Motherhood Or Work? How Do You Choose?
Someone has rightly said, you are one decision away from a completely different life, and this is the most constant thing. You keep on taking decisions, switching roles and changing your life bit by bit day by day, relation by relation.
The role of a woman in society either be it professional or a personnel field is too exclusive also exhausting because now there is a new term in the society “Super Mom”.
In March’19 I decided to stay at home because I was going to be a mother and that decision was the need of that time, and also the turning point of my life.
I juggled with thoughts of being worthless, to fear of staying at home forever, to being financially dependent, to get into depression and got infected with the bug known as “Overthinking”.
Later on, working on myself for a couple of months I realized maybe there is something wrong with me, when my mother was so happy being a stay at home mom why I can’t be happy, or at times seeing someone else that “Ohh! she is working, but her baby is so small and how she manages etc. etc.” basically kept on cursing myself more and more day by day. And one fine day I realized that “No, I can't be happy by staying at home because I am not my mother and I can't manage to go out right now to work because I am not her. Fortunately, I met a very positive person to talk about this and she bought me to light by telling me her story and I went onto finding some more. So, here is my real-life characters who literary burst my bubble of “Mom being perfect all the time.”
So, come and let us get to know the real stories of our supermoms.
Dr. Sonal Sah Malhotra:
Heart vs brain is a never-ending battle, but let me tell you, the two are never more at odds than when you are a working mother. It's an everyday battle. Sometimes you want to get to work but you can't because the toddler is holding on to you ( either physically or mentally ) and then there are days when all you want to do is spend time with your little one and work calls.
My 2.5-year-old daughter's voice still calls me every day, " please don't go, Amma " and despite my heart, I head to work. My work has helped me become a better parent. It makes me more involved and it pushes me to take my time with her more productive and fruitful. Additionally, it breaks the monotony of feeding, cleaning, bathing, etc. Being a mother has also made me a more compassionate doctor.
It wasn't easy starting work postpartum. I was very irregular at first, the guilt of leaving her always weighed heavily. My husband and my parents were the ones who pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and get to work. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with my mother. She casually remarked how all her kids had got out of the nest and how thankful she was that she had a profession to keep her busy. It only added to my conviction of getting back to my profession.
I can't say I am perfectly donning all caps but I am happy being imperfect and giving my best to my roles as a mother, doctor and homemaker.
Wow, did you also feel a breeze of positivity and honesty in her? It made me realize better to accept reality and work one day at a time. I had the fear of losing my identity and whatnot, but it made me realize that I have to work on myself too in the process of taking care of the baby.
I decided to write about it so, that I can make someone else feel better too, so I decided to find more characters from my own life and people I know immediately so that we could connect better.
The next person I found was my cousin, and now this is her story.
I have been working for 15 years now. Had a baby after 6 years of marriage. Resumed working when he was 9 months of age. What particularly has been difficult are my shifts and a demanding career. However, my husband has been extremely supportive of me. So with my shifts, he is the one who manages the kid all by himself while I am at work. Had that support not been there, my life would have been very different. So it's important to have that support in life. Also, while there are things that aren't in your control and you should learn to make peace with them, for things that are in my control, I just do them. I do things that make me happy. Whether it be a solo trip or an official trip or a vacation with my friends- I firmly believe that if I can't keep myself happy, I can't keep others around me happy. One guilt- not getting to spend as much time with the kid. But then it's okay. I had a choice to make between being a stay at home mom or a working mom and I chose the latter. Life is full of choices. You are the one who bears the brunt as well as the fruits of those choices.
Bhumika and I have grown together, and it is so amazing to see her doing great in her professional life.
Both the insights in my write up till now are from women in there 30’s or so, lets go back a bit now and find that did the moms of the ’90s faced the same challenges?
Dr. Abhilasha Chatuvedi:
The dilemma of Indian working women. The word working woman itself is a misnomer
Every woman is a working woman.
Every woman has to manage her home and family
For practical purpose, we restrict our meaning of working woman to a lady who generates revenue for her family.
The main challenge for a working woman is regarding taking care of the children.
Usually, in a nuclear family, the children are managed by servants and professional services like crashes etc. The personalities of the children are adversely influenced by these adjustments.
I was lucky to have my maternal family members around me because, from 1983 up to 1993, there were 8 children delivered in my home and potential mothers along with some caretakers used to stay for approx. 3 months for every delivery.
And I used to wait for someone to deliver so that my family member will stay with us for that purpose. But these were intermittent periods of fun for me, but at the same time, mothers to be and caregivers used to have periods of hormonal issues resulting in emotional doldrums which I used to ignore because of potential benefits.
Well, you have to be honest to yourself first and that what Dr Abhilasha Chaturvedi did. She stayed truthful to herself that this is exactly what she wants in life and worked accordingly. She had her goal right, to be the best Gynaecologist and she became one and is living her life to the fullest having her kids doing brilliantly in their respective lives and loving her more each day, for the woman she is today.
The next woman here whose story I am about to share is someone who challenged her comfort zones time and again, firstly leaving the job and becoming a stay at home mom and then quitting the comforts to make her name in the professional world after taking a long break of 8 years, just because she did not want to blame her kids and husband, in future for not doing enough in her career and what an honest thought it is to share.
Mrs. Alpana Chaturvedi:
I became a career person pretty early in my life. The normal routine followed marriage, children, living in a nuclear family. And the ups and downs of city life – led me to leave a wonderful, secure, promising and comfortable government career. The break I took was voluntary as it was a pull and push between home and work and naturally, I chose home since the office could find a replacement but the husband, home and children couldn’t!!
Stayed at home, enjoyed myself with no regrets. But then came a stage when the intelligent, thinking mind started questioning if my life would just go on doing the routine household jobs – after all, I have one life and I had a mind that could think of so much, that knew a lot and was made for a bit more. I also knew that all great people had only a 24 hour day… it was just that they could pack so much more by just organizing themselves, making adjustments and compromises. I didn’t want a stage to come when I would blame my husband and children for not doing much in life and go on cribbing and ageing and feeling worthless.
So ventured out again, worked very very hard, the world had changed, technology had replaced many things, and I realized that I had got left behind somewhere in my learning. I accepted that challenge, built an environment around me with people who I could ask, who would become my teachers, youngsters who would teach me willingly and I wasn’t shy of asking. For I had my experience and my background working in a huge organization like Air India and Airports Authority of India- they were dream jobs for many!! I helped them somewhere and in return they taught me. I compromised on money, status but slowly by the dint of my hard work rose to greater heights. The home had its challenges, children in some ways always need you but left on their own, they became independent and learnt to do many things on their own. I used the support system, I spent my salary on making sure that the home ran smoothly and everybody was provided for well.. and also that everyone respected me for the investment I was making in myself…didn’t give anyone any choices.. but yes we were happy for each other and managed well. And I must say everyone at home pitched in.
So I feel these are individual choices and there are no right or wrong decision. But somewhere we need to have self-respect, self-love and do what the inner calling is… for some it could be being at home, and making that beautiful place for everyone to come back to and for others, it could be an inner calling saying that this is the only life that I have—and in case I want to do something, the place is this and the time is now. Do it without guilt and remorse. There will be times and people who will pull you down…and tell you that children are being neglected and the home is suffering…… be ready to face the world and prove your worth to yourself.
Today I am happy for the choices I made and I am sure people around me have great respect and realize my value.
Amazing and inspiring stories we find, who are around us and we always overlook. We can find inspiration if we look around us, so go on and search for stories that motivate you and inspire you.
Happy Thinking 😊
Holding a master’s degree in Sustainable Development, I always dreamt of working for the society and served too with corporate NGO’s for 4 years, but post my marriage I just not took a shift in another city but in a different profession too, as the situation demanded. I became a teacher for two years, but as they say once a teacher always a teacher. Left the teaching job when motherhood embraced me and now employed as a full time Mom, who loves to read, write and paint. Also, a motivational speaker as Mrs. Mentallyyours on Instagram.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.