During this difficult time of Corona virus outbreak, how can we as women cope better and support each other? Check our special feed and learn more!

Should I Be A Working Mother Or Not?

Posted: November 18, 2014
Here is a glimpse into the mind of a mother who grapples with a thousand questions when making the decision – to be a working mother or not?
I am a software professional, chugging along the corporate ladder for the last 15 years. Working used to be fun and rewarding, but not so much now. My top priority is not my project assignment, but my 3-year old daughter.
Ever since Agni has been born, I have become super-efficient at work. I multitask at the job, and try not to waste a single second. But I flounder with the juggling act when dealing with Agni and work simultaneously. I am not the multitasking Goddess that all working Moms are expected to be. Unlike my always-connected better half, I cannot reply to mails on my smart-phone while listening to her stories. Hell, I cannot even browse facebook while playing with her.
Not surprisingly, taking a long sabbatical is an idea which crosses my mind often. I visualize the yoga classes I can take, and the weekly spa visits I never have time for now. We will of course lose some of the financial freedom that we enjoy, but it will be more than compensated by the time and energy that I will save for my child. I will be able to cook, and read, and write.
Other thoughts follow. While growing up, I was proud to have a working Mom. I have always believed that women must be independent. I have a stressful job, still, my workplace is supportive, and I enjoy more flexibility in my working hours than most people I know. If I quit, will I be teaching my daughter the right thing? Will she understand the importance of having a career?
If I quit, will I be teaching my daughter the right thing? Will she understand the importance of having a career?
Also – my spouse shares most responsibilities at home. But let’s face it – if I switch to being a home-maker, it is likely that he would share far less of the workload at home. Again, not a lifestyle choice that I particularly care for!
On a more trivial note – I am able to say No to most social commitments now, on account of my busy schedule (and mostly asocial nature). Will I be expected to become a social butterfly once I am no more a full-time professional? Will my mother-in-law expect me to accompany her to all the relatives that she visits?
Eventually, bottom-line, I want to quit my job for my daughter – and for no other reason. So I must ignore all these side-notes and focus on that. It will be worth it when we go to the park on winter afternoons, and she will run after squirrels and monkeys, when I take her to those dance classes which finish before I reach home.
I raise the topic at the breakfast table – my better half makes just one comment – “of course we can manage on a single salary, but will we be able to save enough for her higher studies – if she wants to go for the expensive kind?” And here I was…thinking I am doing it all for her! So which one is more important – providing her the best possible education when she is 18 or teaching her, giving her quality time, now? And the most important question – Am I really quitting for her sake, or am I just using that as an excuse to indulge myself?
Am I really quitting for her sake, or am I just using that as an excuse to indulge myself?
I am reminded of when Agni was born, and I wanted to take a break for a year. A dear friend and Mum of two said to me, “Sure – she needs you now, but she will need you far more when she is five. Right now she just needs an adult who can feed and bathe her. Then she will need the irreplaceable you. “
I see the wisdom of her words. Agni misses me far more now than she did as a baby – and the time we spend together is more meaningful. So maybe the right time for a sabbatical is two years from now.

And so on and so forth I sway. Today I am staying put. Lets see what tomorrow brings.

Pic credit: Image of a mother and daughter via Shutterstock.

 

I am a working professional and mother of a hyperactive 3-and-a-half year

How To Combine Career With Motherhood

Comments

27 Comments


Share your thoughts! [Be civil. No personal attacks. Longer comment policy in our footer!]

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

Do you want to be part of a network curated for working women?