The Dual Role: Career Woman and Mother

Women have to make a plethora of decisions to feel successful.

A popular decision many women feel like they need to make in business is the choice between having a career or being a homemaker. As if these are the only options that they are given as women and they must only choose one of these lifestyles. This was often seen as the only option by generations before them. Some believe that life will be unfulfilling without children and only work, or that if a woman works, she is seen as a failing mother.

Leila Hoteit, during a TED talk on success and motherhood while being an Arab businesswoman, describes that as a career woman she has had women, men, and sometimes couples approach her asking, “You must know you’re not a great mom, given how much you’re investing in your career, right?”  But she proves the “career or homemaker” mindset wrong: she says, “Success is the best revenge.”

“[It] is about being in the present,” she expresses. “When I am with my children, I try to leave work out of our lives. Instead of worrying about how many minutes I can spend with them every day, I focus on turning these minutes into memorable moments, moments where I’m seeing my kids, hearing them, connecting with them…I have found the hard way that you need to apply your hard-earned professional skills to your personal life. You need to work your life.”

Hoteit explains how she balances out her time spent with her children and investing her time as a managing director of Boston Consulting Group in Dubai: that there is no choice between the two and they can both be done without the feeling of failing either hanging over her head. She finds an equilibrium in being a career woman and being a homemaker.

Women, in Leila Hoteit’s experience–and Arab women she has known– can accomplish this dual role of career woman and homemaker, and they do it well.

To view Leila Hoteit’s TED Talk, click here.

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