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A few months ago I had written an article on how guilty I feel at being a working mother and how I am always at war with myself with regards to this. Here’s my story of learning to prioritize for creating a positive experience for myself.
The last few weeks has been an eye opener for me on why I should not regret working at present and why I should overcome my guilt. I do admit that each morning it is hard for me to leave my son to set off to work. There are enough people around me who think they know my son better than me since I don’t spend that chunk of time with him.
I know that after a 100km round trip to work, I come home to serve others, prepare dinner for my son and just get on with whatever needs attention at home. This leaves me exhausted, with no time for myself and to a certain extent, frustrated. This is the point where my life lessons began.
It suddenly dawned that I have limited energy for the day and I am no superwoman who can do it all and not feel a whiff of exhaustion/negative emotion at the end of the day. I know I have limited energy; therefore, I have to be prudent in how I utilise it. This means I have to prioritize on what the important things I want to accomplish for the day are and focus my energy on only those tasks.
My big priorities for the day are being a happy mother, happy wife and a pragmatic worker at office. For me to accomplish this, I need to invest 100% of energy in creating a positive experience for myself while performing these roles. This means all the negative events of daily life which suck my energy need not be given the same level of importance or attention. This is definitely work in progress and I know every time there is a negative event that comes in my way, I have to consciously remind myself to look at this negativity and say “no, thank you”.
This wasn’t easy in the beginning, but now I find it lot easier to go back to that basal level of happiness and conserve energy so that I can enjoy that extra chase with my son. There have been occasions when I have encountered conflicts in certain situations and I try my best to influence them in a positive manner even if I have to swallow my pride, as I don’t want to lose sight of the bigger picture of being a happy mother.
I realize that trying to throw in some positivity in a conflicting situation recharges my batteries, I feel a sense of contribution and a positive outcome definitely boosts my self-confidence. Maybe what I am writing here might sound such a cliché but, hey I am just sharing my experience!
This level of self-improvement and introspection is certainly not to portray an image of great sacrifices I am making as a mother, but I have a selfish motive behind this. I realize I am in the center of these life events and I just want to gain the most for myself from these. I want to invest the positive energy I extract from these roles to write blogs, enjoy walks with my son, go to the gym, listen to podcasts, buy a nice dress, wear makeup. I want to develop a quality of well-being not to accomplish great things in my life, but just to live in a contented manner on a day-to-day basis.
Having said all this, if one day I have to quit my job to take care of my family, I will do it without any hesitation for the simple reason that I can’t get enough of my son! I am confident that in those changed circumstances as well I will have valuable lessons to learn, again just to be a happy person. I bet every mother has her own narrative for such a story and this is mine.
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I am a new mother with a PhD in Genetics from Cambridge University. I have
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