Surely we read about it during our pregnancy, had a chat or two with our friends who had experienced it..but did we ever realize it will hit us so hard? I remember the day I got my offer letter after a good 1.5 year maternity break and I was feeling on top of the world. Little did I know that this feeling is shortly going to bite the dust as the mother of all feelings is about to haunt me forever (that’s how it feels right now).
Once I joined back work, I was all enthusiastic to hop on and take every opportunity which will help me make my mark yet again and prove it once for all that having a baby does not take away your ability to perform at work.I was right, as I had double the amount of commitment towards my work and this feeling kept me pushing harder to perform.I think I did well at work anyways, but I also started to realize that in this entire show that I am trying to pull off, I am practically exhausting myself to death and it is eventually impacting the time I am spending with my son and my family as a whole.Like am I attending to his basic needs – yes, but is that all we need to do? Certainly not.
I remember the first time he fell terribly sick and I rushed home from work to see him or when he was crying so badly before letting me go to work that I was almost in tears by the time I finally left.The time when you get a call from home saying he is not eating or he has been asking for you all day long.You can actually feel this pain in your heart.It’s like your first heart ache…you felt the world is going to end…but this is worst. The reason being, you need to make a choice between running back to your baby or sticking to your goals.You want to be with the baby but you also want to ensure your work commitment is taken care of. It’s like you have to make a choice everyday and most of the times work wins as nobody is going to keep paying you if you never show up at work right?
Should I leave my job? Is there a alternate career option? I am being a horrible mom.We all have experienced this and much more and it’s an endless debate as to what is better – Stay at home Mom or a working mom. Honestly, having being exposed to both the phases, I know with every choice you make, you chose your struggles too. While being a full time SAHM, I felt guilty for abandoning my dreams and I hated the financial dependence I had on my partner. I had all the time with the baby and I didn’t know how to really use it as that itself is quite overwhelming.Being a working mom, its the other way round – I feel I am missing on his important milestones…I want to spend more time with him..take better care of his health.
Adding on to this, is the whole society pressure, we as women feel when it comes to raising children. It’s supposed to be the primary reason for our existence – being a mom!We have seen our mothers leaving it all to ensure they were with us the whole time and we feel the same pressure. Especially in the Indian context, women are now allowed to work once they have babies.Imagine the kind of control the society has on us and we only add on to it by giving in.
So the bottom line is – Guilt is not something which will end if we quit our jobs or stop working and just be with our kids, it’s probably going to grip us even harder in a form we are not yet aware of.There will be days which will be hard on us and we will have to fight our emotions and be strong like a wall to support our families/work..but that’s what makes our lives worthwhile. All these moments where we feel we stood the test of time and did our best.
Whether you chose to work or not, be rest assured as a mom you know what’s best for your baby and if doing that makes you happy…you’re crushing it!It’s your choice and you do not have to feel guilty about it. The mantra is to take one day at a time. Do not try to project trends for future basis how you are feeling right now.
This beautiful quote by Oprah Winfrey sums it up perfectly- “Do what you have to do Until You can do what you Want to do!”
#workingmom #momguilt #stopfeelingguilty #yourlifeyourchoice #beingamom #motherhoodstruggles #onedayatatime