Life At Druva

A working mother’s guide to work-life balance in “the new normal”

Over the last decade, I’ve worked in a diverse set of cultures — from India to Singapore, and in both startups and Fortune 500 companies alike. But what has remained constant over the years is the software industry’s unique set of challenges — not only is it a fast paced environment with rapid technology advancements, but also a primarily male-dominated industry. As Jung-Kyu McCann points out in her blog, being in a room full of men can get quite daunting for most women. It gets even more overwhelming when you add motherhood and cultural expectations to the mix!

Work-life balance has always been tricky in the software industry. But with the “new normal” of workplace culture amid the ongoing global pandemic, and daycares still closed, that balance has turned to a balancing act for working parents. Although I say “parents,” we know it has brought an unfair share of responsibilities onto working mothers. 

As a mother of a toddler, I often find myself in situations when responsibilities at home or work can get quite overwhelming and stressful. I’m sure a lot of readers are in the same boat. In this blog, I detail a few practices below, which help me ease the tension of balancing a fast-paced job and parenting amid the pandemic.

Acceptance

Given the current situation — working from home and taking care of family simultaneously is no simple feat, especially with both the partners working. The first step in this journey is acceptance. Knowing that there will be days when family takes priority and days when work takes priority helps us focus better on the matters at hand. I’m fortunate to have a manager who understands this and supports me, and having a partner who shoulders equal responsibility at home helps me achieve that fine balance (and it works both ways).

Flexibility

Druva has always had an open culture of trust (even before the pandemic struck) — with working from home options as well as flexible work hours. As long as I deliver on my commitments, how I achieve them is left to me. So, a good step to alleviating stress related to work-life balance amid the pandemic would be to talk to your manager about expectations and goals. This will help you prioritize and work better towards achieving them. 

Open communication

With the “new normal,” a major key is to communicate as much as possible. We all have our rough days — challenging days with family, burning out due to work and home responsibilities, or just forgetting to slow down or take a break. Have conversations with your family, especially your partner and kids (if they are old enough to understand). Make sure that your manager and team know about your availability and ensure that all stakeholders are kept in the loop on your committed timelines. 

Plan ahead and prioritize

The final step towards achieving a healthy work-life balance is to plan and prioritize, prioritize, prioritize! A prioritized list can keep your mind clutter-free and help you take life one step at a time in the right direction. Remember — done is better than perfect! Set healthy goals and be sure to follow through; strive for the highest quality you can achieve and execute without feeling the need to always be perfect.

Druva is proud to be celebrating Women’s History Month, and recently published a blog on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021, which discusses the ways we choose to champion equal opportunity and advocate for an inclusive global workforce. We encourage you to reach out and engage with Druva on our social media channels, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, for more on Women’s History Month and how you can play a part.