Welcome To The Octagon.
The octagon: We appreciate you taking time out to Join this Chat Session which will end in 1 Hour. We have two moderators in the room who will only offer guidance where necessary. Please feel free to openly share your thoughts and experiences.
Let’s begin with some introductions before going into the discussion. Can everyone let us know who they are and share a bit about what they do?
Sam: Hey everyone, my name is Sam Uduma. I’m a Technology entrepreneur/pseudo civil servant ? I suppose in this context saying Married 2yrs + with 1 Child is in order.
Ope: Hi. My name is Opeoluwa Fasanya. Web designer, photographer and civil servant . Married 3 yrs with 1 kid.
Tola: Hello everyone, I’m Tola Akinbulumo. I’m a HR Executive. I also run a business called Houseofdeayah. Married with a munchkin aka best boy.
Uju: Hi everyone, my name is Uju Okoye, live in Missouri USA. I am a public health doctor and entrepreneur. Married for 6.5 years to an amazing man and blessed with 1 child.
Labake: Hello, my name is omolabake Olafimihan. Married for 5+ years .
Dami: Good afternoon Akinwale Damilola. Married 3-years with 1 kid. I’m the COO of Technology company.
Isioma: Good afternoon . Isioma… engineer by day… mum and idea curator always.
The Octagon: There was a time when the boundaries between work and home were fairly clear. Today, however, work is likely to invade your personal life — and maintaining work-life balance is no simple task.
It can be tempting to rack up hours at work, especially if you’re trying to earn a promotion or manage an ever-increasing workload — or simply keeping your head above water.
The absence of a balance, can lead to scheduling conflicts, feeling overwhelmed, over loaded, or stressed by multiple roles.
The usual situation is that If you’re spending most of your time working, though, your home life will take a hit.
For years, employees and human-resources professionals spoke of the ubiquitous desire for ‘‘work-family balance.’’ When you think of balance, there’s work on one end of the fulcrum and life on the other, and when one is up the other is down — so it’s like a zero-sum game.
Is balance is perhaps an unrealistic goal ? – a state of grace in which all is aligned… Something we all want but can never have ? Or Is it possible to achieve balance – spend time with family, run a business, keep your job, make money.
Uju: I don’t think balance is unrealistic. After all the goal is individually chosen, so you decide what suits you. It all comes down to priorities. As a woman, I must admit that if my babies are sick(big and small), then my work output suffers. Living out in the west, with the lack of extra hands, it’s the norm. Again it’s important to remember that balance and goal are all subjective. It is also important that you bring along your spouse, and that they have an understanding of the goal too.
Sam: Firstly, I’d like to say I don’t think it’s a zero sum game. One doesn’t have to suffer for the other to increase. In a weird way, without my family my work or motivation for work diminishes. So agreeing with Uju, it comes down to priorities.
Ope: I think initially something suffers. The Key is learning to quickly identify what’s suffering in the quest to achieve “balance”. But here’s the thing – Until you identify that there is a problem with balance it’s so easy to miss it.
Tola: I think it’s all about priority… it’s always what works for you best. That’s the way I’d like to describe it. I work in an office where everyone screams work life balance but never practice it. I was very quick to join the bandwagon but then I realised my home front was suffering. And so I started prioritising, what’s more important to me? Work or home or both ?
Labake: The Home front is always the first to suffer. But a partnership where both parties are willing to make sacrifices, often makes life easier. Last year I ran a postcard program. It was hard and my weekends were not available. The support of husband and family made it possible.
Uju: Exactly. It’s team work that keeps the seesaw stable.
Isioma: To me, definition of balance changes with phases of life… and balance is not homogenous. My balance may not be your balance. As long as you are well and happy, you are balanced. Instead of forcing me to stay home or indulge in hobbies when I rather chew a project at work.
Sam: Interesting points of view. I’m a guy, I will try to shy away from experiences I know nothing about like that of a working mother/wife at home. What I do hear that is consistent is that it is something deliberate that must be achieved by both husband and wife. It can’t just happen via corporate policy changes. I must say though as an entrepreneur, your business sometimes takes on the role of a stubborn child going through the same growth stages as a real child — baby, toddler, puberty, adolescent, till it becomes independent or a grown child living at home.