It all seems like some unattainable fairy-tale: Young, married, gifted with a child and successfully climbing the corporate ladder; particularly in light of statistics which have shown that us women of today are marrying far later than our mothers – one major contributing factor being the choice to focus on our career. Nowadays, juggling a family and being successful at work in your 20s is virtually unheard of, but it is certainly not impossible as Faith Sikhavhakhavha explains to us below. Read on as 25-year-old Faith, an Associate at a Top 5 South African Law firm, gives us an endearing account into the unseen challenges and rewards of marriage, motherhood and corporate…
Born and raised in Limpopo, I am a young Venda lady and an Associate at a corporate and commercial law firm in the Litigation Department. I am 25 years old, a new mom and married to a wonderful man.
I have always believed that I am the type of person who can do it all; an over-achiever some might say. This is true, because at 25, I look at my life and I am where I thought I would be at the age of 30 or even 35! However, I will be the first to admit that there are certainly unseen challenges to being young, married and a mother in corporate, and balancing my family life whilst climbing the corporate ladder is definitely no easy feat.
It goes without saying that I have considerably more responsibility than I did a few years ago and of course a great deal of stress as well. Let’s just say there’s certainly more to life than pondering whether or not to attend class, fixating on a diet or grudgingly accepting the inevitability of the awful meal the Residence dining hall will most likely be serving for dinner! A myriad of new duties arise, yet only one of me still remains. The only way to cope is to develop and mature with time, learn how to balance my new roles and still find enough time to be myself and hang out at Neighbourgoods Market on a Saturday.
Three aspects come to mind when I contemplate how and where I have managed to find some sort of balance:
Firstly, learning. I have always been a firm believer of obtaining wisdom and knowledge, and I take every opportunity to gain insight from people who have reached the pinnacles I desire to reach. I try not to repeat the mistakes other people have made because consequences are often similar. I do my best to absorb and attract positivity in light of every situation, and I value advice from people in all spheres of life. I consider myself to be a student of life, constantly trying to be better. I converse and ask questions. Most importantly, I am aware that I am far from perfect – and that is perfectly okay
Secondly, I prioritise. I believe in giving one hundred percent in whatever is required from me at that moment. When I am at work, I am working. When I am with my family, I am wholeheartedly with my family. The same applies when I am with my friends and similarly when I am alone. Time is undoubtedly our most precious commodity and I always try to make the best of mine.
Thirdly, I make time for myself. It is how I rejuvenate. The roles I am constantly juggling require a lot from me and at the end of the week, I’m often drained. I love reading, shopping, travelling, watching television, listening to the radio and trying new things. I think it is imperative that I do the things that please me, and do them often. It is truly the little things that increase my quality of life. For instance, I am currently taking up swimming lessons because I never learnt how to swim, and I am also thinking of learning how to play the saxophone. I try to grow not just as a wife, mum and lawyer, but as Faith!
All in all, I regard self-love and self-growth highly. I love trying to find new things that can add pleasure to my life and make me a better person than I was yesterday. This keeps me focused, learning and most importantly, happy. I have found that I am a better wife, mother and employee when I put my happiness first! There is so much life to be lived, so many magical moments to be had as well as crazy and weird passions waiting to be discovered. At the end of the day, you must be proud of the life you lead and the footprints you leave behind. Someone out there must want to replicate a chapter from your book. Someone out there must be proud to call you daughter, sister, friend or boss.
Name: Faith Tshilidzi Sikhavhakhavha
Qualifications: LLB (University of the Witwatersrand)