In this personal post, a mother reasons out on her decision of quitting her job post motherhood.
“So you quit because of your daughter?” Asks almost everyone when I tell them I have quit my job.
I too was under the impression while quitting my 7-year-old professional life, that I am resigning because of Pihu, my 2.5 yrs old daughter. Then I realized what a heavy burden of my own decision I was placing on the tiny shoulders of the litte one. It dawned upon me that if I go on thinking like this, that day is not far when I would start expecting undue returns from her in lieu of some false sacrifices that I would believe I have made for her.
I could imagine myself reprimanding her for not following my orders as she was ‘supposed to’ since I was staying at home ‘because of her’. Each day I’d think hard whether I took a right decision making it difficult for myself and my loved ones to live by it.
I gave it a thought: Why am I really quitting? After all, nobody specifically asked me to quit. No, not my daughter, she was too young to even understand anything, not even my husband – he is an educated, wise guy – nobody actually asked me. Even if somebody had asked me, would I have given in to their desires without having my own inclinations? Not possible for I belong to this generation- an educated, mature, confident woman. If I say that someone else forced me to make an important decision in my life, then all my degrees and academic years are a waste.
The truth was, it was me who was finding it difficult to manage my IT job. But did that happen after marriage or because of marriage?
The truth was, it was me who was finding it difficult to manage my IT job. But did that happen after marriage or because of marriage? No. Women these days work after getting hitched even if they face personal issues. Then did it happen after becoming a mother or because of becoming a mother? No. After all, so many of my friends and acquaintances are mothers and still manage successfully between their jobs and handling kids; and happily maintain some hobbies too. Life’s ride is never smooth for anybody, everybody faces its bumps every now and then. Both Stay at home moms (SAHMs) and working moms have their own struggles.
So why was I searching for some external reason for my decision when the real cause of my unhappiness was my own state of mind? Wasn’t I quitting because from the beginning, my artistic nature was finding it hard to be in a corporate world? Wasn’t it true that it was me who under the garb of motherhood was trying to find my own turf? And yes, I finally concluded that I was not doing a favour to anyone else, especially my daughter, but to myself for my peace of mind. Blaming someone else for your own decision is nothing but welcoming troubles for your own self! I had to close this chapter instead of lingering on whys and buts; only then could I make another fresh beginning.
With this attitude, I began my career break. Now when someone asks whether I am working or stay at home for Pihu, I just tell them that I have quit to pursue my hobbies and interests. When someone applauds me that you have done well by leaving your job for Pihu, I stop them and say, “Please don’t drag the poor child into this. It was me getting bored and missing her in office and now I have this wonderful chance to explore myself, all thanks to her.” I had tried quitting once before Pihu was born but couldn’t out of the mental block that my job defines me.
My little girl has given me courage to break those false opinions.
My little girl has given me courage to break those false opinions. I am now confident that it is me who defines whatever role I take. Be it a mother, a software engineer, a writer or a painter, everything is defined by me, my will. I have the potential to be anything I want if only I work in the right direction in the right manner. Difficulties come, they come irrespective of any path we chose. We cannot simply wash them away for they are the highlights on the beautiful painting we create on the canvas of our life. We need to cross the hurdles of the consequences of our decisions with an open mind and keep running to touch that ribbon for ‘Winner’. Only then can we discover the true meaning of our existence.
Initially, I missed the monthly salary and the glitter of the IT world but now I value more the meager rewards I get from my writing. And no, the rewards I am talking about are not monetary alone. You see, when I publish something on my blog, a creative piece, or just some musings, many people including those who had lost contact with me tend to ping me, message me to congratulate me on my writings. I feel glad and truly humbled that this medium has enabled me to be in touch with people. Not only those who were once in my life and whom time and distance kept apart but also people whom I never knew. Yes, I am still meeting and making friends. The common thread with those people is not kids, not jobs but common interests – they are mostly writers, photographers, travelers, and all kind of creative people.
Kids grow up, from jobs you retire, it is but your hobbies and more specifically your thoughts, your persona that stays with you in the long run of life. I am glad to be making certain connections owing to my thoughts. Nothing like this would have happened if I had continued feeling the victim of Motherhood. So if you ask me, “Are you still working or staying at home because of your daughter”, I would say “I have quit my job, to follow my dreams all courtesy my daughter.”
This article was originally published at the author’s blog here.
Mother and child image via Shutterstock