When You Must Leave Your Heart Behind... For Work!
“The Working Mother” is a phrase I have heard often at work and I remember being extremely surprised at why people make it such a big deal! Being a daughter of a working mother and being supremely ambitious myself, I saw it as a natural part of life! But all that changed once I had my own baby.
After the initial weeks of settling in and realizing that I was now a mother, a new thought started to haunt me. How was I ever going to leave this little baby, who can literally do nothing without me, and go back to work? The way I was responsible for my work at office, now I am responsible for the baby! How will I ever trust anyone else to take care of this little thing?
However, after 3 months, I realized that I have to go back to work for the following reasons:
- As a kid, we were 2 girls in the class whose mothers were working. We always had questions on what does your dad do? Nobody ever asked us what our moms did. One day we decided to tell them nonetheless and immediately after quoting what our dads do, we added what our moms did! The entire class clapped for us and our hearts filled with pride. I want my daughter to also have the same sense of pride when she talks about me.
- I always saw my dad being able to take risks in his career, because he had the backing of my mother’s income. Another positive I always wanted to have.
- Everyone wants appreciation and accolades. For me, it leads to a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. I always felt that most SAHM’s (stay at home moms) feel under-appreciated and have to find ways of justifying that they are doing a great job. Working and doing a great job, got that in the lap for me! My salary statement reflected that. I never had to use statements like ‘it’s a thankless job’
- I heard many SAHM friends say that even though their husbands never stopped them from spending, they always felt that they had to explain their purchases. Being a shopaholic, that was a very big push.
With these positives, there of’ course were moments when all of the above reasons fizzled away with that one look from my baby, one tight hug and sometimes just a drop of tear about Mom leaving. I’ve had my share of sobbing in the feeding room, looking at my laptop screen completely lost, staring at my baby’s photos for hours. I’ve gone through endless debates with myself in the shower about the logical pros and cons, sleepless nights mulling over what “aunty” said, being jealous of every SAHM and of feeling guilty – about leaving my baby, guilty about being so tired that I could not spend time with my baby after coming back, guilty about wanting to sleep that extra hour, guilty about wanting to watch a movie in a single shot……
Two years later – today I feel all those debates, pros and cons lists, are an endless cycle. I came across the Real Mothers Heard Survey by Baby Dove that made me realise that I am not alone and there are many other mothers facing the same predicament.
According to the Baby Dove Real Mother’s Heard survey, 67% of Indian mothers feel guilty sometimes about going to work rather than staying at home with their child. And, 61% feel that if they stayed at home, they would feel guilty about not providing for their family! So you see, it’s a vicious cycle!
Guilt is an inherent part of motherhood and we’ll just have to keep it that way. There is no use fighting it. Those phases will fluctuate. Returning to work or taking a break is a tough decision, but one that you make. Believe in yourself and evaluate what works for you and your family.
As long as your basics are strong and you have a strong support system (I had the most amazing colleagues and an overly supportive husband), this too shall pass.
Probably, when I add another year to my 2 years of experience as a mommy, I’ll be very thankful that I fought this phase off and didn’t quit! After all, like Baby Dove believes – there is no right or wrong way of being a mother, only your way!. So, all you mothers out there – trust your instincts for you know what is best for you and your child.
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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by: Baby Dove
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