Making Choices, Together as a Family

Mar 18, 2019 | Read time: 6 mins

Mar 18, 2019 | Read time:

So, my maternity leave was almost over, and my partner and I concluded that we would be leaving our 6-month-old daughter in a day-care with state-of-the-art facilities.

This was not a decision we took randomly. We had been evaluating our options since my little one was 3-months-old. While I was already apprehensive because no other caregiver including my husband, is going to be good enough to take care of my little angel; this was a decision we both made as I wanted to (not needed to) join back work.

While my baby’s grandparents were super supportive, as they have always been, I got some hilarious questions and comments from friends, neighbours and total strangers!

Here are a few of them I wanted to share:

  1. “Are you alone at home?” –  This one tops my list. I was dropping my 6-month-old, and there was a lady, (apparently, a grandparent of some toddler at the same centre) when she met me in the lift, those were the first words that came out of her mouth. For the first five seconds I did not understand what it meant, then I realised she meant to ask if I didn’t have anyone else to take care of my little one at home? I gave a nod to her pitiful eyes and just moved on.
  2. “Do you really need to join back?”- I am wondering, when did I ask for career advice from this person, and does he even have a clue what he is asking? On these occasions, I make some financial excuse to avoid the following questions and end the mind-numbing conversation once and for all.
  3. “Can your husband not manage the finances alone? Is your home bought on loan?”- As if that is the only reason why a mother should be joining back work, leaving her child at a day-care. If not, a career break is the only wise decision.
  4. “You should take a break till your baby gets older” -This was an interesting one, and I had a follow-up question. How old is good enough? Can you please decide that for me as well? If the day-care is ready to take my child, that means they are equipped to take care of my little one. And all said and done, I am never going to be ready to leave my little one in the care of someone else, so waiting to join work for a few more months or a year is not going to solve anything.
  5. “Does she stay at the daycare?” – No, she doesn’t, and I am the heartless mother who leaves her wailing child in the hands of a stranger. How can you think that?!
  6. “How do you manage alone? I don’t think you will be able to manage alone and should get support.” – Alone? Whatever that means. I do not live alone. I have my husband with me. And he is no bystander or baby sitter; he is a co-parent who believes in contributing equally in the house as me. This is one thing people can’t understand, and I have never made any efforts to explain. 
  7. “Get a maid to take care of the baby under the supervision of your parents or in-laws rather than a leaving such a small baby at day-care.” – And if I want to pick a winner for the number of times I heard something. Ding! Ding! Ding! This is the winner! So, people don’t just decide for you nowadays, they want to make decisions for your parents too.
  8. “You can quit your job and start your own business, so you can be at home with your baby!” – My follow-up question should have been, so when are you investing? Before you blurted out, did you even think once that I liked my work and I don’t want to run my own business?

So, to all those people who thought I am going back to work leaving my child in a day-care because we are financially unstable without me working, or that we don’t have a choice of getting our folks to take care of our child and so they forgave me for this unfathomable act thinking we were helpless, please don’t forgive me because I am not sorry for anything and whatever we did was by choice! And yes, I say ‘we’ because this was a joint decision taken by my partner and me.

I always wanted to go back to work once I was assured that my little one is going to be taken care of. Also, for me, grandparents are not caretakers and I want my daughter to spend loads of time with them and get to learn lots of things which my husband and I might not be able to teach her.

My grandparents have always been important to me in my life, and I want my daughter to feel the same for hers. But at the same time, I want both sets of grandparents to live their life. They gave their entire life to get my husband and me to the stage we are now, and still, people expect they give up rest of their life running behind my child which seems unfair to me.

Don’t get me wrong, we love to have them at our place, but our child is our responsibility. And everything said and done, if there comes a day when we really need them, I have both sets of our parents willing to be there for us at the drop of a hat. And one day if I feel I can’t do this anymore, which is more often than you think I have my husband standing by me making me stronger than ever. But still if I feel the need, I will quit my job, my career but till then I am not sorry for what I have chosen today.

Motherhood does not have to symbolise sacrifices! Everyone has the right to live their life to the fullest and motherhood is a choice that I made, and it was not enforced upon me.

I have and will not make any sacrifices burdening my child with it when she grows up. I want to my child to grow up with a mom who can make choices and a dad who supports those choices to the fullest, teaching her that it is ok to love herself and take time for herself while being a mother at the same time! I want my little one to have the confidence to do what it takes to empower and encourage other women to follow their passions.

I want it all, my career, my little one’s childhood and time with my family and me along with my family, are committed to making sure that happens!


About: Monica Thawrani is an IT professional who is also a bookworm, a scribbler, has an opinion on everything and not afraid to speak her mind, a foodie, go-getter and hopeless optimist. Inspired by her latest muse, her infant daughter, Monica has taken up blogging in her free time.

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