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Work-Life Balance – Is It Just A Pipe Dream

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

Is work-life balance really possible with the introduction of remote working? Let’s be honest, despite the beneficial flexibility, it invades our home life and spaces we once valued as safe sanctuaries away from the hustle and bustle of the office. Inga Botsch-Cloete, Senior Manager: Group Internal Communications at Sanlam shares her story.

It’s been almost 18 months since the pandemic entered our lives and like a thief in the night robbed us of all that we once claimed as normal. What the new normal ushered in was a sharp focus on how we strike a balance between home and work, while we are constantly reminded of the importance of a balanced lifestyle and the impacts thereof on our holistic well-being.

As women, mothers, and wives, we wake up every day with the aim that today we are going to successfully strike that balance, set boundaries and stick to the daily to-do list, but in a way that ensures a realistic and healthy outlook. Then, before we know it, the day has ended (way after our intended scheduled timetable) and tomorrow becomes the hope of a more balanced day and life – for real!

To be honest, yes, I’d love to be the example of a woman who truly embodies work-life balance. Unfortunately, my current circumstances are the epitome of a life that desperately needs to strike this balance. Am I concerned that I run the risk of burnout? Yes. Do I honestly make a concerted effort to try and restore the balance? Sometimes, yes. Have I given up on the dream of work-life balance? No, I haven’t – I’ve just stopped beating myself up for not getting it right.

There are days I feel less overwhelmed by my to-do lists, back-to-back virtual meetings, crisis upon crisis, and life that goes on despite everything happening at the same time. Instead of chasing the work-life balance daily goal, I’ve come to appreciate every circumstance I find myself in and instead find balance in each of those unique situations.

That’s my balance for now. That’s my daily sanity check. I find comfort in knowing that even though I may not have that ideal work-life balanced routine bedded down, I have my own weird ‘balanced’ approach to life that allows me to juggle my responsibilities and most importantly, BREATHE.

Do I aspire to achieve the sought-after work-life balance? Yes, of course, I do! Does it consume me with worry that I haven’t been that successful in achieving it? Some days, yes, but most days, I realise … just as the pandemic keeps on evolving, so too will my pipe dream of work-life balance.

My goal: living a balanced and fulfilled life and trying my utmost to be present in all situations, always.

Authors: Inga Botsch-Cloete and Fikiswa Majikela



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