How Families Make It Difficult For Women To Go Back To Work After Childbirth

Getting back to work is not an easy journey. While workplace policies do make a difference, support from society and family is crucial.

A 31-year-old Meera wanted to return to work when her son was about two years old, and it was not a very easy journey.

Her in-laws wanted to take control of the family using this opportunity because they did not like the idea of Meera and her husband staying alone after their marriage. So, in the name of being supportive of raising the child, they disregarded every aspect of her motherhood instincts and tried to berate her for taking charge of her baby.

While she informed her parents about the mental strain they were causing, they disregarded her claims and preferred Meera to comply with her in-laws.

Her husband did not like the idea of a stranger taking care of their child, so a babysitter was out of the question.

This made Meera quit her new job within 4 months of joining, which also made her in-laws furious that they had to unleash the control rope, and her parents were less supportive, thinking she had a non-adjusting nature.

It’s an uphill struggle for most women

Returning to the workforce after an extended maternity break is a tiresome and competitive journey for most women nowadays. Most of the time, their own family is the first to reject the idea of getting back to work. Sometimes it is the overly controlling husband; sometimes it is the orthodox in-laws wanting the best for their grandchild while disregarding the opinions of their daughter-in-law because they don’t even consider her as a person; and sometimes it is the parents of the mother themselves, who don’t like complications arising due to change that might lead to disturbances in their daughter’s marital life or want their grandchild to grow with complete attention and care.

Nowadays, many companies offer a return-to-work program for women with an extended maternity break. Also, there are a lot of companies offering flexible working hours, part-time jobs, daycare facilities, work-from-home options, and many more facilities for women with children. Yet returning to work is not a cakewalk for many women, considering the lack of support from family members.

Asha had a supportive husband, but…

Asha was on cloud nine when she cleared the first interview, ten months after having her daughter. Her husband was very relieved that he would not undergo the financial burden alone since he had to repay his own marriage loan along with his sister’s marriage loan. Moreover, he was also supporting his parents by sending them money every month, though they had income from renting their other home. Both of them had a clear plan worked out to manage their work and children, found a promising daycare, and started their lives as working parents.

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But fate had different plans just when everything was falling into place. Their child started falling ill often, and when Asha asked her parents whether they could take care of her child by staying with her for a few months, they did not like the idea because they just hated city life. Moreover, she did not want to disturb the lives of her peacefully retired parents, but those were the ones who demanded that Asha get pregnant soon after marriage because they wanted grandkids. Also, those were the people who said they would do all the help needed but just wanted grandkids since they wanted to see their progeny before passing away. Asha now stays with her daughter, and her marital life is already strained because of financial problems.

Getting back to work is not an easy journey. Women need support from society and family to get into the workforce without mom guilt. All they need is support, and most of the time it turns out to be just words from their close ones, which will do wonders in them returning confidently to the workforce.

Image source: pexels

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Mirunalini Venkatachalam

Teacher, mother, and now a passionate writer. read more...

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