The Reality (or Myth) of a Well-Balanced Woman



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Before I got married, and later had a child, I constantly heard about how a woman could not successfully balance the different aspects of her life, i.e. her career role, motherly role, wifely role, ministry role (if she is has one). It is said that at every point in time, at least, one aspect has to suffer for others to succeed.

I have listened to several views on this, especially with the rise of several interpretations of feminism. Some say it is possible, while others say it isn’t. Some ask how come men can do it, while women can’t. Some say it is possible, but very difficult, and a lot of sacrifices will have to be made.

After deliberating on this for a very long time, I came to my own conclusion last year, after having an eye-opening discussion with a friend. And this is it. Whenever there are varying viewpoints and philosophies flying around concerning a particular subject, that is when it is time for you to shut all external chaos and noise, and look for the truth. So I asked myself what God said concerning this issue. Is there anything in the word of God that says I can't have it all, and be a totally balanced woman? Yes, I know sacrifices will have to be made, but it is not an impossibility.

Most of the women mentioned in the Bible were not housewives. They were working women, and as far as was portrayed, well balanced women.  So why would I choose to accept man’s philosophy when God hasn't said so. We know that many people's opinions about this are based on the experiences that they and many other women have had. They said, it's the reality of the society we live in. But we also know that reality is relative. Your reality is not my reality

Last week was quite tight for me. By weekend, I found myself having to manage several fronts, and ensuring
I didn't drop the ball at any time. My mum had been asking to see her grandchild for a while, and it had been almost impossible. We finally agreed to drop him with her on my way to rehearsal vigil (I have 9 production shows in the first quarter of the year) at night. I was to go for the vigil, go back home on the island, get back to the mainland by noon, for an event we at African Naturalistas were hosting at O’Naturals, pick my baby after, and then head back home. A major challenge was that my baby, who is being exclusively breastfed, had recently started rejecting bottle in its entirety, something he had been doing in bits before, but my mum kept insisting I bring him.

So I left home by 9pm with my baby in the car, went to my mum on the mainland to drop my son, and then headed to the vigil at about 11pm. By 5.15am, I was back on my bed, and woke up three hours later to get ready for my event. I called my mum, and found out that my son had totally rejected the bottle, just as I suspected. So plans had to be adjusted. I had to pick my son before going to the event, which would mean I will be delayed a bit if I didn’t leave home earlier than initially planned. My assistant delayed me a bit so by the time I got to meet my son, it was already past noon, and the event had already started. My mum had force fed him with syringe, but seeing that I hadn’t breastfed for over 16 hours, the guy wasn’t satisfied. I had to breastfeed, run to the event with my son, nanny, and assistant, and got the event at about 12.35pm. We were done three hours later. By this time, we were all and rushed out to have our first meal of the day, and then headed home, all the while periodically breastfeeding. I got home, slept off cos I had hardly slept in almost 2 days. My son slept too. We woke up about 90 minutes later and got him ready for bed. About 9pm, with my son fast asleep, I opened my laptop and resumed work again.

And this basically has been the cycle of my life lately

It is not a matter of not having a support system or supportive spouse. I reflected on the events of the past weekend and considered where my husband could have helped me out, and I concluded that he couldn't. It was my cross to carry. He couldn't have helped me run to the other end of Lagos to breastfeed my baby. He couldn't have gone for vigil rehearsals for me. He couldn't have given my company’s products presentation for me. If he had gone with me to anywhere, it would have been just for gisting purposes, not necessarily to help me. I have enough family and spousal support in abundance but sometimes, you just have to face everything squarely.

In the process of typing this blog post, my baby has disturbed like a million times, with him crying and throwing tantrums, and me carrying, dropping, carrying, dropping because the nanny is off duty today. I've switched from laptop to phone and vice versa

The question is who sent me message... to want to have it all? It's me that sent myself message, so I only will have to pay the price. If not, I will drop the ball somewhere and join the crop of people telling other aspiring women that they can't live a balanced life, that one aspect will have to suffer for another to succeed

What about you? Do you think a woman can have a well-balanced life in all areas?

23 comments

  1. Yeah I think a woman can have a well balanced life in all areas. I don't say it cos I have much experience, it just comes from a place of knowing.
    Also any time I study Pr 31,I am reminded that its possible to be well balanced.

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    1. Yes, I agree with you. The question is do you want it enough to make the sacrifices?

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  2. "Whenever there are varying viewpoints and philosophies flying around concerning a particular subject, that is when it is time for you to shut all external chaos and noise, and look for the truth."
    WORD!!!!!!!!

    this article gives a lot to think about.... Beautifully written....πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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    1. Thank you very much. It has always worked for me.

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  3. To say the truth you are hard working. You can have a well balanced life on all front, if you are willing to pay the price. I recently read the tribute to Buchi Emecheta and I discovered that anything you set your mind on you can achieve. Against all odds this woman emerged a success. someone rightly pointed out the virtuous woman in proverbs 31. The Bible says she riseth also while it is yet night...her candle goeth not out by night. Yes you can,if you go the extra mile.

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    1. Hmmm. Thank you very much for the encouragement. I do not kid myself that it will require sacrifice, but yeah, we a willing to make it.

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  4. Yes i believe so

    By having a plan...being flexible where necessary and maximizing time and opportunity. When i get to work, i minimize gisting or faffing or even lunch break to get the most of my time there

    i catch up on social media on my way to and fro work or to meetings - have a driver

    after work i go to the gym non negotiable - 4/5 times a week
    when i get home, i spend as much time with my kids, check assignment, put them to bed, plan what they will wear and eat the next day etc

    i dont watch tv weekdays, i record my shows and catch up marathon style weekends.....i also catch up on work if need be on weekdays and weekend when my kids are asleep

    its not easy but there is a will where there is a way

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    1. Hmm. Thank you for the fresh insight. I will be referring to it later. I've been lagging behind in the gym area for some time, and it's laziness to say the truth, lol.

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  5. I am late to this post. And my first reaction was to walk away or give the rhetoric yes-you-are-right- reply because I don repent from my controversial ways but the naughty me, pulled me back, saying for where! 😁 So this is my naughty me talking and not the repentant nitty.

    Ailola, take a seat and hear me out. First CONGRATULATIONS on your marriage and baby. Welcome to motherhood. One thing I will say is that make you take a chill pill, you are still a newbie!

    I understand quite alright, many new mothers do speak like you. NOBODY wants to hinder women from aspiring to their goal and BTW, Wetin housewife come do to you to mention am for your post kwa? Yes, I am still one regardless I am working now.😎

    Ok! Back to your issue at hand; FIRST YOU DON'T WORK 8AM-5PM , You are your own boss, with NANNY. ASSISTANT, MOTHER, AND A CAR TO MOVE AROUND. The average woman in 9ja is NOT privileged like you! Abi we should ask iya sikiratu on your street huh?

    I get tired about people comparing the women in the bible with today's women... saying they had a balanced life... DID THEY WRITE IT THEMSELVES? Was their story not written by observers?

    NOW, THE WOMEN you speak about in the bible HAD SLAVES AND MAIDS ... their sole responsibility was to PLEASE their husbands and supervise their maids!!!
    THEY HAD NO 9-5 JOBS!!! THE MEN BROUGHT THE BACON HOME AND THEY COOKED IT!!!

    And PLEASE, HOW CAN YOU AND OTHERS COMPARE THE STRESS OF LIVING IN TODAY'S WORLD WITH THAT ERA??? THE ONLY THING THAT IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW IS GOD'S WORDS; I AM THAT I AM, every other story there was simply the lifestyle and culture of the jews!!!

    Of course, nobody send you message! Nah women send themselves message ke! Nah we want husband and pikin!! 😊Jokes apart ailola, any woman who wants to have a balanced married life MUST HAVE A GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM, which you already have. SOMEBODY MUST BE AT THE HOME FRONT IF SHE WAS TO PURSUE HER CAREER!! SOMETHING MUST GIVE IN...one of the things will suffer! More kids are coming and school runs will begin soon.

    What if your mother was not on the mainland but at badagry,Igando,Ayobo can you drive through that go-slow? If she too was busy like you, would you have left your baby overnight with her? If you did carry the baby, won't one of your assistant help you to look after him while you do your presentations? What am I saying from all these my yarnings? Jeje, softly, you just start the journey.

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    1. This is the repentant nitty taking not after casting out the naughty one out!

      Oh yes! You are so right Atilola! It can be achieved! You are such a strong woman! I wish other women can emulate you. GOD will continue to strengthen you to achieve all your desires. And yes the Hebrew women were a bunch of strong blessed women.
      Kudos to your mum for doing a wonderful job of helping out.
      Remain blessed.

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    2. You nailed it!!!!!!!!! I don miss you sha.

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    3. Gbam! I haff tired for prov 31 quote upandan. Women tensioning themselves unnecessarily. Thank you for articulating my thoughts so clearly.

      Atilola eku ise oh, take it easy eh. Kiss baby on the cheek for me.

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    5. @ The real Nitty: Reading your comment, I can see we agree on many things, but it is evident you don't uncerstand my reality. No, I don't work 8am-5pm. I work 12 midnight to 12 midnight, lol. The person I called assistant is one of the staff in my company, not my personal assistant.

      So do you know if I am working towards having several maids too? Lol. I don't underestimate a good support system oo. In fact, I know I can't exist sanely without it.

      Anyway, not to reply your every line, this post was written for my reality, not the reality of everywoman. My goal is to have that balanced-life. Yes, I know it will require sacrifice, but I will strive towards it because it is not an impossibility. Thank you from commenting from your perspective. I really appreciate seeing this issue from another light. The only line I have an issue with is you saying "take a chill pill, you are still a newbie!" because being a newbie doesn't discount my reality one bit.

      @ The repentant Nitty: Thank you for your sarcasm. It is well understood.

      @ Lohla's Melange: I think your comment is quite unfair to women who are striving for balance and use Prov 31 as an example, and it reeks of sarcasm.

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    6. I was not being sarcastic ati, i was being realistic. Every woman is striking for balance (career/biz, children,marriage) i just think it's unfair for women to use the prov31 woman as a yardstick in today's world. Hence i said "tensioning themselves unnecessarily". Do the best you can and do not feel bad if some areas don't thrive as much. #bless

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  6. I don't have a nanny, I don't have an assistant and it is A LOT OF WORK TO DO IT ALL MBY MYSELF. I don't know why it is so hard for me to "let go" of areas and let myself be assisted. You are lucky. Nanny, assistant, you're chopping life oh. I've learnt to manage my time and I think women can have it all, it just depends on what your all is. For some women, having a loving family is ENOUGH! For others, add a great career and they are good. Others just want to live life jejely....it's up to you to determine what is most important to you. Yes some balls will be dropped....LOL. There's no perfect mom out there oh. We all just do what we' e got to do and keep it moving.

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    1. Lol at chopping life. I know myself, and the kind of life I live, so I won't even deceive myself one bit. My 'assistant' is actually my staff at work o, lol.

      I agree with you saying it depends on what 'all' means to you. I want to achieve what I term as 'all' to myself.

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    2. I 😁 as I read your reply because its being a while we πŸ€“ things from different perspective, which is good, because rhetorical and yes-man replies are boring.😜 Okay! In the mood of friendly banter or should I say disagreement let me explain further.

      First, your post was about balancing CAREER with family.That,it is very much possible,compared to what you had been told.Which I disagree with you UNLESS the woman has a strong support system!

      Now you are talking about what 'all' means to you, which is kind of deviating from the context of the post. If that was what the post was about at the beginning,I would have agreed and said;Every woman values differs and agree with Yemisi.Some wives prefers FAMILY to building careers.Notice,I did not say not-earning-an-income.They can be content with a steady income from job or doing petty trading. But you made it sound like nay-sayers are discouraging career-ambitious wives from achieving their desires, which I stuntly don't agree with you.

      Secondly,I still state that you are a newbie in a kind way because, you just got admission into the institute of marriage. And like any jambites' know, you will start to learn as you go from one class to another,until graduating ... but not in marriage,there is no graduation,rather you gather experience.

      You work 12-12, because of many branches of business you do, which is sincerelyπŸ‘,because it takes determination and proactivenes to achieve. If so, who is taking care of your HOME FRONT while you are giving your time and energy in developing your brand and career?

      This is feasible for you because YOU ARE YOUR OWN BOSS! You are not behind a desk 8-5.I know of a mother who lives in festac and works in VI. She leaves home 4.30am to be able to beat the traffic. Her husband likewise leaves for his own work. So who is taking care of her young kids? Her maid! Sometimes she gets home by 10pm because of traffic and so tired. Tell me,how will she be able to balance it up?

      Listen, I am not trying to rain on your parade or being so pessimistic. I am just trying to tell you that,what other wives complained about is not exaggerated or because they are not very hardworking or smart enough to manage their time to balance FAMILY and CAREER. Life happens and people have learned to make lemonade from the lemons life serves them.😊 Most important of all,health comes first!
      Nice discussing with you, take care.😊

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  7. @Yemisi, same here😁 I do visit your ytube channels sometimes. You are down-earth and funny as always. Thank you.

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  8. @Lohla, I once talked about the proverb virtuous woman in my old blog, how unrealistic it was in our era. Moreover, it was the expectations from a queen-mother to her king-son about her future daughter-in-law!!!

    If the chapter is digested well,it said, she had maids,and she will travels far to get het goods because then, no ONLINE SHOPPING OR MARKETS CLOSE BY!!!πŸ˜‰

    Her desire will be to PLEASE the king and supervise her HOUSEHOLD! Where was she stated she will earn an INCOME? Instead she will MANAGE her husband's resources.

    Men and god of men hammer so much on this chapter because they want to be in absolute control and have a total submissive wife! To be seen but not to be heard! Thank you.😎

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  9. Good afternoon Nitty, I will like to express my view on proverbs 31 and to respond to the line of your argument where you asked "where it was stated that she will earn an income? The answer are in these verses . verse 13 ..She seeketh wool, and flax , and WORKETH WILLINGLY WITH HER HANDS.
    verse 16 She considereth a field , and buyeth it: with the FRUIT OF HER HANDS SHE PLANTETH A VINEYARD.
    It is clear from the above that she was industrious. She did not just wait for her husband to' bring the bacon ' for her to cook.
    Verse 18 says she perceiveth that her merchandise is good.
    Verse 19 ..she layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
    Verse 20 she stretcheth her hands to the poor.
    Verse 22 she MAKETH herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
    Verse 24 she MAKETH FINE LINEN,AND SELLETH IT; AND DELIVERETH GIRDLES UNTO THE MERCHANT.
    From these verses it is clear that she did not only please the king, supervise her maids and manage her husband's resources. She was rich! A woman who could buy a field and plant a vineyard is of no small means. In summary the virtuous woman of proverb 31 had businesses from which she earned an income. Further more the bible is written to guide us,proverbs 31 was not written to put any woman under pressure. you can choose to adhere to its instructions or you can refrain from it.
    Note: All quotations are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

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    1. @OSATO, thank you for your input. I KNOW about those verses you mentioned up there and I understood it as pertaining to that era, because they were all self-sustaining. Each household then weaved their clothes. And she buying a land? It was a fantasy wish from a queen mother because,then WOMEN CANNOT BUY OR OWE LAND according to their culture! Do women even pray in the same place with the men? Then talkless of buying and owing land?

      Like I said earlier on: The virtuous woman theory is a WISHFUL thinking of a future mother in law who wants her future daughter -in - law to be WHAT SHE WANTS FOR HER SON. Dad alk.😁 It is not a standard or yard stick to measure the performance of today's woman.

      In summary, the queen-mother-in-law wants a her daughter-in-law to be working and feeding the household while her son do what? Just be loving her? I hear! Even ABRAHAM the FATHER of all nations brought the bacon home for Sarah and his entire household. Of course the women worked on the fields because farming, fishing, sherperding were a way of life then. But the man provided. Nice discussing with you.

      P.s You can read about the culture and lifestyle of the j ews to get a clearly picture of what I am saying.

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What's your opinion on this? Let's learn from one another.