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Though everyone can’t stop going gaga over the recent ad on pregnancy by Myntra, a woman who went through the same has a different view.
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I loved, and more loved the fact that somebody thought about it and made it, and yet I cannot but wonder!
Is the only way to prove is to deny your body the changes, the rest it demands, those morning sicknesses and hormonal upheaval, and the only way to women empowerment is just to HAVE TO put up a strong brave face and make sure to be around as if it’s all absolutely the same? Come on… it IS different, it IS unusual, we are growing a whole damn human being inside our body and it is being made out of our very blood, flesh and nutrition… you feel so thirsty and sleepy, you need to pee and to have food every fifteen minutes, you need to reduce stress so that the brain of the baby that’s growing inside you gets a peaceful environment to develop.The baby CAN actually sense the stress, the turmoil- and what is worse that the effects can be permanent.
I have myself stood put right there and fought it out, and instead at my office they’d give me two times the normal task which required me to work till 4 every morning. They couldn’t be sure I’ll come back and also didn’t want me to unfairly take away salary for the months I’ll be away – so they made me make and dry run everything that will be due around that time. Plus, not to mention, the behaviour!! “How many times do you take/ minutes do you take to snack?”/ “3 times/ 15 minutes”/ “can you bring it down to two times, ten minutes each time?”/ “well you know… I have gestational diabetes and if I don’t eat enough my baby gets no food!” – such were the negotiations, day in and day out, with 4-5 men and I in a room everyday which took 1 hour at least – they always needed to ‘mend’ me around that time!
My gynae warned me several times… and, touchwood, I’ve been extremely lucky to have not had it impact my baby. I feel extremely proud that I stayed put, fought it out, took the maternity leave I deserved (“it is like a parasite to think of extracting maternity leaves” – my male boss with daughter and homemaker wife had told me!) and then after delivery, I went back, put in my papers, and served all the three months of notice because it helped me to save up and find the next job meanwhile, and then I changed my job right on their face! I feel it’s one of my biggest achievements t have been able to reply to them that way.
But at the same time – is martyrdom the only way left for us to survive?
An alumnus of Indian Statistical Institute, Sinjini Sengupta is an erstwhile Actuary turned into an
You also went through this turmoil when you were pregnant and you finally state proudly that you “stayed put, fought it out, took the maternity leave I deserved”, so I am unable to reconcile this to the heading of the post and why you believe women should work with the difference in needs when pregnant. Am confused… Would appreciate your thoughts on this.
My salutations to you. It’s women like you who deserve to be on magazine cover, not high profile celebrity moms who have an army of staff to take care of their every need.
Thank you, Debanjana. Humbled!! (and blushing :P)
Lalitha – HR had told me, in almost these words and with handing me our tissue papers when I choked while describing situations to him – that HR is there not to act as Justice but to help senior management run the business! There you go!
I know I did just the right thing. Only, this should not be the right way for us as it’s nothinhg but a trap!!
Uma – You missed my point. Why is it so that we have to act a martyr, struggle, fight battles against the world and win in order to survive? Why should there not be a world, an environment with acknowledges the real needs of the situation and make place, with respect, for the same?
This actually is a vicious cycle and particularly we – women – unfortunately we ourselves propagate in a way. I had to – I did – tomorrow what it becomes to another woman is: if she can, why can’t you – and thus the spiral works, goals become steeper, pressure steams up. Why cannot we for once demand, claim for arrangements, for assurance on our careergraph, when we indeed rightfully have our special situations and needs during pregnancy. Why do we strive “trying to be like men!” when they cannot do what we can, especially in such special times!
Sinjini…first I need to laud you for taking up the topic and also for your strength in dealing with issues in such situations. A few more thoughts that came to my mind are:
1. The ads which talks about menstruation, highlights only the ’embarrassment if the dress is stained’. But is that, if that ‘problem’ is addressed then the woman can climb even tall towers…!!!! Now who talks about the menstrual pain?? The ad is taken from the man’s point of view and it is the woman’s responsibility to see to that she DOES NOT reveal her periods…but what about the pain some women undergo, the need for sleep or rest during such times, the need for a relaxed bath and visit to rest rooms.
2. I have seen and heard yesteryear mothers saying they had 6 children and still went on with their work of serving hot meals to all family members and also the guests.
Fine it worked for you and hats off for the same. Or maybe it didn’t, and you just faked pleasure out of pumping out 6 odd children (read male child, male child, male,ok one female, then again male, male). Why is it that when current generation women express discomfort and need for rest, it is not taken as real need and assumed that she is shirking work? Who is asking the in-laws or the parents to come and observe every change during the pregnancy period? They choose to come, and then goad the women into working so that the hip bone can enable a normal delivery !! The intention may be good, but why aren’t they supporting her when she is expressing the need for going at the pace her physique demands.
3. The whole world thinks women LOVE motherhood and all the men are made fathers and they are forced into this.
If this is true, I seriously request all men, who don’t want kids, to assert and express that they do not want children for whom they need to earn and save for the future.
To those fathers and mothers who love children, please put in time and effort and take pleasure during the entire process. Just because the child is in the mother’s womb, she cannot be expected to take the ENTIRE responsibility of the child’s welfare and to remain stress-free. Taking responsibility in this way would help many men understand the change a woman undergoes and also they can plan better if they want another child.
Hi Chintu, than you! Totally agree with and love your comment, and thanks for taking out time for a detailed input. Motherhood is of course over-hyped and menstruation – protests all all over the place but for every wrong reasons, IMHO. Btw, here’s what I had to say about Menstruation – http://sinjinisengupta.blogspot.com/2015/11/menses-let-it-just-be.html – do read and let me know what you feel.
“I think you should just focus on your baby now”. Seriously? Does anyone actually talk like this??
As a graduate who is just getting on the actuarial path, I already look up to you and your fight to get what you believed you deserved in such a vulnerable condition, reinforced it 🙂 I shudder to think senior management can be so unprofessional and insensitive! Do you mind revealing the company’s identity?
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