Read on how to enrich your life by purpose, i.e. to find depth and, a reason to get out of bed each morning, your own Ikigai.
Feeling stressed due to the loss of a ‘working woman’ identity as you’re on a maternity break? Here’s how you can help yourself cope and learn new things.
Deciding to have a baby is one of the most important life decisions. We plan finances, align and re-align future purchases, probably even invest in property. These decisions are mostly taken jointly by the parents to be.
Working women have a very important decision to make too. Whether to work immediately after the baby is born or take what is known as a BREAK. Break, to me, sounds very negative, very suppressing. But I will come back to that later.
So, a few women decide to resume their careers after the 6 month maternity leave and the rest of them decide to stay back at home to be with the baby. As per me, both of them are correct at their respective places.
Coming back to the Break I referred to earlier, calling it a Break is talking only about pausing your career for a while. But what it does not talk about is the opportunity given to us during this time to rediscover ourselves. Trust me, it isn’t as philosophical as it may be sounding.
Apart from nurturing and looking after their child in the best possible way, there is a lot that women can do for themselves while at it. It is difficult for any working woman to be at home and not do anything ‘productive’ giving rise to frustration, depression and even anxiety. It is natural to feel being left behind in the rat race by a few years but looking at the bigger picture helps deal with this worry. Pursuing an old hobby or picking up a new one can give you more satisfaction that the ‘salary credited’ sms.
Here are a few things that can help us to MAKE yourself like never before:
Tell yourself it is ok to be not earning for a while. It is not the most comforting feeling in the world to know that you will not be earning the reassuring monthly pay check for a long time. Just remember, you are getting to experience all the developmental milestones of your baby and nobody can put a price tag on that.
Pregnancy is tough on a woman physically and mentally. Now is the chance to let all that go. Go for light Yoga and Meditation to de-stress completely. Take short walks with the baby. While the little one explores the entire world, you get a much needed break from your routine. Build up your fitness slowly and steadily to gear up for the hectic life ahead.
For people who eat books for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this will be blessing in disguise. Blow the dust off the books kept in that To-Read shelf and gobble them up. For those who prefer books only for passing exams, there are hundreds of certification courses available on the internet that give you an extra edge when you decide to return to work.
We live in a constantly changing world. A gap of few years will make you realize that much has changed in the industry. While it will be impossible to be live in action, you can always keep yourself updated about your profession. Connect with peers and discuss current trends, read up articles and blogs by industry experts and network to stay in touch with your peers.
With crazy work hours and weekends flowing by in a jiffy, there is hardly time to sit, sip coffee and have a meaningful conversation with your partner. Now is the time to connect with them better. Lending a patient ear to their work problems or just being there for each other can really help reinforce the relationship.
Bringing up a baby needs loads of patience and perseverance. Pick up a new hobby or restart an old one. Gardening is a great method to increase your patience which will be much needed once you begin to juggle between your career and family. Painting, singing are great ways to de-stress and also engage with your little one.
These are some of the ways to develop new skills, to make your personality more versatile and ready for the next phase in your career, I am sure there are plenty others. Use this period to MAKE yourself as a person and a professional.
Image source: pixabay
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Rucha Ogale, 29, is a Marketing Communication professional who is currently on a maternity break.
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