as a professional. Having said that in the later years, I have encountered many conflicts with my mother-in-law, like everyone else. Over time, I have learned to endure. In due course, I realized that this is nothing but my insecurity. It’s part of all our lives. It is surprising that we easily understand the insecurities that others suffer from, but it takes time for us to understand our insecurity.

If we try to identify the insecurities and overcome those, many problems can be solved in advance.

1.      Creating a healthy network

2.      Working out more on your passion

I have learned to do both of these.

As I had mentioned earlier, I perceived the notion that my mother in law was insecure. In the following days, a series of bitter incidents caused me to lose my patience. I sunk into a grave of darkness. And the darkness gradually increased post my delivery. I believe it was ‘Postpartum Depression’. Immediately, a few people around me rose the question of us living as a nuclear family. Yet, I was determined to live with an extended family. Because, in the days that followed, my baby needed support.

During this turbulent phase, my husband offered me a piece of curt but practical advice. He said, “You need to know who you are as a person. Prioritize your aspirations. Building a relationship takes time and effort so don’t hold unnecessary grudges”. His advice pushed me into a new direction of life. I realized that my insecurities and conflicts have affected my overall intention. I decided to work on myself thoroughly. This was one of the main reasons for my early return to work post-maternity.

The solutions I devised for myself were to cleanse my network and spot the supportive relationship to be sustained for the long term. And, the second one was to work out more on my passion. So as planned, I started to keep a check on my network regularly. I have a belief that if we have positively strong supporters in our network, we will be cheerful and will automatically move forward. If you feel uneasy in your relationships or alarmed by people who possess a toxic mentality, get rid of them immediately.

In the personal front too, I adopted a few goals. The first step that I took was to split the duties among everyone in the house. As soon as I figured out what our priorities are, I sat down, set goals, and made plans to maintain the course. I had chalked out individual goals as well as couple goals in terms of our Health, Career, and Finance. So, we have 5 members in my home including my kid. We have 5 personal goals for each and a family goal. The goals we fixed for ourselves gave us success in subsequent years. I always design a family goal that depends on everyone’s responsibilities, it can be achieved only by every member’s co-operation. So we have made the plans intertwined and transparent. At present, the couple’s goal has changed into a family goal. For example, if a family faces a financial crisis, the entire family needs to be attentive in cooperating. In other words, we as a group have transformed our lifestyle slowly instead of trying to work hard to change everyone’s attitudes individually. This transformation has provided us with a lot of time to converse with my family, allows us to listen to each other, and above all, my little one is nurtured in love with her grandparents. Being a working mother I make all the decisions with confidence along with their experienced inputs. We are flattered when our kith & kin appreciate that we drive a family perfectly with ethics.

You can’t get what you want unless you envision it. Give yourself the space to dream what you want. Today’s women prefer to raise their children with grandparents rather than leaving them in kindergarten/day school (until and unless the situation suggests otherwise). This is a good sign. If you learn to accept the challenges, I assure you that your growth will be tremendous in the extended family. Let’s go back to the extended family culture to make our homes a haven.


Corona or Dalgona?

Article by: Athira Premarajan- Research and Content Development Associate

You know how it works. Fresh today and gone tomorrow. That’s the pace of social media trends. There was a time when a ‘winking beauty’ from Kerala, took over the social space of the entire world. Though it stayed for a little longer than anticipated, it was long forgotten the very next week! Now trending are the frothy Dalgonas. This will forfeit too. So will the Corona.

Rising to the challenge is not new to any human being. We have learned to survive the odds even during the hardest of times. Journeying through the most unprecedented times of the century, we are slowly regaining our world step-by-step. In this process, the role of technology in leading us is huge. It has opened the window of possibilities and opportunities – Learning from home, cooking from home, celebrating from home, invoking from home, working from home, et. al. Among this, the popularity, reach and requirement of ‘remote working’ or ‘work from home’ concept tops the list.

Though it was already in the scene, remote working had not gained limelight until recently. The social stigma that sustained with remote working was long gone within a couple of days since the outbreak. Although, it is sad that a pandemic had to teach us the vast possibilities of the different tools and products made by humankind. Anyway, better late than never! This opportunity has proved the world – both employers and employees, the availability of alternatives. This has made a huge impact in the lives of millions of women – who are trying for a job with flexibility, who has requested for flexible working hours, and for those of who wants to balance familial duties and earn, working from home. Now, just to list out the benefits, how has this window of opportunity given the women workforce a breath of fresh air? Let’s find out!

Time for Dalgonas (*wink*):

Working moms often are seen working tirelessly towards bridging the gap between her kids and her motherly duties. This unexpected vacation has given her round-the-clock chance to bond with her kids, dishing out their favourite snacks and of course, the trending Dalgonas!

Update and Upgrade:

Skill building is an essential aspect of any business. In lieu of the time spent on travelling, working moms can now focus on upgrading skills and knowledge from the vast ocean of courses, webinars and workshops available online.

Multi-tasking and Crisis management at its peak:

Going through sibling crisis is a more complicated task than even the pandemic, a mother would agree. Not saying this would give her a certification but, surely does this innate talent helps in her everyday tasks, especially in her work. Prioritising also falls under this.

Better Control of Finances:

With online services shut, travel expenses hitting zero, and complete home under control, financial matters have never been so much easier. The cognitive capability of women takes a new spin every time while planning the week, accurately listing the requirements, which again benefits them in their work to better plan and process.

In the Comfort of Home:

Productivity is never better when you work from home. Believe it or not, it is proven as well as approved! Nothing better than the comfort of one’s home to concentrate and get creative.

Women are the masters of handling situations. Be it at home or away. In the era where we are proceeding with our baby steps to incorporate AI in every field, our world is not far away in reaching the sci-fi imaginations. Women, nevertheless, we can all agree, are beyond imaginations – their strength, capability, discipline and perseverance, most of which are her innate qualities.

Though the scenarios may differ than what is mentioned above, with the lack of domestic aid and online food services, we sure can find time for doing our favorite hobbies or learning new things. Understand that no one has their day planned accurately. Pull out one hour from those lazy evenings or preferably weekends, to rejoice and explore what you loved doing or what you always wanted to do. Look at the brighter side and make use of this unexpected vacation to procure expected and productive outcomes.


Working Women – The New Investment Gurus

Article by: Dr. Divya Kumar, Associate Manager- Research, Avtar

It was a pleasant afternoon. Our team had gathered at the lunch table and were enjoying passing our delicious lunch boxes to each other. Neha, one of our teammate joined us a little late. I checked with her, whether all was fine. Neha replied with a big smile “Yes, I had been to the bank to close my fixed deposit as it dated for maturity and also wanted to check for other recent investment plans.” Wow! we working women have come a long way.

Women are always great with money. We really know how to save every penny. But it is important to know that SAVINGS is not equal INVESTMENT. They are different. Saving is setting aside a sum of money from our income, for future, predominantly for any unforeseen contingencies. Whereas, an investment is an asset or item accrued to generate income either for short or a long term.

Till a few years back, women relied on their fathers or their spouses to go about their investments or financial plans. Times have changed. Now, there is increased access to obtain knowledge about financial planning and advises from experts through the web world, social media and awareness sessions at offices. The digital wave has ensured every working woman her financial independence and surged confidence in her investments. Working women tend to take career breaks for motherhood or elder care at least once. It is critical being at ease with financial investment by choosing the correct investment tool. So here are some investment tools, listed. The listing is a blend of traditional and more dynamic avenues methods of investments for you to consider:

  • Public Provident Fund is one of the most popular investment plans in India and has tax benefits.
  • Employees’ Provident Fund is considered as one of the best investment options for working women as it allows tax benefits and gathers tax-free savings.
  • Life & Health Insurance cover provides much needed financial security for you and your family. Remember, as your income increases you should increase the insurance cover.
  • Government schemes Kisan Vikas Patra is one of the best short term investment plan as the maturity value doubles the principal amount. Sukanya Samridhi Yojna was launched specifically for the welfare of the girl child.
  • National Savings Certificate is considered as one of the safest investment schemes that can be availed at the post offices.
  • Post-Office Time Deposit/Monthly Income Scheme is considered to be eligible for child investment plans, where a single mother can invest a certain amount for her child’s education and healthcare.
  • Bank Fixed Deposits is another good investment cum savings options that can be availed in both public and private sector banks.
  • Mutual funds are a unique investment pooling entity which enables investors to invest in a wide range of securities in a single platform.
  • Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) is a facility offered by mutual funds to the investors to invest in a disciplined manner.
  • Gold is contemplated as a good investment in Indian society. It is important to note that only invest in gold coins and bond from RBI authorized dealers and banks can be exchanged for higher whenever needed. Purchase of gold jewelry cannot be considered as an investment.

So how can you start your financial planning?

It begins with your annual and monthly aligned budgetary allocations. It is important that your family needs to be alerted periodically keeping in mind future expenses – buying a house or accumulating capital for a business idea that you always dreamed etc.

Next, reduce impulsive spending. Shopping and entertainment are the two biggest impulsive spends. This is largely influenced by pester power (the ability of a child to pressurize its parents to buy a product/item, largely influenced by the advertisement in the media).

Eventually, in due course of time, you will be enabled to channelise your hard-earned money to fulfil your financial goals.

Because  –  “WHAT IS MEASURED GETS MANAGED”!


Quarantine life: 21 fun tasks for 21 days

India is now under 21 days of lock-down. A hopeful and a precautionary step to protect us from the deadly pandemic. Enough has been discussed and written about the virus, so let’s not embark on that journey. Instead, we can plan and transform these 21 days into something exciting as well as apply it as a stress-free therapy for working parents.

Apart from the daily routine work of child-rearing and household tasks in collaboration with office duties, working parents can opt to do these 21 fun tasks for the next 21 days. Let’s begin-

Day 1- Play indoor games

Board games are a savior. If you don’t possess any, then try dumb charades or Pictionary. Hide & seek is another viable option. Family games are absolute fun!

Day 2- Clean your house plants

With the amount of pollution that we survive in, it’s natural for a household to host indoor plants. Take out some good time and clean those greens. Parents can involve their kids in this activity. It will bring them closer to nature.

Day 3- Cook together

Whether it’s fixing a snack for the kids or making dinner (keeping in mind the limited availability of resources), make sure you do it as a couple. These small moments will offer you both a chance to chat and reminisce about your best moments together. In urgent times as such, couples need to be at their best partnership.

Day 4- Read books

In this digital world, kids making it a habit to read books is like a breath of fresh air. Parents can lead the way by reading together with them before bedtime.

Day 5- Organise a movie night

This is everybody’s favorite. A weekend movie marathon with family is always a good idea.

Day 6- Give the physical activity a roll

Spread out the yoga mats and spend quality time stretching your body to give the rest it deserves. With meditation, your tired mind will open up and offer more space to fresh thoughts.

Day 7- Explore ways to save money

With the grappling economy scenario, it is inevitable for couples to discuss and devise methods to maintain the budget and save money.

Day 8- Conduct a family photoshoot

The lockdown has forced people to be indoors. That means everyone in the family is home. So now it can be a good time to get dressed and pose for the perfect family picture.

Day 9- Call up family and friends

Getting to know that everyone you love and care for is safe is definitely the best feeling in the world. So take this quarantine period as an opportunity to call up long lost friends or face time with your extended family. This gesture will impart positivity and radiate immense love among all of you.

Day 10- Watch travel vlogs

Maybe it’s going to take some time to check off your family travel bucket list, but no worries. Watch interesting travel vlogs on YouTube. It can also serve as a learning tool for kids.

Day 11- Spread the joy of color

Kids love colors. So why don’t you let them get messy in their attempt to do something creative? An empty canvas and a box filled with colors are all you need. Let their imaginations flow. Parents try it too. It’s therapeutic!

Day 12- Dance your heart out

What else can be more relaxing than dancing your stress out? Put on some fun music, gather your kids, and let your body sway to the rhythm.  Also, it can be a helpful tip to put your hyperactive children now tired because of the dance party to bed on time.

Day 13- Scrub and mask

Homemade packs and scrubs work wonders on our bodies. But in situations of no access to ingredients, you just need lukewarm water and a loofah. A home spa day is an ideal idle time.

Day 14- Host an English tea party

Sounds fancy but doesn’t have to be a literal garden tea party. Spending a simple but cozy evening with the elders of your family and talking over a cup of chai is a good way to keep boredom at bay.

Day 15- Start a debate

No, we are not talking about picking up a fight. A healthy conversation with your partner on a trending topic apart from the global pandemic is what we meant. Each of you can bring to the table varied POV of the same story. It can be a ritual to keep yourself updated with the world.

Day 16- Tell bed-time stories

Kids nowadays can be least expected to know about the two great Indian epics- The Mahabharata and The Ramayana. With the fast-moving times, parents also lost track of time to make their children familiar with the stories. But now is the time! Bed-time stories can be the passage for the kids to enter into the world of fascinating Indian tales.

Day 17- Do some spring cleaning

One piece of furniture or one room at a time but begin the long-overdue spring cleaning.

Day 18- Learn the name of all your kid’s friends

This is a valid task that we tend to ignore. But your kid’s friend circle tells a lot about your child. Also, your interest to know your kid’s friends will excite your kid too. The more kids you have, the more names you need to remember.

Day 19- Keep a journal

This is an unprecedented time in our history. So make it a habit to keep a journal to record your day to day activities. Your kids can do the same too. They can draw out their feelings if too young to write. This will help them document their lives in a national emergency and remain as a reminder as they grow up.

Day 20- Do nothing

Don’t push yourselves too hard. Living in quarantine can be difficult but not impossible if you stay calm. So on a certain day pause, and take a break. No activities. No hustling. Just your family and you being thankful and mindful of Mother nature.

Day 21- Remain positive

Last but not least, don’t forget to make the list of stuff you are going to do with your family once this is over.

SOMEDAY OR OTHER IT WILL ALL COME TO AN END.


In times of Corona: A working mother’s guide to remote working

Coronavirus outbreak, now declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, is taking the world by storm. Every age group, every gender, and every profession from around the globe is hit by this severe disease. Hand washing is a daily ritual. Social distancing is the mantra to live by. A large public gathering is an offense. Educational institutions are on standby. And working from home is the new normal.

As we can witness the dynamic shift in everything because of the global adversity scenario, couples are also making tough decisions on how to divide their share of unpaid labor. In solution, the lives of a large sum of working mothers are not the same anymore. The kids are at home. The elderly have been confined to indoors. The house help and baby sitters have been sent away on paid leave fearing the risk of contagion. And the working mother is unconsciously left to deal with taking care of the kids, combating this infectious disease to ensure her family is safe with the equal focus of meeting the deadlines at work. In addition to that, the majority of social and health workers comprises of women. They are on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19, thus, putting them at a greater risk of getting infected.

Coronavirus might bring out the ugly side of gender equality. Couples might suddenly find themselves caught in the argument of who is going to be a breadwinner and who can play the role of a homeworker. Instead of a hard core debate on equality, let’s think and devise the solutions to streamline a woman’s daily routine.

  • Reject the work-life balance myth

First and foremost, it’s only fair if we agree that we can’t have it all. Work and life don’t have to be a tug of war. Instead, develop a synergy between the two and bridge the guilt gap when you have to unplug. It is Work-Life integration like no other time.

  • Set a consistent morning routine

Make a to-do list. Schedule your tasks with a proper timeline. Easy to say and easier to do. The hardest tasks on your to-do list should be completed as when you feel the sharpest and focused.

  • Engage your kids in an activity

Before you sit down to officially begin your work, keep your kids busy with some interesting – craft or puzzle activity. This can also act as letting your kids know that you are in a ‘do not disturb’ mode. While cutting down screen time is healthy, allowing them one while you wind up an important meeting is the smart way to do it.

  • Get on the same page with your partner

Just like you brainstorm ideas in a conference room, in a similar manner use your living room to formulate a game plan with your parenting partner to share the responsibilities of child care and housework. The best example: alternate shifts with your partner if he’s working from home too.

  • Ask for help

It takes a village to raise a child. So asking or taking help from a family member or a friend is not a sign of weakness. In times of Corona, just be cautious of the hygiene habits of the individual taking care of your kids. The same goes for relying on a colleague to help with your project if you are away handling mother duties.

  • Communicate

It’s mandatory to be transparent to your co-workers about your necessity to meet your kid’s needs. In between video conferences, it’s suitable to give the other person a heads up on your work from home environment.

Times are difficult. But this shall pass if the best of human nature can rise to the challenge. Your kids and your parents are the ones who need the utmost care during this time. So even with the lockdown and the pressure of working from home, savour the small moments with your kids and the elderly. Take timely breaks, and have a hearty chat with them. Boost their immunity (don’t forget yours). Sanitize at regular intervals.

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. Likewise, in this hassle of work-life integration, your family’s well-being is the silver lining. Because in times of Corona, you need your loved ones to be safe more than a pat on your back for being a superwoman.


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