A home-loving, sentimental Cancerian that I am, at this time, I decided to quit my job, filled with guilt and remorse. But I was satisfied and content as I felt I was doing justice to my family. I enjoyed motherhood and tried to give the best to my babies. Meanwhile, I worked part time till my children grew up and without any guilt of making my aging mother-in-law slog at home. This way I could keep a balance and enjoy both motherhood as well as my career. I wasn’t earning a fortune, but I was happy. A mother’s mental state is important for a happy family.
For all the sacrifices that I made, I was happy to give my time to my children, which is the best gift a child can get and these memories last a lifetime. Again, the best gift a mother can give her children is her time and energy. I’m sure this will be an added advantage to my children.
I once again faced the same dilemma when I started working full time. For almost a year I was juggling between work and family. I had no time for anything except my work. I was getting a good pay packet. This time, my kids were nine and 14 and my hubby was too busy setting his new business venture. A businessman is always on duty, so was my husband. As my husband was a workaholic, I had to be there with my children when they needed me. The sole responsibility of my children, their well-being and my home was on my shoulders.
I tried to do justice to both my job and my duties as a mother and a wife. I didn’t have time for much else. My life was like a relay race and I was losing my family. No family outings, no get togethers, I wasn’t able to attend functions. I wasn’t there when my husband was sick or when my daughter needed me during her first periods. Thus, I decided to quit my full-time job a second time. But by now I had a choice as I got a convenient job offer to work part-time and earn half of what I earned before. But here I am, happy, content and satisfied that in the future when I look back at my decisions I shall not regret the road not taken.
There must be many working mothers like me taking a break from work to be with their little ones. We need not be guilty about it. We can both enjoy motherhood as well as let our hair down.
We must take the pleasure of seeing our childrens’ first steps, hearing their first words and being there in their special moments. These things give women as much pleasure as receiving awards as professionals. Until a time when workplaces in our country start providing flexible timings and child care assistance to working mothers, which is a far cry, women like us have to juggle between home and work and do double shifts.
I believe that being able to bring up your children well, being there for your husband when he needs you to, and being successful family-wise is a greater achievement than professional success. Now I’m enjoying motherhood and trying to do what’s best for me and my family. I’m happier than I was before. I’m happy just to be able to give my family the greatest gift a mother can give—her presence. I’m sure there are lots of women who must have taken a short break in their careers and are proud to be called mom and not ma’am.
The author is a lecturer at Araniko College, Biratnagar