To work outside home or not, should be the choice of the woman, not a diktat that she has to follow. Here is how I exercised my choice.
Work, financial independence, career fulfillment are relatively new terms in the historical perspective of a woman’s dictionary. The choice becomes exponentially challenging once she decides to go the family way and chooses to have children.
As a woman, I have realized I am prone to subconsciously taking a lot more responsibility to prove myself worthy. Sometimes it is not as much about expectations as it is probably about cultural conditioning. A few lessons learnt in the process…
At a certain point, I realized not to make financial independence a big deal. If the income of one stands enough to fulfill the needs of the family, then having one parent spend the first few years of the child at home with him/her might not be a bad idea.
In the Indian set up, however progressive, it usually demands stay at home for the mother. Even if she is not a stay at home mom, most of the child caring responsibilities do fall on her shoulders. If such is the case, I felt, then taking some time off from work, relaxing and enjoying the bundle of joy for some time might definitely contribute a lot towards my personal satisfaction in the long run.
With the over powerful and sometimes over bearing feminism in the air these days and the resulting ‘I have to prove it all’ mental state had left me filling my plate with a lot more than I could consume; leaving me pursuing something probably with decent enough commitment but not as much passion.
To some, a fruitful career is necessary for existence. To them, to expect to give it up and stay at home would be a sacrifice.
However to me, a flourishing career was starting to become just a means to prove self-worth. Hence, for those of us who would really prefer being at home with our children but choose to work just so that we don’t feel being taken for granted; I would suggest – think again.
If we let self-fulfillment drive our decisions, worthiness will definitely find its place.
We are a generation who live in the future. I too, have spent endless hours either planning or worrying about the future. As a result a lot of unsureness creeps in. What if there is a financial crisis? What if there is a relationship crisis? What if there is death!?
In my opinion, there is definitely some amount of planning needed; but not at the cost of the present. The present builds the future. If something looks good for now, do it! The future will automatically take care of itself. These days corporates are more open to women getting back to work after a break. Hence even if it meant a little compromise on my job profile, to me it felt worth the risk.
I have been an active part of the corporate arena for many years of my life. Hence having that to compare with, I can say with conviction that a stay at home wife/mother has a lot to contribute just by virtue of giving their 100% to family needs. It is a thankless job only if that’s how we make it out to be. In this fast paced times of glamorous high paying jobs demanding tons of time and energy, having someone who is committed to the family by taking up the non-glamorous bit of the deal deserves respect and a big thank-you.
Here’s to a life of choices – our choices.
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Image source: portrait of an Indian family by Shutterstock.