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Resuming your career after a break for motherhood is a temporary stage, not a full-stop to your ambitions. Keep yourself ready and take off when it is time!
My parents instilled or rather drilled in me the importance of education. As a young girl, I spent my free time not in the kitchen learning how to roll out a round chapati (though later I realized what a necessary skill it is – for all) but on my study table finishing my syllabus or on the couch with a Chacha Chaudhari or a Russian folk tale.
Everything was working out well for me – I had a blissful marriage, an amazing career and many plans. But then things went topsy-turvy – when my first one, my daughter was born. My husband and I had planned for the child but did not plan for the many responsibilities which came along and our unpreparedness took us by surprise.
I had a career that had just kick-started and I was ready to take-off. Everything was chalked out well in my head – “After my maternity leave I’ll hire a full-time nanny for the kid and I’ll join back work…” for there was so much for me to achieve. But it was just not meant to be. I felt untrained, ill-equipped, unqualified to handle my little one and I couldn’t trust that anyone else would do justice to it either. Hence, I did what I had to do – I left my enriching, wonderfully paying job.
The following year was the most frustrating; everything about raising a child was new to me – my education was failing me there. I was new to the world of pots and pans, diaper-changing, and I was constantly tired. I even fought with my mom for not readying me for this aspect of life. I told my father what a waste my education was and all they could do was what any parent does – console me saying, “Everything will be fine…just give it some time!”
Don’t get me wrong – I love my kid and she is my most precious gift; but there was an emptiness in my heart which often choked me.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my kid and she is my most precious gift; but there was an emptiness in my heart which often choked me. So I decided to ‘make’ everything fine – I studied…I got a degree for which I hit the books when my daughter slept, I read when I was not playing with her, I revised when she went to playgroup, I swotted when my parents came over, well…I just studied.
My daughter turned four and just when I was gathering courage to re-enter the workplace full-time, my son came into our lives – and boy, was he different! My girl was as tranquil as a lake and this guy was a rapid – everything was new to me again. I didn’t know how to take care of such an energetic, over-active child – my education was failing me again.
This time, my husband became the target. He could after all go off to work in the morning and return late at night. He could escape where else I was the one who was stuck! I had been stuck for four years and I thought I would be for another four. Whoever said that moms are the most patient in the whole world … I was losing mine by the day.
One fine day, it finally struck – I finally figured that losing my mind wasn’t a solution and I needed to wait – wait for the right time, wait till the kids are ready, wait till I am ready! I realized my education hadn’t been such a waste after all – it had taught me the importance of parenting, it enabled me to get my priorities right, and it had allowed me to comprehend the virtues of patience.
I finally figured that losing my mind wasn’t a solution and I needed to wait – wait for the right time, wait till the kids are ready, wait till I am ready!
If I had to relive these past few years, I wouldn’t change a thing. The least I could give my kids is my time which I did. They wouldn’t need me as much when they are on an auto-pilot mode – when they have learnt right from wrong, when most of their neural connections are developed. I am proud of the way they are growing up and I am proud that I was there to watch them grow.
Life for me is beginning to get back on track…after years of waiting, pieces of the puzzle are falling in place. Like my dad said – Everything is fine! I have realized that kids want a content mom, not a cribbing one. It’s important to have a hobby (or a career) apart from our children; else we might end up being hurt and grumpy because of all the ‘sacrifices’ we’ve had to make for them. Do your bit and then step aside. They are individuals who will learn on their journey – like we all did and still are.
So girls…let yourself be the best judge of when you are ready…and once you are – gather yourself, regrow those wings that you shed and take a bow for your maiden flight.
Mother and daughter image via Shutterstock
In no particular order she is a mental health evangelist, founder of www.weqip.com -
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