Is Work-Life Balance Attainable for a Woman?

October 21, 2022
Arlene Icon

Being a mother is universally regarded as the most challenging job in the world, and when entrepreneurship is added, a whole new level of challenge happens.

When I began my career 26 years ago, work-life balance was unheard of. I remember taking my 6-month-old son to work with me, taking care of him while juggling the many demands of a fledgling career.

In this picture, Helene Raudaschl is seen with her son Max, a UBC student

“The challenge of balancing work and parenthood was not easy: raising a kid, performing a high level of productivity at work, bracing yourself for unforeseen life events, sacrificing sleep, all the while having a “sorted” life. Exhausted, but I was determined to excel in both.”

Building my own business was a vision I held dear to my heart. Despite the industry being dominated by men, something I didn't really pay much attention to, I was able to create a future for myself and my family.

“I realize that no matter if you're a man or a woman, as longas you are equipped with the right knowledge and information, good people will respect you regardless of your gender.”

While it’s good to remember how far I’ve come, it’s equally important to recognize that work-life balance is possible. However, it cannot always be perfect, especially for women as we move through different life phases. It’s a juggling act, a somewhat elusive goal.

For example, some mothers work hard and have a lot of responsibilities, but when they're at home, they disconnect from work and spend time with their families. Then, when night falls and the kids go to sleep, she picks up her job and sacrifices her sleep. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for some.

“Depending on a woman's phase in life, work-life balance will mean different things.”

Personally, I first started achieving social-work-life balance about five years ago. I can now design the ideal work-life balance by delegating and planning responsibilities, in contrast to when I was a young working mother.

"My son has a great impact on my life. He is an inspiration to me."

Now that my son is 22 years old, I do have a bit more time to myself. I swim, gym, and play tennis regularly, and I get enough sleep. Not many people know that I used to be a competitive swimmer during my younger days! That discipline to stay organized and focused stays with you. After my workouts and my daily ritual of coffee and intermittent fasting, I visit various work sites, from our manufacturing facilities to our sales offices and customers' venues or suppliers’ activities. Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes, and if I were to be in Dubai, I do enjoy boating and fishing in the Persian Gulf as my weekend treat.

"My suggestion to all the diligent, career-driven women reading this is to discover what concept of balance works for you. A woman's changing life phases will have different definitions of work-life balance. Also, always keep in mind that having a child will change things for good. Therefore, it's crucial to understand and plan how you will provide your child with enough time and care while you're building your career."

The most important thing is to continue investing time and energy into taking care of yourself. Take good care of your mental, physical, and nutritional health. Your own well-being is your most valuable asset. With that in check, you can then take care of many other things including your lifelong priorities such as raising a child with a stellar career.