Today we have another guest post from Ruchi that is all about how she balances (or tries her hardest to) her life as a wife, a daughter-in-law, the Head of HR for the family company, and the owner of her own company – Pink by Ruchi. Phew! I’m tired just thinking about all of that!
Please welcome my friend Ruchi!
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In preparing for this post, the title I chose has really tested its meaning. Because I’ll be guest posting over here, it is forcing me to get even more organized and hit deadlines. Yes, I have goals and lists and tasks I try to accomplish on a daily basis, but when you’re running your own business, there’s a lot of flexibility AND a lot of room to get nothing done. Throw in living with other people, and you’ve really gotta learn how to balance everything and wear multiple hats.
Okay, I’ll start with the first hat. I’m a wife. Now, don’t get me wrong – Jai doesn’t really have many demands. But, there are still the daily expectations that come along with being in this role. Does he want his lunch packed or is he going to come home? Picking up after him and honestly myself. Handling the few things he’s asked me to take care of. Making sure we’re getting enough alone time and fulfilling our family and social obligations.
This leads perfectly into my second hat. I’m a daughter and a sister. When you live in a joint family, you have to be respectful of everyone’s time, space, and likes/dislikes. Besides Jai and me, there are 4 other people – my grandmother-in-law (Maa), my father-in-law (Dad), my mother-in-law (Mom) and my sister-in-law (Didi). So, what I’m trying to get at is we’re dealing with many ages (me being the youngest), personalities and schedules. It is so nice living in a big family – the support, the full feeling of a home, the traditions, all of it. Along with this though come quite a few distractions. Either, I’m helping Mom with house chores (which is a whole other topic in this type of set-up) OR I’ve found myself trying to spend time with Dadi OR we’re stopping everything because Dad and Jai come home for lunch (at different times everyday) OR we have a random visitor OR an artisan shows up – you get the point, right? And, each day is totally different and unexpected (so it’s difficult to stick to your plan, and I’m a huge planner).
Well, this is a great time for my third hat. I’m the owner of Pink by Ruchi. This means I need time to sketch designs, purchase fabric, work on current orders, create my new season line, meet with tailors (who are very unpredictable), be active on social media – once again, you get the point, right? It’s crazy! And, as many lists as I have going on, other things always pop up. And, I know I’m not alone in this – every woman, everywhere in the world deals with this. WE can ALL relate.
Finally, my fourth hat. I’m the Head of Human Resources for the family business (we grow and manufacture tea). Jai needed someone part-time who could help him organize and implement certain processes in the company, and with my background from the States, I was the perfect fit in his opinion. So, I had to figure out when to fit this role in as well.
I decided I would spend the first half of the day at home (splitting up house chores and meeting with tailors, running to fabric stores, etc.), and then the second half would be dedicated to the office (with mainly HR and some Pink by Ruchi work mixed in). Perfect, right? I wish. But, it works ohhhhh, half of the time. Ha! Throw in our crazy travel schedule, weekly weddings, monthly pujas (rituals performed in the house on auspicious days), committee meetings and other random things, and I’m lucky if one list actually gets completed! Hehe, I’m being a little dramatic.
I’m still figuring it all out and learning how to balance my personal needs with my professional ones, and I may not ever have it completely sorted out, but it will work in my little world. It’s exciting that I get to wear so many hats, and some days I just want to throw them all in the closet, but hey, that’s normal, right?
Side note (because I just can’t help myself): People in Kolkata refer to the day in 2 parts – either first half or second half. No one ever wants to give a specific time. It’s literally like pulling teeth to get an exact meeting time from someone. The conversation usually goes (I have translated from Hindi):
Me: What time?
Random Person: Uhhh, Wednesday.
Me: What time on Wednesday?
RP: Uhhh, second half?
Me: What time in the second half?
RP: You will be there in the second half?
Me: Yes, that’s why I asked you ‘what time’?
RP: Uhhhh, second half, madam.
Me: I need an exact time. I have other work. I am not sitting around for only you.
RP: Oh, right, right, of course not madam. Uhhhh, between 2&4?
Me: That is a two-hour gap. Will it be 2 or 4 or 3?
RP: Okay, okay, we will keep it for 4.
Me: OK. Please call when you are on the way.
Day of, approaching 4:00pm…
RP: Madam, I am on the way.
Me: You’re only on the way now?! You were supposed to be here at 4!
RP: Madam, I had some problems. I will be there as soon as possible.
Me: Okay, fine. CLICK.
Now, try planning your day! Well, at least he called! ‘Til next time! Thanks for tuning in! And feel free to follow along on my blog.
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Great post, Ruch! And I think it’s safe to say that you are not alone in your quest to find balance. I think that’s something all of us are striving for!