“The obligation for working mothers is a very precise one, the feeling that one ought to work as if one did not have children, while raising one’s children as if one did not have a job”!!
The million-dollar question “When should I join back work?”. There is no right answer to this question, in fact for some women it is not even a choice. The answer may wary from one mother to another but there is one thing which is common, the fear of leaving your child while you go back to work. Will he be ok? Will he eat? How will he react when he wakes up to a stranger after a nap? These questions keep haunting you till the time you actually decide to take the plunge. As you join back work and ease into a routine you eventually get a little comfortable with the idea, make your peace with the situation but there is one thing that refuses to go, “Guilt”. It’s a strong word and its presence in your mind is even stronger. It’s like a bacteria, the more you allow it to breed the more it spreads.
I am no alien to these feelings, having just recently being promoted to this title of a “working mother” and while I feel comfortable enough to share my feelings with the world now, there was a time when I was having sleepless nights just thinking about going back to office. I’ll be honest, the first month was tough, my mind refused to concentrate on work and I was constantly thinking about my little baby. All the terrible scenarios that I could imagine were playing in my mind and all I wanted to do was go back, take him in my arms and never let him go. “You have to be strong” I kept telling myself but the emotions of a mother defeat all logic and sense at such times.
Then came the flu, even though my pediatrician had warned me that this might happen but like I mentioned, logic and sense refuse to cooperate at these times and guilt over powers all. “I did this to him” and the guilt is back, this time with a pseudo excuse. I still remember that day, I sat with my boss and broke into tears, all the emotions I had bottled up inside came out and I could not stop myself. “I cannot do this” I told him candidly, I need to be with my baby and give him more time. When I look back at it now and I cannot help but thank my stars that I was lucky to be working under a reasonable man who tried his level best to console me and explain to me in sugar coated words that I was being stupid.
It has been almost 8 months since that day and it is still not easy. Every morning when I leave him to go to office its like letting your heart break into pieces every day but what has changed is the mindset. You have to let out the guilt and believe in yourself, believe in yourself that you are raising a strong child who will be proud of his mother and her accomplishments one day. I go to work every day now, with my head held high and the zeal to win it all, for my baby. And every evening when I go back to him, I am welcomed by a big smile and a hug which puts my heart back together and makes me even stronger every passing day!!
Being a Working Mother is not a luxury, it is a choice, a difficult one, so to the world I’d say, beware of these working mothers because they are stronger than you would ever imagine and it is not going to be easy to defeat them!!