The moment you conceive, people around you become over concerned for your career, sometimes even more than your health. It is really annoying yet compulsive to answer their incessant queries about your maternity leave, sabbatical or resignation. Suddenly you are a star in the office and your decisions in life matter more to people than their own. But soon you confront the hard reality, that while you are going topsy-turvy in your bed at night with your brain and heart waging a war, your “caring” ( read over-bearing) colleagues are busy churning the most important Breaking News of your life into nothing more than ‘an over the coffee gossip’.
As a mom nothing comes before her child. It is only for him/her that many moms decide to leave their career behind. But to be sure of your choice it is important to answer the following questions.
Q1. Do you have some support back at home?
The support can be in any form, your in-laws, parents, creche or a nanny. These days there are a million nannies out there for the moms of the millennium and almost similar number of other facilities like day care, nursery etc. The nanny comes and claims to take care of your child like her own. But what is important is your trust and faith in them. Your belief that your little one will be taken care of in your absence so that you can be carefree and do justice to your career.
Q2. What would people say??
Half of your life and most of your dreams are destroyed by this one liner. By the time you realize this, it’s too late. Don’t work just because you are educated enough to earn diamonds for yourself or peer pressure or social stigma. And also don’t give up just because your family is of the view that ‘humare Ghar ki ladkiyan kamane nai jati..’. Try to find the real zeal behind your urge to work.
Q3. What is your opportunity cost?
What is it that you would be paying to pursue your career. Not just in monetary terms but also emotionally. Whether financial independence is important or that extra second spent with your child is. It should be only you and you who should draw a trade off between the two and take a decision.
Q4. Can you split your personality ?
Yes, to achieve great heights it is important to be focused. And one can be focused only if his/her mind is not preoccupied with thoughts. Most of the times women tend to think about their children when at work and about work when they are with children. Perfect juggling between the responsibilities is required to maintain a proper work life balance and peace of mind.
Q5. How comfortable is your child without you?
The most important of all decisions is whether your child is comfortable and happy in the alternative you have chosen for him in your absence. Is he/she cranky in your absence and always searching for you? After all, it is the child for whom you do everything and there is no point putting his/her happiness at stake.
You can stay happy only if the decision is made by you and only you, and not influenced by anyone else. Only then will you be able to stand by it and do justice to it. In short I would just suggest that don’t become something others want you to, or because its easy. You will never be happy. You have to do what you really, really, really want to do even if it scares the shit out of you.
Disclaimer: This list is not complete and exhaustive and reader’s discretion is advised.