WWM - World of Working Mothers!
Every working mother grapples with the ire of interrogation which the society at large and more importantly her own mind subjects her to.
My story is no different. The pressure of walking the tight rope is enormous and yet... all of us manage it. And just when u think you have mastered the art of balancing both the worlds and gloat with happiness, the shadows of self doubt loom over you. They come without warning either as a result of some snide insensitive remark made by someone or it is your own mind which hits the panic button.
The word of advice I have penned down is not for the fellow working mothers but these are notes to my own self. To lift my spirits during the dark gloomy times and to help me sail through the conscious choice I made!
1. There's more to you than being either a mother or a working professional. You can't let these binary terms define and dictate your existence. There s more to you than you know yourself. Explore it!
2. The decision of having either a multi dimensional or binary or singular existence is absolutely yours. Own it!
3. Don't ridicule the choice made by a fellow working mother because she is entitled to the same freedom of choice that you are. Respect it!
4. Dont fall prey to comments/judgements made by your colleagues or acquaintances or even your family members on your parenting quotient.These are very easy means of falling in the guilt trap. Avoid it!
5. You are completely sound and capable of prioritizing parenthood over work or vice versa. Choosing one thing over the other is never easy and will come with its own share of heartburns but have faith in your instincts and focus on long term impact and criticality. It is absolutely ok to miss an important workshop in office if your child is critically ill and it is equally fine to miss a fun event in your child s school if there is a critical project deadline. Prioritise it!
6. The golden mean is to partner with your spouse and consider alternative solutions during conflicting needs. Most of us are blessed to have partners who co parent the child. Stop being territorial. By saying that this is mommy thing and hence I need to do it, you yourself are stereotyping the gender roles.
7.The more control you exert on yourself or on people(Spouse/Grandparents/Teachers/Care Takers) around you, the more stress you will create. Since you have already taken the decision to work and leave your child with someone you trust, it is ok to let go of certain negotiable aspects. Take a deep breath and just say "LET GO". Trust me it works. The non negotiable factors you will anyway not comprise on. But differentiate and LET GO!
8. When you decided to be a working mother, you were conscious of realities around you, so don't fret about it. Stop feeling sorry!
9. When you get in an activist mode and talk vehemently about equality and co parenting, don't forget about being equally responsible towards the financial obligations and the other "Non Feminine" tasks. Even if you are already shouldering these responsibilities, there is no need to feel proud about it. You are just contributing towards a long lasting commitment. Co own the responsibilities!
10.Go out, drink and be merry! Take a break without your children, without your husband. Me time is important.Pamper yourself. Indulge and don't regret it!
11.Lastly, be grateful!
There are many women around you who are compelled to give up their professional life due to various reasons. Be Thankful towards all those who have extended their hand to help you raise your child.
This is definitely not an exhaustive list but these are the tenets I live by. They offer a lot of comfort to me especially during those heartbreaking days when I leave my crying child behind and enter the workplace with a brave smile and silent tears!