Living Life to the Fullest: Unveiling the ‘WOMO’ Myth

Kayzeen Karanjawala, Executive Assistant to Vice Chairman, Greaves Cotton Limited

You’ve likely encountered abbreviations like FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out).  Still, another intriguing aspect worth delving into is that I’ve coined the term “WOMO” (Women Missing Out).  This concept revolves around women missing out on opportunities, enjoyable experiences, and essential aspects of life, particularly in the context of being working mothers.  Women juggle various roles — as mothers, wives, daughters, colleagues, leaders etc — and often experience the sensation of WOMO.  It’s time to reshape this perspective and instead allow our loved ones and professional peers to serve as sources of motivation for embracing life to the fullest.

As women, we partake in corporate realms, oversee entrepreneurial endeavours, or administer the operational complexities of manufacturing facilities.  Yet frequently, we form a strong attachment to the role of motherhood, resulting in the potential for other opportunities to become less visible.   It is paramount to confront the preconceived notion that our roles exclusively limit our selfhood.  Each of us is unique, and now is the time to free ourselves from thinking that our roles define us entirely.

A significant hurdle that women encounter when endeavouring to disengage is the emotion of guilt.  This sense of guilt arises from being unable to participate in crucial moments with our children or families, instilling a self-imposed burden.  This burden results in sensations of being inundated, experiencing stress, and finding ourselves torn in various directions owing to our diverse responsibilities.

On a personal note, I’ve experienced days when I felt I missed out on quality time with my children, partner, parents, and friends.  It felt like I disregarded my self-care, making sacrifices assuming that being a working mother meant my existence revolved exclusively around my child and my job.  Situations arose where work obligations clashed with childcare responsibilities, resulting in self-criticism for my perceived inability to handle everything.  As a result, I sensed that I had missed numerous chances for career advancement and personal development.

However, a pivotal moment surfaced when I resolved to liberate myself from the limitations of the “WOMO” mindset and welcome my diverse facets.  I embarked on incremental measures to find balance in my responsibilities.  I set clear limits, worked on feeling confident about my choices, let go of guilt about decisions, took time for self-care, focused on spending quality time with my children and work, and fully engaged in the moment, whether at work or home.

As working mothers, we should relinquish the burden of self-imposed pressure and the feeling of missing out.  Let us maintain steadfast faith in our capabilities and the accomplishments we secure throughout our lives.  Encourage others by displaying your robust self-belief and unwavering determination in your work and as a caring and affectionate mother, wife, and daughter.  Your strength radiates and inspires those around you.