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Here’s a confession. I love being a mother, but I wish I had not quit my career – I am not happy being an SAHM, being dependent on others!
I was signing up on some website and there was this column named occupation. I saw the options. I tick marked the box in front of ‘homemaker’. This time, I realized I was not so proud of being a homemaker. Rather I was sad.
I have never ever looked down upon stay at home mothers. First and foremost, I don’t think I should be judging someone else. Second, I come from a background where working mothers are only 2% of the female population. So honestly, I know what’s the contribution of stay at home mothers to the family. Most important of all, I love being with my son. I love to spend time with him. I love to make DIYs for him.
There is a thin line between ‘not being sad’ and ‘not being happy’. I am not sad being a SAHM but I am not happy either. Statement may sound ambiguous but that’s the truth of my life and I think lots of mothers would relate to it.
I wasn’t a scholar student but whatever I did, I excelled in it. For whatever small time I had worked, I worked with passion. I am not a perfectionist in life but at my work place I was. I always tried to get the best out of me. I wasn’t highly competent but I had some expectations from myself, which are far more different than what I am today. I strived to be the best at everything. I was ambitious about my career.
Another, but a real part of the story: I have been living a terribly dependent life since I lost my parents long back. Which means, more than being independent, I know the ‘consequences’ of being dependent. I so wanted to get out of that life where I was feeling like a burden on someone’s head. I got married at the age of 21 because people wanted me to. I couldn’t say no. Being a mother was a mutual decision, that’s the different part of the story. But I had the pressure. Moreover, I had to give up the control of major parts and decisions of my life just because I was dependent.
I was fortunate enough to have a supporting life partner who did respect my feelings, and I could do my post graduation after marriage. I got the degree, worked for sometime, and then we decided to be parents. The feeling of not being able to focus on my career didn’t come until I actually became a mother.
Now that ambitious part of me has not gone forever but it’s on hold for now, for sure. And that’s what making me feel sad.
I have highly qualified friends who are proud to be stay at home moms. I never felt that way. I have friends who got married, had kids immediately and are happily and proudly parenting them from home. I have the highest respect for them. I respect the way they solely and completely have devoted themselves to the future generation. I can respect my own parenthood too, the way I do theirs. But to be very honest, I am not doing it!!
I traded my laptop for a baby carrier. I willing fully took the decision, but the transition is hard. Turns out, being at home is not easy!!
I wanted to be a mother and a wife but, not a complete homemaker. I’ve heard people saying when talking about stay at home moms, like, “You have a degree, why don’t you use it”, “if that’s all you wanted to do then why you even thought of becoming an engineer”. These phrases echo in my mind. I have realized lately, that the contribution of a SAHM has not been considered as valuable. It is as important, valuable and devotable as any jobs in the world. The only difference is you get paid for them.
Sometimes I feel people may find this as an easiest and lazy option. Being an SAHM is such a thankless job, no matter how difficult it is or how hard we work. Period. Giving birth to humans and raise them is a privilege.
I love being a mother. I love to be available 24/7 for my kid. I can’t stand the thought of leaving him with nanny or in a daycare. But I am also unable to see myself being completely withdrawn from whom I actually want to be. I have my ambitions. I have expectations from myself. I want to achieve certain things in life. This feeling doesn’t make me less of a mother. I want to juggle between both, successfully.
On a serious note, I personally feel that monetory independence is very important. It makes you more confident. I have seen so many women who are sticking to their marriage just because they are dependent financially. God forbid, something happens the way it had happened in the past, I just can’t think of living that life again. Even the thought is goose-bumpy. For me, choosing a family OR a career is like choosing mother OR father!! Can you tell whom you love the most??
Maybe I think and care more about what people think more than what’s true. Maybe my thoughts are influenced by the experiences I had or may be I am just incomplete without work, for now I don’t know. It may happen that in the future I get the opportunity of being an independent woman and I can call myself a proud working mother, or it may also happen that I choose to be a SAHM and that too a proud one.
What I do know for now, is that I love being with and being able to take care of my son in a way that I’ve never been able to before. I also love myself and want to be independent financially.
Now, I just have to figure out what’s going to make me happiest in the long term. After all, people that choose happiness are healthier than those that choose unhappiness.
I just hope to clear my thoughts soon!
Image source: pxhere