Being a B+ woman

By Tiara Lin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/13 18:13:40

Tired of hearing the phrase "work-life balance?" Me too. Women often think that if they work hard enough at work and at home, they will be rewarded and eventually maintain harmony in their life. 

The term sounds ideal in theory, but many women are struggling with it in real life. Don't get me wrong. I think work-life balance is very important, but many women do it in the wrong way.

So, how to get it right? My former boss, a mother of two girls, might have an answer. Instead of striving to be perfect, she steps back from it all to find a better way to fill her roles at work and at home without burning out.

In other words, instead of striving to be an A-woman, she is happy being a B+ woman.

To tell Chinese females to be a B+ woman sounds like a bad suggestion that goes against all career progression that modern women are aiming for. Well, maybe it's time to redefine our idea of what "successful" means.

Two years ago, my boss was relocated right after giving birth to a baby girl, her second. During those two years, I've often seen her running between office and home to take care of her babies. She did not work as "hard" as other directors and did not often go on business trips, because she wanted to spend more time with her family. Yet she became the most "successful" director simply because everyone adores her and enjoys working with her.

When she returned to headquarters, she got the promotion she wanted. I asked her the secret of maintaining a work-life balance, and she replied that, like many other full-time working moms, she faces higher professional expectations and a lower chance of promotion compared with men or childless women.

Thus, she reevaluated her hard-driving attitude. "I decided to be a B+ mother / B+ director," she said, "and by doing so, I freed myself from stress, exhaustion and frustration. Surprisingly I feel like I have better control of my life."

There is one other very important thing missing from the term "work-life balance." It is ME. My former boss told me a story about her boss, who spent years working her way up to a senior position while raising children. When she finally became "successful," she started to question herself, "What about me, now?"

"Even though I am only a B+, I am happier now," my former boss concluded.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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